I attended the `At the Mike' readings in Victoria this week. I was most impressed by Des Kennedy's vigorous reading and re-confirmed our old acquaintance. The reading was organised by Brindle and Glass, an independent publisher. I know this publisher gets support from the hand of government, namely the Canada Council. But there are other independent publishers who survive, even in these harsh economic times, without government assistance. We tend to admire, for instance, an independent film maker who finances a film from his/her own resources, but the independent writer who finances getting their book in print is denigrated. It is extremely difficult to even have the book reviewed. There is a stigma in the world to independent book productions. We don't refer to independently produced moves, or music as `vanity films' or `vanity CD's'. Why have we allowed this to refer only to books?
I am therefore pleased to announce that a book I help to distribute, `Something to Ponder' - independently produced, to the severe detriment of the author's bank balance, has just become a winner of the US Book News prize in the eastern religion category. `Something to Ponder' is a 21st century reflection and intepretation of the Te Ching by Colin Mallard.