www.abcbookworld.com is a public service project to help spread awareness of the literary activity in British Columbia, Canada’s province with the highest per capita book reading rate in the country. This service exists primarily because I believe no B.C. author deserves to be “invisibilized.”
I remain grateful to SFU Library’s Lynn Copeland for giving the green light for hosting this reference site–conceived in the same year that Wikipedia was founded, in 2001. I’m now equally grateful to SFU Library’s Gwen Bird for continuing and improving this vital relationship.
Todd Holbrook of SFU laid the technical foundations for our original BC Author Bank. Siavash Miri of SFU Library re-engineered the site in 2008. It was “re-simplified” in 2009 with the assistance of Martin Twigg and Andre Liem. In 2015, it was determined by SFU’s Brian Owen and Mark Jordan that the entire site was outdated technologically and must be transfered to a new WordPress system, mainly for security reasons. Thanks to some generosity from site supporter Yosef Wosk, all the contents of ABCBookWorld were transferred to its current technological format in 2017.
Mostly it’s been a pleasure to download my brain, resurrect the contents of bygone BCBW issues, encourage the accumulation of articles and essays to preserve British Columbia literary history, gather author photos, share our files with the public, add new info on a daily basis and generate more awareness of the people who have put the best of themselves into their books. Some days it’s a labour of love; other days it’s a pain in the neck.
This is not how I make my living–a fact that I urge writers to bear in whenever there’s an inclination to demand service.
Money is important in this world. After more than twelve years of funding requests fell on deaf ears provincially, we were finally able to receive some much-needed recognition from creativeBC, kick-started by Richard Brownsey, for a freelance writer/editor to assist part-time.
The level of funding from Canada Council to support Pacific BookWorld’s wide range of activities has remained frozen since 2000–since before this site was begun–so essentially there has been zero federal support for a massive site of original material that has eclipsed 4,000 visitors per day.
This free, public reference site is a separately-operated offshoot of B.C. BookWorld, the quarterly newspaper that I established in 1987, but it contains far more information than a newspaper ever could. You can visit www.bcbookworld.com for some basic information about that newspaper. As far as we know, there is no site in the rest of Canada that comes close to the breadth and depth of this one. In terms of individual readers, this site now has a readership that exceeds the outreach of the popular B.C. BookWorld newspaper.
In 2017, prior to a technological refit, readership for ABCBookWorld easily eclipsed more than one million readers per year. “ABCBookworld is a huge resource,” said Pacific BookWorld News Society president Howard White. “It is a repository of all the information that has passed through Bookworld’s pages, and much, much more. As such, it is the crowning achievement of the ongoing BookWorld project. The reason it gets so many visits is that anybody searching general BC information gets directed there by the search bots because it is perhaps the largest repository on general BC knowledge freely available online.”
The ongoing involvement of Pacific BookWorld News Society has been essential to maintaining our spirits and public service resolve.
In compiling the site, we are continually correcting inadvertent errors made by those who came before us. It’s logical, given the plethora of dates and odd spellings of names, that we, too–like Wikipedia–will occasionally present some inaccuracies. Making literary history is a cumulative process so we cannot take full responsibility for any errors. We encourage authors and/or their publishers or family representatives to augment entries by providing suggestions for corrections, alterations, as necessary. As ABCBookWorld’s creator and gatekeeper, I reserve the right to edit or restrict materials.
When an author you know well dies, let us know where, when and how it happened and send along a Jpeg headshot if we don’t already have one on the site.
If you’re an author who has just published a new book, and you already have an entry on this site, please let us know the title, name of the publisher and the year of your recent publication so we can augment your entry. Price and ISBN are also useful for trade titles.
Please do not provide price and ISBN for e-books.
Non-self-promotional language is required for all submissions. Just the facts, please.
Long ago I told myself if we ever got to 12,000 B.C. authors, I could stop, having yet to earn a penny from this site.
Meanwhile, if anyone doesn’t like the service, for any reason, they are welcome to create one of their own.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Alan Twigg, publisher, webservant