Going Full-Time | Distractions | Matthew LeDrew’s Blog

This might have to be my final post under the ‘Distractions’ banner, if only because I will, very soon, not be able to abide distractions anymore. That is to say, as of January 1 2018, I will be going Full-Time writing and publishing through Engen Books.

This is a massive step forward for me personally and for the company as a whole. We’ve made great strides in the last ten years helping to build ourselves as Atlantic Canada’s premier small-press, indie, and genre publisher. We’ve taken on a massive amount of new projects and new authors which has helped expand our library exponentially. This is going to give me the time to  really pour gasoline on that process. We’re going to be expanding into new areas and taking on new authors, as well as making sure our existing stable of amazing talent like Ali House, Ellen Curtis, Amanda Labonté, and Paul Carberry remain focused and driven to succeed.

It isn’t, however, without risk. While we’ve had an amazing year in 2017 and this was a part of a 5-year plan for us, this wasn’t a strategically-planned and calculated move. This came out of necessity because of some upheavals in my person life that I’ll disclose as I become able. Suffice to say, we’re viewing this as a positive and bravely making this leap forward. 🙂

As a part of this building though, we’re going to be needing the support and patience of our fans more than ever. There are going to be some changes. First and foremost will be an increased focus on Kindle and other eBook formats, as there is very little overhead to producing fiction in those methods. We have a dedicated print fan base we know, and our most popular titles (like the ‘From the Rock’ anthology series) will still be available in print day-of release, but some titles may see a digital-only release for short periods of time so that we can bring our work to those who want it.

On a more positive note, I personally plan on writing a lot more and producing more titles yearly than we ever have in this digital format. We’re brainstorming ideas for serial novels, series’, and individual books and we’d love your feedback on what you’d like to see!

Some other projects include:

  • Audiobooks: This has been in the pipe for a long time, but now it’s happening, because we have the time to make it happen.
  • A Bi-Weekly Podcast: Amanda Labonté, & Ellen Curtis will be meeting biweekly to discuss the world or writing and publishing, as well as book reviews and the craft in general.
  • Classes: The first team-up class between Engen Books and T.H.E. went amazing this year, and it seems like most of the class is going to come out of it with a novel ready for print! It’s been so successful we’re going to be repeating the endeavor in early 2018, along with an advanced class, a class aimed at young authors, and more!
  • NaNoWriMo and Other Lit Events: We’re starting early with this one, partnering again with T.H.E. to bring a different sort of lit event to Mount Pearl! Come join us as we kick off NaNoWriMo 2017!

All this is huge, and there’s even more coming – so much I can’t really talk about yet. We’re going to need the support of our fans and the community to make it happen: by purchasing, liking, subscribing, and sharing the things you like that we do. And for our part, we’re going to be doing more of those things. We’re going to be offering more services to the people of our province and the surrounding provinces, such as manuscript evaluations, layout and design services, the works! We want to bring more of what you love into being.

That may involve some inventive forms of financial support in the interim, during this transition period. We may start a Patreon with a goal and offer services if we meet our monthly goals. Those goodies and services may include:

  • Free Books!
  • Exclusive Books
  • Manuscript doctoring services / evaluation
  • Exclusive content
  • Voting on Content
  • The ability to control which books we talk about on our bi-weekly podcast.

Now obviously that’s a very different path than we’ve taken in the path, and we’re very interested in hearing what you think of that. First and foremost, we want to better the writing community and make sure we’re contributing services that do that, whatever they may be. We want to make sure we’re able to continue to serve our local lit community, and that we do so in a way that’s helpful and non-obtrusive… so if you have suggestions or things you’d like to see happen, let us know. We want to hear from you!

In the meantime, I’m going to be chronicling this adventure here on my Engen Books blog, so this will be an interesting look into the process of becoming a full-time author. Watch me make the pitfalls and (hopefully) some successes, learn the do’s and don’ts as I do them and don’t them myself 😉

And no matter what happens, thank you for your support… and Never Look Back.

One thought on “Going Full-Time | Distractions | Matthew LeDrew’s Blog”

  1. I’m so happy for you and the team Matthew, I’ll help in whatever way I can.

    I’m interested in your increased focus in ebooks etc… and how attracting authors to Engen compares to people epublishing themselves.

    Can’t wait to see the podcast take flight, chatting about publishing, writing and maybe even author interviews sounds very interesting!

    I have no doubt that you and Engen will continue to focus your energy into making your dreams come true!


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