Archive for the ‘self-publishing’ Category

Two years later…

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Exactly twelve months ago today, I wrote a post on this blog entitled “One year later…“  The year before that, on December 26, 2006, I keyed in my Visa card number in the appropriate spaces on the iUniverse website and signed up to publish TBLP.  So in my post one year ago, I was reflecting on what an eventful year 2007 had been for me in my nascent life as a weekend writer, which culminated in the release of TBLP in September 2007.  Here’s a brief excerpt from that post exactly twelve months ago:

December 25th, 2007

“…One year later, my novel is widely available online. One year later, TBLP has won the (iUniverse) Editor’s Choice and the Publisher’s Choice honours. One year later, my podcast audience is still growing, and by the comments, still loving the story. One year later, I’ve had a successful Toronto launch and my first book signing. One year later, TBLP has aired on Radioropa, a leading European satellite radio network. One year later, every reader review, and the more formal published reviews have been so positive that most days, I tend to walk a few feet off the ground. One year later, more people have bought TBLP than I could ever have dreamed.”

I was clearly very happy one year ago as you can read.  Who knew that this year would be even better?  I had no idea that 2008 would bring such wonderful developments for me on the literary front.  Let me pick up where last year’s post left off:

December 25th, 2008

Two years later I was shocked and honoured to win the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.  Two years later I was thrilled to join the group of authors represented by the Beverley Slopen Literary Agency.  Two years later, Doug Gibson and McClelland & Stewart have published TBLP making it available in bookstores across Canada.  Two years later I’ve had the thrill of doing readings and speaking gigs at writers festivals with some of Canada’s finest writers including Joseph Boyden, Fred Stenson, Andrew Davidson and Bill Gaston.  Two years later, I’m nearly finished outlining the sequel to TBLP and almost ready to start writing again in earnest.

I certainly don’t mean for this to sound self-congratulatory in any way.  In fact, this is not a litany of accomplishments but rather a counting of blessings.  I write this with an almost overpowering sense of gratitude and a heaping helping of disbelief at my own good fortune.

Two years later, I’m drawn inexorably back to a phrase I blurted out in my impromptu Leacock acceptance speech last April, to describe how I felt about my surprise win.  It remains for me the most apt description, not just of the Leacock shock, but of the whole year.  2008 has been a head-on collision of shock and joy.

And looking ahead to 2009, it’s back to late nights with my laptop, trying to do it all over again with the sequel.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year…

My CEO TV Debut…

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

About a month ago, the good folks at CEO TV shot a segment about TBLP and my day job as a PR professional. They also sent a camera crew up to Orillia for the Leacock Award weekend to help round out the segment. Well, it aired nationally on Global a week or so ago and in case you need a laugh, you can watch it here…

TBLP in Canadian Bookseller Magazine

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

My friend and fellow writer Mark Leslie Lefebvre just wrote an article for Canadian Bookseller magazine about the rise of free podcasting as a way of building a pre-publication audience for a book. This is the approach I tried out with TBLP. The TBLP podcast was up and available in its entirety many months before the novel was ever published in print. I’m convinced the interest and community engendered through the podcast really helped when TBLP finally became an actual book. The article is interesting and foreshadows possible changes in the world of traditional publishing as more and more authors employ social media tools like blogging and podcasting to drive interest and build audiences. Thanks for the profile Mark!

TVO’s Steve Paikin blogs about TBLP

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Back in February 2007, Steve Paikin, the outstanding host of The Agenda, TV Ontario‘s great nightly public affairs program, was kind enough to interview me about the then unpublished TBLP. Here’s the blog post Steve wrote in the wake of the Leacock Medal announcement:

The Funniest Book In Canada

Back in February of 2007, I interviewed a political wise guy named Terry Fallis. Terry has been around the block in the political world. He now plies his trade at an eponymously named consulting firm.

But once upon a time, he was one of those back room boys who worked for politicians and tried to get them elected.

He’s a smart guy and figured there must be a funny book somewhere inside him, given all of what he’d seen in politics.

So he wrote a book, set on Parliament Hill, and followed the travails of a once naïve, now a bit too cynical back room boy who’s seen too much of politics’ seamy underbelly.

His book is called The Best Laid Plans and Terry rolled it out in unusual fashion.

Once a week, he downloaded a chapter of his work into podcast form on his website. He narrates the action himself. He did it this way because no Canadian publisher would print his work. Not a one.

So rather than wait for that, Fallis got the book into the readers’ hands with the newfangled technology so many of us are using these days. And what do you know: he ends up winning the Stephen Leacock prize for humour.

While the credit is all Terry’s, I take a certain amount of pride in saying we were the first program to interview the author, when, quite frankly, no one was beating his doors down to give him any attention.

