Consulting

I am passionate about innovation and excellence within all aspects of the publishing and bookselling industry and I thrive on supporting authors and publishers.

With more than a quarter century of experience, I have been involved in bookselling as it evolved from strictly bricks and mortar operations and into online and digital venues and have continually been at the forefront of applying digital solutions to publishing and book selling. I have been President of the Canadian Booksellers Association, have sat on the Board of Directors for BookNet Canada and was part of the advisory committee in the creation of Sheridan College in their creation of Sheridan College's Honours Bachelor of Creative Writing & Publishing program. I also spent six years as the Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations at Kobo, where I created and launched their hugely successful Kobo Writing Life self-publishing platform and team.

I have worked with international bestselling authors, publishers, book production houses and distributors from around the world, as well as authors who are just getting started and who aren't sure where to turn, who to trust or what to do next.

I am able to customize my work approach to meet the needs of both corporate and personal clients, with a focus on proficiency and specific and unique targets for each client.

I am available for speaking, workshops, virtual and in person 1:1 consultations.

 

To book me for an event or interview, please fill out the Contact Booking Form.

 

The best way to connect with and see if I'm the right person to help you with your writing and publishing goals is to fill out the CONSULTATION REQUEST form in order to schedule a free 20 minute consultation.

Below are a few different options that you might consider.

* My marketing strategy/coaching services are listed on Reedsy. If you use the following affiliate link, you can get a $20 credit to Reedsy just for signing up. This credit can be used for my own services or any other professional services available through this curated platform.  Reedy Affiliate Link with $20 Credit.

* I am creating a Publishing Pal Program package for $1199 USD that offers an ongoing series of coaching, mentoring and advising on a four month schedule. This allows for an initial 1:1 counseling session and three specifically tailored, scheduled and customized follow-up 1:1 sessions that allow for ongoing feedback, adjustment so that results can be measured. This option also allows for 4 monthly payments of $300.

* I am in the process of creating a series of video tutorials (Your Guide on the Side) that will be available at a much lower price of $197 USD. If you are interested in being informed when they are ready, please sign up here to receive an email notification.

If you request a free consult please note that there is absolutely no obligation to book any additional paid time. As a writer, I hate when things come with strings attached. In fact, I'm often pleased when people are able to get all they need out of a free consult, because sometimes that's all it takes as a helpful step towards saving you time and money.

 

Areas Most Frequently Requested for Coaching & Consultation:

  • Publishing options and marketing strategies for your book/writing project
  • Author coaching on basic self-publishing strategy, marketing options and process questions
  • eBook publishing, digital publishing and POD (print-on-demand) related questions
  • Optimizing your author brand, your visibility, and identifying your target audience
  • General book industry trends, global bookselling trends, and marketing advice
  • Strategies for working with bookstores and libraries

 

Please note that I will be unlikely to help you directly with any of the following:

  • Finding an agent or publisher for your manuscript (although I may be able to make recommendations where applicable)
  • Reading, editing, proofreading or reviewing your book (again, I know trusted people in this area)
  • PR, publicity or direct marketing of your book (ie, I don't sell direct marketing solutions. I know of some great places that authors have used successfully, and can make recommendations, but I don't do the direct marketing)

 

Testimonials

 

Mark was a critical hire at a critical time for Kobo. We knew independent publishing was a growing phenomenon in ebooks but needed the right person to create that all-important bridge with the author community. Mark performed that role perfectly, winning authors over to Kobo Writing Life with his combination of energy, lived experience as an author, genuine enthusiasm for how technology could extend a writer’s reach. A truly valuable person.

- Michael Tamblyn, CEO, Rakuten Kobo Inc.

 

I just completed an author and publishing consulting session with Mark. He had outstanding answers for all my prepared questions, and just as good for those that came up. His broad knowledge of publishing provided me with valuable contacts, reference materials and a couple of great ideas to move my writing and publishing projects forward. I highly recommend any way you can find time to spend with him - great value at half the price you'd expect!

- Mark Jones, Writer & Editor

 

Mark is insightful and generous. He has a kind and helpful demeanor that not only put me at ease, but also made me feel smarter. That's a rare and valuable skill. 

The world of independent publishing can be daunting and having an ally like him put me at ease. He answered my questions, anticipated where I might have other concerns, and showed me how to address both in an easy step-by-step process. 

Contact him now!

- Jess Ponce, author of Everyday Celebrity and Managing Partner, Media 2x3

 

Mark was Director of Kobo Writing Life since its conception in 2011 and in many ways his passion is woven into the DNA of the platform. His vision of what a self-publishing service should look like gave direction to the product design and development teams in the early days, and since its launch in 2012, Mark’s passion to support independent authors and publishers has been crucial to the fantastic success of Kobo Writing Life today.

He was a continuous driving force inside Kobo to gain support across departments for the marketing and promotion of KWL authors, and for maintenance and improvement of the platform and services. Within our high-tech, KPI-driven organization, the individual author performance gets easily overseen, and it speaks to Mark’s core passion that his focus is always on the interest of that independent author-publisher.

- Pieter Swinkels, Executive Vice-President, Publisher Relations & Content, Rakuten Kobo, Inc.

 

Aside from his excellent work ethic, Mark's incredible knowledge in the field of book editing and printing combined to his contagious enthusiasm ensure he delivers great results on his commitments.

- Simon Raby, Business Development Executive, Xerox

 

Mark was a pleasure to work with. He turned a major problem for me into a simple fix. Would that there were more like Mark in the publishing business. We authors would all be the better for it.

- Jack Duarte, Bestselling Novelist

 

Mark has three key skills that I appreciated tremendously as he supported my team.
a) very strong customer focus - he sincerely was interested in supporting my team's results
b) terrific creativity in identifying resolutions to issues
c) wonderful interpersonal skills; he listens first, speaks second in a confident and poised manner with all levels of the organization.

- Rob Spence, Senior Supply Chain Director, Indigo Books & Music

 

Mark brings a high level of energy, enthusiasm and creative problem solving into the work environment and is capable of successfully bridging the gap between the needs of the business and the what is available in terms of technical requirements.

 

- Sean Chard, Director, IS Infrastructure Services at exp Global Inc.