How we do what we do.



the technical


Scenario 1:

Let’s be honest. Not everyone knows how to use tracked changes, Google Docs, spreadsheets etc. Let us go right back to that initial audit we did: What do you assume? In the current publishing world we need to be on top of the current trends, and this includes the latest tech. When signing an author, it’s important to gage their knowledge in many areas. You want the editing back and forth to be comfortable and fruitful. Remember, we are thinking about that end goal of building resilience through authentic communication.


Let’s get specific

Let’s say an author is brand new to the game and you are going to publish their first book. The author is so excited and nervous. They have so many questions, but are worried they may blow their opportunity by asking too many questions because of lack of knowledge or experience, so they keep quiet. They receive their tracked changes from their editor and are immediately overwhelmed … and maybe they do not put their best work forward, or they use way more time than they should, or they feel frustrated and defeated.


The BSC fix:

In our initial author questionnaire, we ASK these questions. The author sees that question, feels a sense of relief and support, and you pair them with Breathing Space Creative. Breathing Space Creative works one on one with that author. Whether the author prefers screen shares, personalized video tutorials, a phone, or an in-person meet up, Breathing Space Creative is there. 

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confidence on panels


Scenario 2:

Ok, this is a biggie. I cannot count the number of panels I have been on where as a marginalized writer I was treated differently by organizers, moderators, other panelists, and the audience. It does NOT have to be this way. I have also been on the other side of the table where I was running the show. What did I learn? We need people in our corner and we need to be our true selves on that stage. By any means necessary. 


Let’s get specific

An author arrives at their event, which happens to be a panel on Craft: Creative Non-fiction. The author arrives only to find that they are the only person of colour on the panel. They immediately feel visible. The author also notices that all the other panelists and the moderator are dressed in blazers and dress pants and/or skirts. Now the author REALLY feels visible. The panel starts and the author isn’t being their true self or speaking with confidence. At the end of the panel the marginalized author is asked how come their book didn’t have more about the Black experience. This was a panel on craft. 


The BSC fix:

In our initial author questionnaire, we ASK these questions. The author sees that question, feels a sense of relief and support, and you pair them with Breathing Space Creative. BSC then has a meeting (if they are comfortable) to go over situations that may arise on panels and pre-prepared tips for navigating them. We will also go over what to ask of your organizers. Does the author need 10 minutes alone prior or after the event? We have your back. As after care, BSC will also be there should the author want to chat, or debrief. We are all about check-ins! 


getting organized

Chats with authors on handling their itineraries


Scenario 3:

When I had my first book tour, I was still working two jobs and freelancing. I had a son who was having very severe mental health issues, and I was running a magazine, and a literary festival. Insert sense of feeling overwhelmed here please! Although I was beyond grateful to be invited to seven Canadian festivals, being asked for interviews, invited to readings and more, I was exhausted. Not only was I exhausted, but I was too nervous and afraid to ask for help. One of my biggest regrets was that I was not empowered to ask for what I needed. Did I need that email interview to be in person? Did I need a hotel room even though my event was local because I lived an hour and a half away via transit and my events were all spread out throughout the day? Did I need help? Yes. Did I ask for it? Of course not. Why not?


Let’s get specific

An author is invited to a handful of events and asked to do six interviews. This is all in the span of two months. The author is ecstatic, but is worried about leaving their child and their dog. They also have other work obligations and missing work or having to work on the road is how burnout happens. The publisher is busy with other authors and does not have the time (or energy … do you see a pattern here?) to work with the author to make things more relaxed and feasible. 


The BSC fix:

In our initial author questionnaire, we ASK these questions. The author sees that question: (what do you need when doing events, and how can we accommodate?), feels a sense of relief and support, and you pair them with Breathing Space Creative. Breathing Space Creative works one on one with that author. BSC will check in with the author to find out exactly what their fears and worries are, and come up with solutions. Whether it’s getting in touch with an organizer to find out if there is a “rest space” for local authors, or if it’s BSC creating a time management tool, we are on it.

