In one month last spring I had three writers contact me wanting help with self publishing. Books are not my purview and I was of little help.

I wish I'd known about David Edwards back then.

If the Cookie Monster was the wordsmith for the Sesame Street crowd, then David Edwards is the publishing answer for people who write their own books and don't know where to go after that.

Dave loves books. He has a roving eye when it comes to antique books, historical tomes, things tucked away under layers of dust. He's also a book sleuth. When I was looking for a rare copy of Ted Schraeder's Tales of Gloucester Pool, written with a limited printing in the early 60's, it was Dave who found the one and only copy.

He opened what could be called a used book store at 555 Mapleview Dr West (720-2665, davids-books.com) a year and a half ago. Nestled beside the after hours clinic, Dave's pine shelves are home to a revolving 12,000 books. You can called them used books but I prefer to think of them as treasures.

Because he loves books, he tends to know his stock. He also had an incredible background knowledge on topics and authors and is technically savvy enough to help you sleuth out what you're looking for. One of my friends whose family spends wisely during holiday time gives out gift certificates for use at David's book store. Now that's a gift worth receiving!

"I seek out of print books from all over the world for people. I'll find almost any used, out-of-print or hard-to-find book," says David.

For the reader, David's Books is a gem.

For the writer, David Edwards can be a lifeline.

He offers design and layout of a digital file of an author's book. He brings it into a book format and arrange for printing on a black and white or four colour press. For the writer wanting only a few copies... a geneology result with pictures for several members of a family, or a copy of a year's memories and stories and photos for a graduating class... well, Dave can print and bind paperback copies and it avoids the cost of placing a minimum order.

The company David deals with for larger press runs also offers popsters, a blog page, some internet promotional material as well.

"There's definitely a market for self publishing. My whole thing was to start printing old fairy tales that were out of print. That's what I really set out to do. But, one of my customers, Timothy David Walker, saw my work and asked me to do his book. He'd written a novel called The Gathering and I did the design and layout for him and bound 30 copies. They sold out in two days in his home town. He then asked me to order another 200 copies from a printer for him."

David says it's very difficult to get a publisher interested if you're a first time author. He tells of the winner of the 2008 Stephen Leacock Award (for humour). The writer couldn't find a publisher so he self published the book that won the award. As a Stephen Leacock award winner, he then found himself with many publishing offers. But, he had to take the first step himself.

David says he wants to be a one-stop shop for a writer. He deals with the author and pays the printer and makes it as seamless as possible.

He's had interest from local authors, a school teacher who wrote a book about the Boys of Barrie who died during World War Two, people who wright family histories, people writing their memoirs.

"My design and layout is set up in a traditional style. It's a quality design and print job for my customers. I even supply an ISBN number." David has one word of advice: if you're the writer, get your book professionally edited. Very very important.

Now this is what I call a man of words... in all ways!

Thanks, David.

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