The Book as Art and Commerce: Feb 17

A Spirit Festival Presentation

Successful independent publishers Laurie Carter, Stephen Joyce and Richard Fogarty discuss their publishing process and adventures.

  • Thursday 17 February 2011, 5 pm at the Bohemian Cafe, 524 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna
  • $2 at the door. Refreshments are available. Seating is limited, please reserve in advance.

For information and to reserve your seat:

Independent Okanagan Publishers Reveal the Process of Modern Bookmaking

Just as we’ve experienced a reset in our economy and our popular mindset, so too we’re experiencing a reset that is affecting everything to do with books, publishing and online media. This reset is turning lots of traditional “ways of doing things” upside down. New rules are being written as much by writers and entrepreneurs as by editors, publishers, booksellers, and the new technologies. Writers are having a difficult time keeping up with all the changes, and yet they continue to produce books and get them out to readers. Some choose the traditional publishing route, while others choose to produce the books themselves – in other words, become publishers – and others use digital or print-on-demand means to get into print. No matter how the book is produced, readers continue to support writers and appreciate the value they bring to our communities.

On Thursday, February 17rd at 5 pm the ongoing Okanagan Institute Express series at the Bohemian Café, 524 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna presents The Book as Art and Commerce. Join us as successful independent publishers Laurie Carter, Stephen Joyce and Richard Fogarty discuss their publishing process and adventures.

This will be the second event of the Spirit Festival held by the Okanagan Institute, and those with Spirit Festival Passports will be able to get them stamped at the event. The Spirit Festival brings Central Okanagan arts groups together for a month-long series of events, performances, collaborations, presentations and showcases. Join us!

Laurie Carter’s freelance work appears in magazines and newspapers in Canada and the United States. Her latest book, Grandma Wears Hiking Boots: A Personal Guide to the Okanagan Valley was released in November. She is the author of the travel mystery novel China Doll and publishes Bloganagan, her uncorked, uncut, unabashed guide to the Valley. Her stories and photographs reflect an interest in everything from architecture to winemakers, from hiking to folk singers, from ancient ruins to street vendors. A transplant from southern Ontario, Laurie is passionate about her adopted home. And while she loves foreign travel and frequently writes about her experiences in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Mexico, South America and Africa, she is best known as an expert on the Okanagan Valley and surrounding region. Laurie serves as senior editor of Okanagan Life magazine and writes and photographs the annual Magical Shuswap guide.

“For the last decade I’ve been writing and shooting photos about the Okanagan for magazine, newspaper and online articles,” says Carter. “I felt it was time to pull together my experiences in a single guide to the valley. My vision for Grandma Wears Hiking Boots is to give readers more than the bare bones information of a traditional guidebook. I want to convey a sense of what it’s like to actually do the things that make the Okanagan such a popular destination.” Carter jokes that with her unique take on valley trails, wildflower excursions, wine tasting, farm tours, family attractions, historic sites, cultural pursuits, mine tours, jumping off mountains and her favourite subject – food – the book should have been called: Grandma Wears Hiking Boots and Sneakers, Snowshoes and Skis, Flip-flops and Terminally Gorgeous Heels – but there wasn’t room on the cover. Carter’s zippy style and self-inflicted humour make this collection of anecdotes, observations and recommendations a lively page-turner for armchair travellers and serious Okanagan explorers.

Stephen Joyce comes from a long line of story-tellers. After all, in Ireland it is a national sport. But everything wasn’t sweetness and light as he grew up during the “troubles” in early 70s Northern Ireland. The family farm was situated in the so-called “murder triangle” and political violence was an everyday reality. He began researching the dynamics of change, problem resolution, group dynamics, and his greatest passion, collaborative intelligence. He is the author of Teaching an Anthill to Fetch which was published through his own company: Mighty Small Books. Having decided that publishing a book about collaborative intelligence and then placing a copyright on it seemed disingenuous he opted to use a “creative commons” license to communicate his wishes about the content and its use. This ensured that no traditional publisher would touch it with a barge pole. He and his wife Sandy marketed the book themselves through the internet and sold 2700 copies within 18 hours on July 21st 2007. This was sufficient to push the book to #11 on and #1 on several of their categories. As a result, foreign rights and translations have been licensed in five countries. He subsequently consulted around North America and overseas but decided quite quickly that travelling for business is not his cup of tea. He now operates an internet marketing company from his home base in Naramata, and manages a virtual team of seven people scattered across three continents.

Teaching an Anthill to Fetch provides a practical outline for developing collaborative intelligence within business teams. This book is also about treating people fairly and employee motivation. An anthill can survive and feed itself in some of the most hostile environments. No single ant knows how it all works – nor does it need to. Individually ants are pretty dumb creatures, collectively they are very smart. In the environment we live in today, never has our ability to “pull together” been more important or more challenged. Developing ways of collaborating becomes a game everyone needs to play. Collaborative intelligence exists in all groups and is defined as the harnessed intelligence and energy of networks of people. Highly successful organizations are those with the most collaboratively intelligent teams – this is no accident.

Richard Fogarty will also be joining the discussion. He is the director of the Headbones Gallery in Vernon, and operates Rich Fog Micro Publishing, whose aim is to provide artists, writers and galleries with a published book or catalog – within a short time and in limited quantities – that shows prospective gallery directors, curators and collectors their work.

The Book as Art and Commerce takes place at the Bohemian Café, 524 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna. This marks the 189th event the Okanagan Institute has held since the Express series got underway in 2007. Express is presented in association with the Okanagan Regional Library and Okanagan College. The Okanagan Institute is a pan-Okanagan collaboratory that promotes local creative engagement.

For more information and to register online, go to