Video Thumbnail So, to see and hear my conversation with Terry Fallis from last February, about his own political history, and his successful political novel, watch this web-exclusive video and enjoy.

Thanks Steve. You were there at the beginning and I’m grateful.

Shel Holtz blogs about POD publishing

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

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Friend and fellow podcaster Shel Holtz in Concord, California posted yesterday about the power and flexibility of the new Print-On-Demand technology that I used to publish The Best Laid Plans last year.  Shel is the prolific podcaster who co-hosts For Immediate Release alongside Neville Hobson.  Shel and Neville inspired my Inside PR co-host David Jones and me to start our show back in 2006.  I’ve always admired Shel’s thoughtful approach to complicated and controversial issues. His insightful analysis is on full display in this post, along with some supporting thoughts from yours truly.

One year later…

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

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Exactly one year ago tomorrow, after months of futility and frustration with traditional publishing, I signed on with iUniverse to publish The Best Laid Plans. It was not the course I’d hoped to pursue. Like most first-time novelists, I had hoped to find an agent and a mainstream publisher. Alas, like thousands of other rookie writers, good and bad, I was unable to persuade anyone in traditional publishing even to read my manuscript, let alone publish it. So on December 26th, 2006, I took my first steps down the independent publishing route and signed on with iUniverse.

One year later, my novel is widely available online. One year later, TBLP has won the Editor’s Choice and the Publisher’s Choice honours. One year later, my podcast audience is still growing, and by the comments, still loving the story. One year later, I’ve had a successful Toronto launch and my first book signing. One year later, TBLP has aired on Radioropa, a leading European satellite radio network. One year later, every reader review, and the more formal published reviews have been so positive that most days, I tend to walk a few feet off the ground. One year later, more people have bought TBLP than I could ever have dreamed. One year later, the calls for a sequel have pushed me into outline mode for the next Angus/Daniel novel, which, yes, I hope will be published by a mainstream publisher.

But one year later, I couldn’t be happier. Happy New Year…

TBLP in Singapore!

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

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Loyal listener in Asia, Paul Gallagher, has just posted these two cool photos of TBLP in Singapore on the Facebook Group page. This novel is much better travelled than its author! Just to recap, building on Australian Jon Hoel’s original idea, we now have photos featuring TBLP and well known local landmarks in Melbourne, Kingston, Ottawa, Boston, Dallas, Hamilton, and now Singapore. The globetrotting continues. Where are we off to next?

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iUniverse issues TBLP news release

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

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Stop the Presses!

I was pleasantly surprised to read this news release issued today about TBLP and its Publisher’s Choice designation. As a veteran PR professional, I don’t expect it will generate much, if any, coverage but it sure is nice to have the recognition. Standing by to schedule interviews… just kidding. Thanks to iUniverse for putting out the release. Every little bit helps…

Another two bookstores stock TBLP

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Another Book City outlet (that’s two and counting) near Bloor and Yonge in downtown Toronto is not only carrying The Best Laid Plans, but they’ve actually put it in the front window! I couldn’t resist snapping a photo. Who knows how long it will be there?

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Then, late this afternoon, I spoke with Mark Lefebvre at McMaster University’s great bookstore called Titles and learned that they had already ordered five copies of TBLP and listed it in their online catalogue. Mark even invited me to do a book signing/reading on campus sometime later this fall. I love McMaster. It’s my alma mater. It would be very special to go back and see my novel on display in the bookstore and do a reading. A great way to start the weekend.

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So in the last two days, TBLP has ended up for sale in five different bookstores in downtown Toronto. I’m heading to Ottawa on business on Monday and perhaps I’ll tackle a view bookstores in the nation’s capital. After all, this really is an Ottawa novel. Stay tuned as the ride continues…

Two more bookstores pick up TBLP!

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Two more bookstores in Toronto have joined the ranks of Ben McNally Books (see the previous post or just scroll down) in offering The Best Laid Plans for sale. As my 15 year old son would say, “sweet.”

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The Book City store at 348 Danforth Avenue, a great independent bookstore in the heart of Toronto’s Riverdale community, is now carrying TBLP.  There are four other Book City locations in Toronto and I aim to visit each one so that TBLP is available across the entire chain.

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The good folks at The Sleuth of Baker Street also took five copies, despite being primarily a mystery book shop.  They do have one bookcase near the front of the store for non-mysteries and TBLP will be proudly flying its colours there.  If you’re in Toronto and haven’t visited The Sleuth, it’s a wonderful store with great atmosphere and a stellar collection of mysteries from Peter Robinson to Arther Conan Doyle.  There’s plenty of Sherlockiana so Holmes fans will not be disappointed!  They also have a wonderful monthly newsletter for mystery buffs called the Merchant of Menace.  You’ll find the store at 1600 Bayview Avenue.

Thanks to Pat at Book City and J.D. at Sleuth for your support.