Victoria’s FriesenPress celebrates 5,000+ self-published titles and a decade in business on July 13th.
VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA - July 8, 2019 - Fair or not, we judge books by their covers.
For instance: the third floor of the Gardiner Building in downtown Victoria appears to most as a nondescript office space. In reality, this space has been at the forefront of the self-publishing revolution in Canada for the last 10 years – assisting thousands of writers across the world launch their careers and sell 1.7 million books (and counting) in the process. Covers don’t often tell the full story.
The FriesenPress story begins a decade ago, on July 13th, 2009. A small team gathered together to explore a simple (but ambitious) idea: make professional publishing services like editing, book design, and promotional coaching available to all writers, not just an elite few. With the support of one of Canada’s largest book manufacturers behind them - the Manitoba-based Friesens Corp. - FriesenPress opened its doors to the world.
“Self-publishing, in 2009, was very much written off as vanity publishing,” explains FriesenPress President Tammara Kennelly, who has led the organization since 2013. “Next, it was dismissed as a fad. But all these years later, the model has matured into an established—and powerful—option for both writers and book buyers.”
FriesenPress has had both a front-row seat and an active role in influencing this sea change in self-publishing perception. The Victoria-based outfit has quietly helped self-publishing authors from all over the world create and publish over five thousand unique titles with professional editing, design, and promotion support. Along the way, their top-selling and award-winning authors (including CTV’s Victor Malarek) have helped FriesenPress earn a reputation as North America’s leading publishing services provider. Once published, authors retain 100% ownership of their work and 100% net royalties.
Today, FriesenPress continues to grow far beyond what anyone dreamed possible in those early days, transforming from startup to the largest publishing services provider in Canada with over 40 employees and a team of 80 freelancers. As the industry has evolved, so too has FriesenPress’ services offerings, which continue to include in-house design and book marketing support for authors and now features an Editors Canada-compliant vetting process for their editors.
“This 10-year anniversary allows us to look back and celebrate all the authors, stories, and relationships that got us here today,” says Kennelly. “We wouldn’t be here without authors trusting us with their books. And at the same time, we are so thrilled to write the next chapter of our story in the decade ahead.