Mark Leslie Lefebvre

Mark Leslie Lefebvre – Marketer

Former Director of Self-Publishing & Author Relations at Kobo. Strategy | Coach | Author Brand | Mentor | Bookstore & Library Events


With more than a quarter century of experience, I have been involved in bookselling as it evolved from strictly bricks and mortar operations and into online and digital venues and have continually been at the forefront of applying digital solutions to publishing and book selling.

I have been President of the Canadian Booksellers Association, have sat on the Board of Directors for BookNet Canada and was part of the advisory committee for Sheridan College in their creation of their Honours Bachelor of Creative Writing & Publishing program.

I also spent six years as the Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations at Kobo, where I created and launched their hugely successful Kobo Writing Life self-publishing platform and team.

I share, in a weekly podcast called Stark Reflections on Writing & Publishing, my reflections as a writer and industry professional where authors can find free inspiration and tips on the writing life.
Anthologies Horror Mystery & Crime Romance Thriller & Suspense Urban Fantasy
New Age Self-Help & Self-Improvement

Work experience


Oct, 2004 — Present

Stark Publishing was initiated in 2004 in order to self-publish my very first collection of story stories. I have since continued to use the imprint both for publishing as well as for offering insights, consulting, coaching and marketing advice for writers and publishers.


Oct, 2018 — Present

Work collaboratively with Director of Author Relations, Director of Marketing and CEO to establish and maintain win/win situations for authors and D2D business partners.

Rakuten Kobo, Inc.

Oct, 2011 — Nov, 2017 (about 6 years)

The role was created in 2011 as a way to provide a solution for self-published writers and small publishers to get their work's into Kobo's global catalog.

I worked internally with a team of dedicated developers to drive the creation of Kobo Writing Life, which was launched at Book Expo America in 2012. Kobo Writing Life ( is a free, easy to use direct publishing platform that led the industry in terms of enhanced near-real-time dashboard analytics, internal promotional opportunities with an author-centric approach.

As the platform grew, I curated internal support for the indie author community and built a world-class team of Kobo Writing Life employees who now care for, support and promote a global community that stood at more than 70,000 authors from around the world near the end of 2017.

By the end of 2016, less than five years after it was launched, Kobo Writing Life established itself as the #1 single source of weekly global unit sales for Kobo and, in primarily English language territories, responsible for 1 in every 4 eBooks sold.

Titles Bookstore, McMaster University

Aug, 2006 — Oct, 2011 (about 5 years)

Accountable for the viable financial management and daily operation of all Book departments within the store including: Text, Trade, Custom Publishing and Health Sciences bookshop location. These departments are responsible for sourcing and reselling course materials, reference titles and general books to the McMaster Community.

Since November 2008, responsibility included managing the operations related to the Espresso Book Machine and the various businesses being built around having POD capabilities at the bookstore level, from publisher negotiations to custom book requests and archive retrieval.

Indigo Books & Music, Inc

May, 2004 — Aug, 2006 (over 2 years)

Support Indigo's Master Data team in their use of SAP R/3 system to import metadata from publishers. Manage the in house designed SQL database environments, HighJump Warehouse Management System and WebSphere Product Center

Chapters, Inc.

Nov, 1999 — May, 2004 (over 4 years)

Responsible for managing the teams responsible for importing data from various publisher and author sources to support the retail business (Chapters, Coles and Indigo) and the online website ( and in store kiosks.

Chapters, Inc.

Aug, 1997 — Nov, 1999 (over 2 years)

Responsible for managing staff and book inventory of a 6 million dollar per annum retail Chapters store in Ancaster, Ontario. Included ordering and stocking book inventory, managing special promotional author events and community relations.

Coles The Book People

Oct, 1994 — Aug, 1997 (almost 3 years)

Worked as a bookseller, assistant manager and manager of multiple bookstore locations that included Coles and Prospero The Book Company in Ottawa and Nepean, Ontario.


Jun, 1986 — Present

A lifelong storyteller and a writer of fiction and non-fiction since 1986.

First published short story in 1992.
First horror story published in 1993 - Honorable Mention in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror
First book published in 2004 (self-published) - One Hand Screaming
First traditionally published book in 2006 - North of Infinity II (editor)
First novel published in 2014 (I, Death)
First non-fiction book published in 2012 (Haunted Hamilton)

Editorial experience (mostly in acquisition editing) since 1992.

Assistant editor of NORTHWORDS magazine (1992-1994)
Co-editor of NORTHERN FUSION magazine (1995-1999)
Editor of NORTH OF INFINITY II (Mosaic Press - 2006)
Editor & Publisher of CAMPUS CHILLS (October 2009)
Editor of TESSERACTS SIXTEEN (Edge Publishing - 2014)
Editor of FICTION RIVER: EDITOR'S CHOICE (WMG Publishing - 2017)
Editor of FICTION RIVER: FEEL THE FEAR (WMG Publishing - 2017)
Editor of FICTION RIVER: FEEL THE LOVE (WMG Publishing, Forthcoming - 2018)
Editor of FICTION RIVER: SUPERSTITIOUS (WMG Publishing, Forthcoming - 2019)


Sean Costello

For the past four years I have coached and worked with Sean Costello, overseeing and managing his digital publishing strategy, which includes new self-published titles and re-releases of back-list titles, enhancing his author brand, growing global sales, building his author newsletter list, and scheduling and running promotions related to his titles, including a perma-free reader acquisition title, and optimizing the metadata for his target reading audience.

