Amazon and Facebook are sometimes framed as enemies of traditional publishing models, but for Blumenort author Trinity Funk, the technology companies are important resources.
Funk published her first book Desperate Measures: Subject: Rose in fall 2020. The young adult science fiction novel involves a character being abducted and experimented on, while the protagonist must either join a parapsychological institute, or try to save her boyfriend and risk becoming a patient in the institution.
The 186-page novel has similarities to The Hunger Games and Maze Runner, Funk said. A central premise involves using twins as a link to create telepathy.
While the narrative is science fiction, Funk tried to keep the narrative as current as she could without being too futuristic. To some extent the novel is based on research learned in university.
"A lot of it is rooted in truth and could maybe actually happen," Funk said.
Funk is an education student at the University of Winnipeg and works part-time at Clearview Co-op in Steinbach. Desperate Measures is Funk’s first novel, and Amazon reviews are positive.
The writing project began, Funk said, as a passion project in Ms. Megan Turnley’s English class at Steinbach Regional Secondary School.
Funk began publishing with a vanity press, but found the process unsatisfactory, and decided to self-publish the book. Funk found an editor based in Venezuela via Facebook, who directed Funk toward the self-publishing process. Funk said getting accepted by traditional publishing houses can be a difficult task.
"It was kind of a headache but a neat process," Funk said of self-publishing.
In Funk’s case, Amazon handles distribution, but Funk must market the work. Funk would make more money if she distributed the book herself, but Funk said the arrangement provides sufficient return for the investment.
These days Facebook and word-of-mouth have been the novel’s main promotional means. But marketing has been more difficult than it would normally be.
During the course of Premier Brian Pallister’s essential retail items list, books weren’t allowed to be sold in stores except by way of curbside pick-up. And contacting libraries has been a challenge, Funk said.
However, one victory in the marketing process has been SRSS buying 12 copies of the novel, Funk said.
Funk said she doesn’t want to make writing a job, but rather to keep it as a passion. For young writers, Funk advises dedication toward a vision, and to write a book the writer would want to read versus writing for a vague abstract audience.