Archive for the ‘Indigo’ Category

The cover of Up and Down revealed

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Earlier today on the Indigo Fiction blog, the cover for my third novel, Up and Down was unveiled. Somehow seeing the actual cover of the novel makes it all seem so much more real. While we’re still four months away until it hits bookstores, it’s nice to cross this threshold. I hope you like the cover as much as I do. It was interesting to see the evolution of the design from early concepts to what you see here. Perhaps that’s a topic for future blog post. One of my fears has been that the cover might have a sci-fi feel to it. I certainly didn’t want that as this is most decidedly not a sci-fi story, even though the space program plays a role. I think the cover whimsically hints at the space program without impersonating an Isaac Asimov novel. I doubt too many hardcore sci-fi readers will be snatching Up and Down from bookstore shelves based on the cover.

I confess that it will take me some time to get used to seeing my name dominating the cover’s real estate. But M&S explained the rationale to me. Some readers will have grown accustomed to the funky font used on my first two novels, and there was a fear that they’d be expecting the same look on the third. But of course, Up and Down is not a continuation of the Angus and Daniel story, so M&S decided on a completely different look. As it was presented to me, making my name large enough to be seen from earth orbit is supposed to ensure that those expecting a cover design similar to my first two won’t walk right by Up and Down in their neighbourhood bookstore. The novel is now is fully formatted so we’re just going through the galleys for a final proofread. Then, it’s done, and we wait until September 11, 2012. Or if you really can’t wait that long, stay tuned for the chapter-by-chapter podcast of Up and Down, which you’ll find here on the blog and over at iTunes starting later in June. One chapter will be posted each week. And to make it easier, I’ve decided to post the chapters in chronological order. More on the podcast soon…

The Canada Reads Effect…

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

There has been much discussion lately of the so-called “Canada Reads Effect.” In past years, the Canada Reads winner has gone on to sell tens of thousands of copies, sometimes even when it was out-of-print when named as a finalist. In fact, publishing industry insiders say that Canada Reads sells more books than any other literary award, except for the Giller. Well, we’ve already had an early but clear indication of the “Canada Reads Effect.” Shortly after The Best Laid Plans was declared the winner of Canada Reads 2011, it shot to the top of the Amazon and Chapters-Indigo bestseller lists and has remained there ever since. You may remember I’ve shown before on this blog The Best Laid Plans, and The High Road leading the Amazon charts, but if you read my blog posts carefully, you’ll note that this was only ever in Amazon‘s “political” category. Canada Reads has pushed TBLP to the top of heap for all books.

In short, for the last four days at least, TBLP has been the number one bestselling book in Canada. I’m hyperventilating again…

Update: As of today, there were over 530 “holds” on The Best Laid Plans in the Toronto Public Library system.

THR seems to be popular at Indigo

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

My wife, Nancy, and I were out running errands this morning when my twin brother, Tim, emailed me a couple of photos he’d just snapped, with his funky iPhone 4, at a nearby big box Indigo book store. Needless to say, it made my day. Here are the photos he sent me. If you look closely, you’ll see what I was so chuffed…

Another step taken on The High Road

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

All of sudden, The High Road seems more real. The good folks at McClelland & Stewart have been busy. Both Chapters/Indigo and Amazon now feature preliminary listings for The High Road. It’s also listed on the M&S site. As soon as cover design and cover copy are completed, These listings will be filled out with graphics and more information. We’re getting there…

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.

Indigo Lists, good for readers and writers

Friday, April 10th, 2009

I’ve always been a fan of the various lists that can be created and offered by and through most online book retailers like Indigo and Amazon.  With so many books out there from which to choose, I can use any help I can get in sifting through them all to find the ones I’ll like.  I always check out the reader reviews and tend to rely more on them than on the formal reviews by mainstream media.  I’m a reader and not a book critic so the reader reviews are often more relevant to me.  As well, I usually check out the various lists available developed by readers, publishers, and the in-house editors of the major online book retailers.