Kobo Writing Life

I created Kobo Writing Life based on a vision of providing authors and small publishers with a free tool to allow them to publish books to Kobo's global catalog. Kobo Writing Life represented 1 in every 4 books sold on Kobo when I left in November of 2017.



Sean Costello

This book is RATED-R FOR LANGUAGE by the publisher.Bush pilot and family man Tom Stokes is about to face the worst day of his life. On a clear winter morning, he sets out to do some repairs on a remote hunt camp, leaving his five-year-old son and very pregnant... read more
What seven traits do the most successful authors have in common? Which strategic approaches can have the most positive effect on your author career? Where should you focus your energy and effort for maximum results? How do these components work together to hel... read more
Do you want to increase your overall sales and visibility on Kobo? Are you having trouble gaining any traction or growing your reader base outside the Kindle store? Wouldn't it be empowering not to be dependent upon a single retailer for the majority of your e... read more
Here After

Costello, Sean

You should never fall in love with a flyer. You should only be in love with flight.That’s the rule that Roxy Loewen – aviatrix, and protégé of the great Amelia Earhart – always lives by. Until she falls hard for fellow pilot Jocco Zomack and he leads her into ... read more
Quantum Night

Robert J. Sawyer

Experimental psychologist Jim Marchuk has developed a flawless technique for identifying the previously undetected psychopaths lurking everywhere in society. But while being cross-examined about his breakthrough in court, Jim is shocked to discover that he has... read more
Last Call

Sean Costello

THIS BOOK is RATED-R FOR LANGUAGE by the publisher.In the space of a single day, twenty-year-old Trish West purchases her first car, gets accepted into veterinary college, and finds her rockstar father, Jim Gamble, a man who vanished into the streets before sh... read more
Terminal House

Sean Costello

Imagine a malign force dismantling your mind by insidious degrees, stripping away a lifetime of knowledge, cherished memories, and human connections. Now imagine being intimately aware of the process, but helpless to arrest it. Would you be afraid?For retired ... read more
A collection of ghost stories, eerie encounters, and gruesome and ghastly true stories from the second most populous city in Canada. Montreal is a city steeped in history and culture, but just beneath the pristine surface of this world-class city lie unsettlin... read more
Experience the cultural side of Canadian speculative fiction...Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound is a speculative fiction anthology inspired by literature, music, art and culture.Featuring short stories and poems by: Neil Peart & Kevin J. Anderson, Robert ... read more
Campus Chills

Kelley Armstrong

Chilling tales born from the dark shadows of campuses across Canada. Edited by Mark Leslie and introduced by Robert J. Sawyer, Campus Chills features thirteen all original tales of terror by Kelley Armstrong, Julie E. Czerneda, Kimberly Foottit, James Alan Gar... read more
A supernatural tour of the Ottawa region with ghostwatcher Mark Leslie as your guide.Come along with paranormal raconteur Mark Leslie as he uncovers first-person accounts of ghostly happenings throughout Ottawa and the surrounding towns — the whole region is r... read more

Mark Leslie

There's nowhere to hide when everybody you know or meet is trying to kill you. Scotty Desmond's day begins like any other until his boss calls him into the office, pulls out a gun and starts shooting at him. Scott manages to escape the surprise assassination a... read more
A supernatural tour of bookstores and libraries around the world, focusing on the ghost stories from haunted locations. Throughout history, books have inspired, informed, entertained, and enriched us. They have also kept us up through the night, thrilled us, a... read more
Fear. The word alone evokes a powerful response. And in Feel the Fear, editor Mark Leslie takes readers on a haunting tour of the many ways fear presents itself. From genuine horror stories filled with frightening monsters to the real-life horror of losing a l... read more
The magnetic aura surrounding Sudbury, for both the living as well as the once-alive, is the backdrop for tales of mystery, wonder, and outright horror. "I tried to leave" is a common theme for those from the Sudbury region. People often vow to move away, but ... read more
2013 Hamilton Arts Council Literary Award — Shortlisted, Nonfiction Hamilton, Ontario, may seem just like any other city, but a haunted past is hidden beneath it. From the Hermitage ruins to Dundurn Castle, from the Customs House to Stoney Creek Battlefield Pa... read more
Editing an anthology can prove tricky business. Wonderful stories sometimes find themselves on the rejection pile simply because they do not fit in the editor’s vision of that anthology. So, editor Mark Leslie decided to save some of those amazing stories for ... read more
A look inside the hospitals, asylums, and sanatoriums in which formal spectral residents refuse to move on. Hospitals are supposed to be places of healing, places of birth, and places of hope. But with all of the varying highs and lows that are experienced in ... read more

Mark has 34 reviews





Wilson S.

Wilson S.

Apr, 2022

Bonnie E.

Bonnie E.

Feb, 2022

I can't recommend Mark highly enough. He's professional, knowledgeable and generous with his time and information.
Andrew M.

Andrew M.

Apr, 2021

Mark is a published author, and has experience in launching books. I appreciated his feedback about my metadata and backcover copy.
Blake S.

Blake S.

Jan, 2021

Mark is wonderful. Knowledgeable, insightful and enthusiastic. He's been helping me tremendously. Just was I was looking for.
Chris W.

Chris W.

Dec, 2020

I enjoyed working with Mark and would happily do so again.

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