How did they do it?

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Local authors share the experience of having their first book published.

Danielle Arsenault

Title of first published book and release date: SHARE, Autumn from the Kitchens of Pinch and Dash November 2011 (winter, spring and summer followed shortly afterwards). Brief synopsis: The first of four seasonal issues includes 20 vibrant plant-based recipes to warm your belly and delight your senses. You will also find seasonal photos, kitchen playlists and heartwarming anecdotes.

RMO – Did you hire an agent or become self-published, and how was that process?

I was living in South Korea and myself and my then neighbour Jessica Perlaza would spend mornings together hiking the Korean mountains … and somehow, the conversation always turned to food.

On one of these memorable mornings, we decided to make a cookbook and that afternoon we found ourselves sitting in Jessica’s tiny kitchen, drawing up a plan over a cup of tea. The kitchens of pinch and dash was born. We self-published in Korea and put all our savings into printing this small ‘zine. It was a grassroots DIY project.

RMO – What worked that you would do/did do for your sophomore book?

Making connections with other people who have similar passions was a big part of the process.

RMO – What was your most beneficial learning lesson?

Doing something that matters, that has a far-reaching impact and can inspire others is what I want to put my time and energy into while on this earth.

The purpose of life is a life of purpose. These recipes have the power to heal the body and ignite the spirit. This is worth all the stress and uncertainty that being an entrepreneur comes with.

RMO – What is your best promotional tool?

Facebook, social media and live events.

About the author: Danielle Arsenault currently lives in Canmore. She published her fifth cookbook in 2017, Heal and Ignite. She also teaches Raw Food Chef Certification courses, offers nutrition coaching and private catering for yoga retreats. Copies of Heal and Ignite can be found in Canmore at Cafe Books and Toniq Juice Bar, as well as online at in the friesenpress.com and Amazon.ca.

Jamey Glasnovic

Title of first published book and release date: Lost and Found: Adrift in the Canadian Rockies. Fall 2014. Brief synopsis: For many people, moving to a mountain town is the realization of a dream, the final step in a pilgrimage to a relaxed lifestyle in a rugged and beautiful setting.

For Glasnovic, the long journey began when he was a teenager in the 1980s with the vague idea there might be a better life somewhere “out West.” Eventually, he fled the chaos and stress of the big city and tried to settle into an uncomplicated Rocky Mountain existence. It wouldn’t stay uncomplicated for long.

A spirited amble by bicycle and on foot, inspired by the work of Bill Bryson, Lost and Found explores the heart of Rocky Mountain parks and examines the consequences of celebrating that beauty too effectively with mass tourism and overambitious development.

Eschewing the convenience of motorized transportation, Glasnovic earns every kilometre that passes beneath his feet, and along the way he learns a thing or two about feeling profoundly connected to place – an experience some would describe as being home.

RMO – Did you hire an agent or become self-published, and how was that process?

I was fortunate to have another local author arrange an introduction to a publisher on my behalf. Bob Sandford is a prolific writer and good friend and one day I launched into my pitch. He said, “There’s someone I think you need to talk to.” The next time Don Gorman from Rocky Mountain Books was in town we sat down and talked books.

RMO – What worked that you would do/did do for your sophomore book?

That initial meeting went well. And I already had a long-term plan for multiple titles that was part of the original pitch, so when the time came to write a new book figuring out a place for it was the easiest part of the process.

RMO – What was your most beneficial learning lesson?

Write. The obstacles to successful publication are many and varied. What can often get lost in the managing of it is the work. A book is a leap of faith, a profound belief in story. It is quite easy to get out of the habit of writing every day, as the other challenges of being a writer present themselves. Never forget writing is the most important thing.

RMO – Best promotional tool/platform you used?

Word of mouth. Understanding the nuances of sales and marketing is daunting, and a foreign concept to many creative types. Me included. But engaging people in a meaningful way will draw them to your story. They will, in turn, tell their friends about the book. I’m still trying to figure out the rest of it.

RMO – If you could now give yourself guidance during this time, what would you say?

Keep going. In our culture of breaking TV news and instant messaging, a book is a mitigating force for the reader, a salve to our hyper speed lifestyles. Books still have an important place in how we share experience and exchange ideas. They are a critical part of a larger cultural narrative, and those who are inspired to write have the obligation to do so.

About the author: Jamey Glasnovic lives in Canmore. Lost and Found was his first book. A Few Feet Short: An Uncommon Journey to Everest is expected in the fall of 2018. All Rocky Mountain Books titles are available at rmbooks.com, or through your favourite bookseller. Visit jglas.com for more information on the author.

Nancy O’Hare

Title of first published book and release date: Dust in My Pack, eBook released: July 25, 2017 and paperback released: Sept. 12, 2017. Brief synopsis: Dust in My Pack is a new kind of travel book. It carries you along the author’s travels to distant lands and may spark your inner adventurer.

Be rewarded with practical tips and insights to build your own journey. Topics are conveniently grouped across a range of travel themes, including boat trips, multi-day treks, day hikes, temples and forts, ancient cities, getaway adventures, serene scenes, animal encounters and unforgettable accommodations.

RMO – Did you hire an agent or become self-published, and how was that process?

I self-published my book. Self-publishing gives the author complete flexibility over timing, pricing, marketing and hiring support such as editors, photography and design. I wanted to keep costs down, but deliver a high-quality product that I hoped readers would value.

With online bookstores, social media and new publishing business models such as Print on Demand it is now easier for writers to share stories.

RMO – What worked that you would do/did do for your sophomore book?

I hired a professional editor, proofreader and design company, and each helped to achieve my vision. Ultimately, readers deserve a quality product and I needed the skills of a range of professionals to get there. The result is a book I am proud to have my name on.

RMO – What was your most beneficial learning lesson?

Initially, I thought an eBook’s light weight, low shipping cost was the best way to distribute my book. Then I realized this approach was shortsighted, people also like the feel of a physical book. Bookbaby’s Print on Demand service fit perfectly. Their print quality is excellent and one “real live” person helped me throughout the entire process. So I could tap into the paperback market without being burdened with inventory issues.

RMO – Best promotional tool?

Friends and family have been very influential. Thereafter, social media has allowed me to amplify my reach. For example, the group Travel by Book, on Facebook and Goodreads, offers peer support and promotional events.

RMO – What would you suggest for guidance during this time?

Push yourself to capture the essence of a place, the aspects that you hold onto long after a trip ends. Remember, the goal is to re-create the experience through storytelling, so that the reader not only envisions the moment, but feels energized to read on and may even be inspired to visit a place for themselves.

About the author: Stories from Nancy O’Hare’s personal quest to explore our planet are now available to help you create your own travel experiences. For 20 years, she coupled her love of diverse cultures with a career in finance; she has been based in Nigeria, Oman, Switzerland and Australia.

O’Hare and her husband have taken multiple around-the-world trips covering all seven continents. They gravitate toward hidden gems tucked away from the crowds. Currently living in Canmore, she published her first book in 2017 and is currently working on a second.

Dust in My Pack can be found in most online bookstores including Amazon, iBooks, Chapters-Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Nook, Overdrive and FNAC. www.bynancyohare.com, www.facebook.com/ByNancyO.

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