Julie H. Ferguson
For thirty-eight years of my writing life, I had a day job. I juggled a career, family life, and my writing passion, and the juggle was neither easy nor fully satisfying. In 2004, having launched my daughter and published two major works and countless articles, I decided to retire from physiotherapy. Two more nonfiction books quickly followed and Beacon Literary Services, established in 1997 to help others get published, took on a greater role offering coaching towards publication and more services for writers of all levels and genres.
I believe writers need practical assistance, current information, and support from published authors throughout their journeys to publication.
I am the author of books for writers, including my bestselling Book Magic: Turning Writers into Published Authors and Crafting Irresistible Query Letters that Result in Publication, and four others. My many articles have appeared in international, national, and regional publications, as well as online. Also, I have been a contributor to the Encyclopedia of British Columbia's blog and a reviewer for the Canadian Book Review Annual Online.
I have experienced every aspect of Canadian publishing — commercial and self-publication, print and electronic publishing, as well as print-on-demand. My first non-fiction book, Through a Canadian Periscope; the Story of the Canadian Submarine Service (Dundurn) appeared in 1995. My second, Deeply Canadian: New Submarines for a New Millennium (Beacon Publishing), was released in 2000 electronically (commercial) and in print, and was re-released in a revised second edition in 2014. Sing a New Song: Portraits of Canada’s Crusading Bishops, followed in 2006, also from Dundurn. James Douglas: the Father of BC is my first young adult biography, again from Dundurn (2009), and my second to be selected for Books for Everybody. Initially, I self-pubbed in print the first two editions of my bestselling Book Magic and had it commercially pubbed as an ebook; the third edition was electronically published only. In March 2014 Dundurn re-released the updated, second edition of Periscope to celebrate the centenary of the Canadian submarine service.
In 2000, I created Beacon Publishing as the imprint for my self-published books. I have used print-on-demand (only once), a short-run printer, an online service for my photo portfolios, and printed my own mini-guides in-house. I also self-publish using Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing. This has resulted in two books and five mini-guides for writers, speakers, and teachers, one for a health authority. I have also published eight family legacy books and thirty-one photo portfolios of my travels.
I'm not only a successful author, but also a professional speaker and trainer who has instructed for Vancouver Community College and the Surrey Writers' School. I have also spoken at writers' and teachers' conferences throughout western Canada since 1997, including the Surrey International Writers’ Conference nine years running. My many practical presentations include Raising Your Online Presence, Pitching Articles in a Cold Climate, Crafting Irresistible Query Letters that Result in Publication, and Book Magic: Turning Writers into Published Authors.
In June 2010, I retired from speaking in the education sector to concentrate on writing more books, travel articles, and my photography. In July 2017 I tried to retire from my coaching practice and did retire from facilitating the acclaimed Port Moody Writers' Groups, of which I had also been a member for over twenty-five years. I moved to Penticton in August 2017 to join my young family and focus on more photography, golf, and wine tasting. However, I now facilitate a new feedback group for the Okanagan South Writers' League (OWL), lead a few mini-workshops, continue to travel extensively, and occasionally write articles and illustrate them with my own images.
Currently, I am a member of OWL and the Penticton Photography Club. I have also belonged to the International Travel Writers Alliance, the Federation of BC Writers, the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, Photoclub Vancouver, and the Travel Media Association of Canada.
...from inspiration to publication!™