WORDS: Maggie Langrick, president and publisher at LifeTree Media, Ltd.
Books are awesome. Books that teach you something about how to live a happier, healthier or more successful life are really, really awesome. LifeTree Media is a new Vancouver-based publishing company specializing in books that do exactly that; our mandate is to publish books and ebooks that help, heal and inspire.
I’ve been working with lifestyle content for years as a journalist (most recently as Arts and Life editor at the Vancouver Sun), and I have always loved knowing that I’m helping to bring valuable information and inspiration into the lives of readers. But newspaper story formats have major restrictions – they’re short, so there’s only so much detail you can provide in any given feature article. A non-fiction book, on the other hand, can go into the same subject in much greater depth and has the real potential to change a life. Think of classic self-help books like Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, business bibles such as Good to Great, or the more recent book Wheat Belly, which changed the way we look at gluten in our diets. These books have become indispensible references for countless individuals who want to improve their health, relationships or businesses.
Books like these have made a major impact on my life, so I was naturally pulled in that direction when I was looking for my next move after the Sun. What better way to spend a career than facilitating the creation of books that support a happier, healthier human race?
The reader is only half of the equation: each of these books begins of course with a writer, and it’s the writer’s predicament that really interests me.
The publishing industry is changing fast. More writers are moving toward self-publishing, drawn to its flexibility, accessibility and creative control. I see a similar trend in the music and film industries as artists become less reliant on “gatekeepers” and opt instead to self-produce their work. Crowdfunding campaigns and social media marketing can be hugely important in building an audience for a project even while it’s under development, giving the creator a ready-made platform upon which to release and promote their work when it’s ready.
But self-publishing is not for everyone. Publishing a book is a lot of work, and to do it well requires expertise in many areas, which an author may not have. Self-published authors also don’t have any access to traditional book distribution that puts books into stores, so they are limited to online and direct sales.
I feel that authors ought to be able to access publishing expertise and mainstream market channels without giving up their creative control and flexibility. It’s in this spirit that I founded LifeTree Media. We provide high-quality publishing services for every phase of the process, from concept development and author branding to editing, design, marketing, sales and distribution. I think it’s a pretty special offering that opens up some exciting possibilities for self-financed authors.
I like to look at it this way: If the book is the author’s baby, its publisher is the midwife. The LifeTree team and I are looking forward to bringing lots of wonderful brain babies into being and helping them to find their place in the world.
Learn more at lifetreemedia.com.
Maggie Langrick. Photo: Dianne Whelan