I had a look this morning and TBLP actually appears on six different lists on the Indigo website (click on the link and scroll down to just above the readers reviews).


I’m particularly pleased to be on that last list, Award-Winning Literature recently posted by Indigo’s Fiction Editor.


(To save some space, this graphic self-servingly skips entries two through six, but they’re all great books too. )

This is the online equivalent of having TBLP placed on the “Award Winners” table at your local Indigo store.  It may seem like a small thing, and perhaps it is, but anything that figuratively or physically pulls your book off the shelf and puts it in front of readers is good news.  It’s also wonderful to be in such close proximity to such amazing writers as Junot Dias and Lawrence Hill.

TBLP among top 20 Indigo online sellers

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

I just discovered that Indigo online tracks their top-selling products on a daily basis.  TBLP ranked as the 17th top-selling product today, at least until the ever-shifting list is updated.  It’s possible that someone made a large one-time online order and that has perhaps thrust TBLP onto the list temporarily.  (Our commercial realtor for instance has ordered about 75 TBLP to give to his clients as gifts.  Perhaps this is what has put TBLP on the list.)  At any rate, it’s nice to be on the list (any list!) and to be so close to publishing juggernaut Stephanie Meyer!  Who knows where TBLP will be tomorrow…

TBLP a “rare” book? (I don’t think so…)

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Okay, this is a little strange.  Someone pointed me towards this on the Indigo website.  I can’t imagine why anyone would pay this kind of money for the original edition of TBLP.  It’s very strange.  I think it’s probably just a computer program that correlates the number of copies of the book printed and the number available on the open market and arbirtrarily sets an asking price.  I would hardly consider a self-published novel released in September 2007 to be anywhere near “rare” status!  Just another interesting day in the world of book selling.  (But I’m going to hold onto my few remaining original iUniverse editions just in case!)

BookManager says TBLP is selling well…

Monday, November 24th, 2008

For writers, it’s not always easy to know how well your book is selling.  Yes, you’ll eventually get sales reports from the publisher and ultimately a royalty cheque or two.  But in the interim, beyond tracking how many copies are sitting on the shelves in the many Chapters/Indigo stores across the country (which you can actually do if you have plenty of time on your hands), it’s difficult to get a handle on sales.  When I was in Ottawa, another author told me about BookManager.  As far as I can tell, it’s a website that tracks independent bookstores‘ demand for books.  It also ranks books based on orders from the Independents.  At any rate, I’m given to understand that if you get the red designation “High Demand,” all is well.  There are at least a few hundred thousands books captured in this system so coming in at number 952 nearly three months after publication seems like good news to me.  Just for comparison, Giller winner Joseph Boyden’s Through Black Spruce sits at number 6 while Alice Munro’s new book, Alice Munro’s Best: Selected Short Stories, published in late October comes in at number 691.  What does it all mean?  I have no idea but I’m feeling good about cracking the top 1,000.

My first Chapters signing…

Monday, October 27th, 2008

I snuck away from the Ottawa International Festival of Writers to do a book signing at the Chapters Rideau store just a stone’s throw from Parliament Hill.  The riot police were there in force to contain the crowd that spilled out onto Wellington Street.  Yeah right… in my dreams.  As I expected, it was a quiet morning as I sat at the table the staff had set up at the front of the store.  Dozens of shoppers milled about and several even looked my way from time to time.  I had no real expectations and with so many heavyweight authors in town for the festival, I was very pleased to sell a half dozen or so books and chat with some very nice book lovers.  My friend and colleague, and fellow writer I might add, John Delacourt and his wonderful other half, Andrea, stopped by to create some commotion around the signing table.  They then also came to my reading and panel discussion at the festival later in the afternoon.

In light of how much I love spending time in bookstores, my Chapters signing session was time well spent.  Many thanks to Tim Francoeur and his team at Chapters Rideau.

It’s lonely at the signing table… (Thanks to John MacDonald for the photo work.)