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Handling difficult questions on panels/Q&A’s


Scenario 4:

This is something we do not take lightly. This can be one of the biggest hurdles as it relates to new authors. Being on a panel and being caught off guard by an inappropriate question, a triggering comment, or even an inaccurate summary of your work. 


Let’s get specific

An author is on a panel and they feel great going into it. The organizers addressed all their needs, and did a fabulous job of making them feel good. The author is ready. The panel goes well but at the end, during the question and answer period, an audience member asks something really inappropriate. No one intervenes. No one knows what to do.


The BSC fix:

We will do our best to prepare your authors if they bring this up as a concern. Although we cannot be there or guarantee that organizers are going to do their due diligence, we can discuss possible scenarios with your authors and even share videos of “mock panels” where Q & A’s go wrong and the panelist navigates the terrain with grace. We can also, as always, be an ear and support authors via phone or an online meeting prior to and after events. 


fire diffusing


Scenario 5:

When it comes to event organizing, you can prepare all you want, but things can still go wrong. When plans burst into flames it is often how you react that will be remembered and discussed. 


Let’s get specific

You are an organizer and you have been programming a festival for almost a year. A day before your event you learn that a venue is not as accessible as you had initially thought. You did the work, you got the measurements, you went in person to look at the washrooms, you put out a scent-free environment discussion email to all participants and attendees, you have all your panelist’s requirements, but something popped up that you were not expecting and now social media is claiming you are not an accessible festival and folks are starting to boycott … and quickly. 


The BSC fix:

How you react is everything. We will help you not only find a solution, but we will help you explain with grace and love. We are all allowed to make mistakes, and anyone who tells you otherwise is not being honest with themselves. We do this work because it’s in our hearts to do it. This does not mean perfection, this means we have to learn to approach the table, pull out a chair, and talk. We will help set that table. 

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publisher focus

Publisher wanting to personally focus on certain authors.


Scenario 6:

Folks who run small presses are often doing the work of a small army. From Acquiring manuscripts, writing grants, to promo and marketing, and not to mention the actual book production. Publishers are busy. There is no disputing this.


Let’s get specific

Sometimes publishers just need to spend more time with certain authors. This is not a bad thing. Let’s say there’s an author whose book is so intricate, it requires a lot of back and forth queries with the author, more so than the typical manuscript. The publishers puts all of their time into making sure the specs are spot on with this author’s book. But now there’s a handful of emails in the publisher’s inbox from other authors speaking to the scenarios listed above. The publisher is close to burning out, but knows that they are the only one to handle this so they stay up all night. Not cool! Let Breathing Space Creative help.


The BSC fix:

We will work with these authors to handle any queries on any of the scenarios listed above, and then some.



Business Professionals As New Authors


Scenario 7:

It’s not uncommon to find ourselves relying on the assumption that business professionals who put forth their first book will not require help or support when that book enters the world. This is a really massive assumption. We have to stop and think about the long-term impact that this particular assumption can have on a new author, any new author.

Let’s reflect on a few questions:

  • Why are we making this assumption?

  • What assumptions are we making about the supports and who they are for?

  • Have we asked this person what they need?

  • Will we be shocked by their answer?


Let’s get specific

Your new author is a busy lawyer and an owner of a successful restaurant. They are already swamped and about to get busier. You’ve just signed them as a new author, and their memoir is stunning! The book is at the printers and you send them multiple emails about festival invites, tour dates, interview requests and more. This person feels incredibly overwhelmed because they were not expecting to have to do all of this added labour. No one bothered to check in and ask what their boundaries and capabilities were at the start. The assumption was made that they would be fine and/or that they already knew what to expect. It was assumed that because they are a business professional and used to a fast-paced lifestyle, that they would be a-ok. Now their book is hot off the presses and they can’t enjoy it. They are overwhelmed, discouraged. This was the last book they wrote.


The BSC fix:

It’s important to note that the process a brand new author goes through from production to launch is going to be a unique experience. It’s going to be as though they are learning to walk for the first time. Seriously! Navigating something new can be a universal experience, but the tools and support systems will morph from person to person. Breathing Space Creative will adapt our support to suit the individual.

We will answer questions, provide one-on-one support, share our author care presentations and workshops and make sure that the right questions are asked.

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