Archive for August, 2009

Reader reviews are what it’s all about…

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

TBLP doesn’t generate a ton of reader reviews on Chapters-Indigo or Amazon but it’s sure nice to get them, particularly if they’re positive. I don’t know about you, but I always scan the reader reviews before I buy a book. they’re often more meaningul to me than the Globe and Mail or New York Times book reviews.  I read as a reader, not as a reviewer.

Authors write to have their work read. So hearing nice things from actual readers is just so gratifying. I happened to check last night and the seventh TBLP reader review has just appeared on


“The Best Laid Plans has to be one of the best books this year. The author has an insiders knowledge of the Canadian political system. Without boring us with the day to day minutae he is able to give us a clear picture of what is wrong with the system and lets us form our own opinions on how it might be changed. Mr. Fallis has a delightful sense of humour and has no difficulty letting us in on the joke. How wonderful life would be if only we really did have a few politicians such as are described in this book. I shall be seeking more books by this author.”

Burtine Kendall, Alberta

Makes it all worthwhile.

Writing update: nearly two-thirds in

Friday, August 21st, 2009


There’s been not much to report of late.  I’m quite busy at the office with lots of stuff on the go and less time to blog and/or write.  Thought I’d give you a very quick writing update on the sequel to TBLP, tentatively entitled The High Road.  It seems to go in fits and starts. But I’ve been on a bit of a roll of late (touch wood) and I hope it continues. Last weekend, I finished writing Chapter 12.  Only eight or perhaps nine more chapters to go.  So I’m past the halfway point, and that feels good.  Hallelujah.  When I wrote TBLP, the second half seemed to flow more smoothly.  Perhaps it’s just a matter of being energized when the finish line is in sight, or at least within the same postal code.

I seem to write better in my home library than anywhere else.  And my family have been extraordinarily patient as I’ve snuck up to the third floor for extended periods over the weekends. It’s peaceful up here surrounded by our books and a photograph of Robertson Davies presiding.

All in all, I’m pleased with the progress so far and with what I’ve actually written.  I’ve had a few struggles with Chapter one and have rewritten it or reworked it several times.  The challenge is common to most sequels.  How much of the first novel do you recount or highlight in setting up the sequel.  It’s a balancing act.  You don’t want to bore TBLP readers by covering old ground.  On the other hand, you have to give those who haven’t read TBLP enough insight and context so the sequel makes sense to them. I’m not certain I have yet it nailed, but I’m closer than I’ve been.

I just have to keep going and get the damn thing written.  Only time stands in the way, a commodity I seem to have in short supply.  I’ll keep you posted as I write…

TBLP in the news…

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

I’ve done a few interviews lately for broader stories about self-publishing, and the results are here.  The Globe story was apparently trimmed quite a bit to fit the space they had available.  But it’s always nice to be in the Globe.  I did the Financial Post interview while standing on a pier in Digby, Nova Scotia at the start of our family vacation back in the early part of the July.

globe and mail

Globe story #1

Globe story #2


Financial Post story

Winnipeg Sun audio interview

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Winnipeg Sun Interview graphic

Yesterday, I did a phone interview with the very funny Ian Shanley at the Winnipeg Sun.  It’s a good thing he’s funny, because he’s the paper’s celebrated  humour writer, and well worth reading.  Check out his columns and prepare to chortle and guffaw.  We talked about TBLP and you can have a listen here if you’re hard up for things to do.

Amazon update: TBLP hits #1 (for at least an hour anyway)

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Amazon #1 Politics Bestseller

I promise not to keep showboating but I really did have to record this.  Besides, this humble blog doesn’t have legions of readers so I really consider it a bit of an online scrapbook of my unexpected tour of the publishing world.  Anyway, now that I’ve discovered that I can track TBLP on Amazon’s Bestseller list in the “Political” genre where it’s been categorized, I happened to take another look tonight and discovered it had gone to number one.  I swear neither I, nor my family, placed any orders this afternoon to game the system.  I don’t even know how the rankings are established.  Amazon claims to update the list hourly and it seems they weren’t kidding.  I imagine TBLP could just as easily slip out of the top 100 if I wait long enough.  Hence the screen shot captured for posterity’s sake.  Thanks for your indulgence.

Update one hour later: I was right.  An hour or so after I published this post, TBLP fell to #2 behind The Kite Runner.  Glad I got the screen shot at the top of this post.

TBLP an Amazon ‘Political’ genre bestseller

Friday, August 7th, 2009

I’d never actually noticed that you can check sales rankings on based on the category in which the book has been placed.  TBLP is categorized as Literature and Fiction/Genre Fiction/Political.  When I realized this, I had a quick look at the Political genre Bestseller list and much to my amazement found TBLP at number seven, just ahead of Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress at number eight.  Who knows how Amazon determines the rankings, but it’s still neat to be anywhere near such a list. updates their bestseller lists hourly, so I took a quick screen shot in case I never crack the top ten again.

Amazon political bestsellers 090807