Monthly Archives: November 2012

Adventures on the eBook Frontier – Dispatch Fourteen


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I rewrote the last two chapters of Night Town, and the editor Andrea Douglas is happy with it. I quote “It’s great! I think the ending is much stronger and more focused now.” There was much dancing with joy.

So what’s next? I *think* that Greg Ioannou, my publisher who bears an uncanny resemblance to a young Dumbledore, is going to have a kick at it as well before we go to copy edit.

Now what do to before the copy edit, the final stage of the wordsmithing? To be painfully frank, I’ve polished this book within an inch of its life and it’s probably  been through more rewrites than the Bible. Last count was six drafts. And those were substantive changes.  Meaning largely different books.

I have opened veins for Night Town and I want it to be as perfect as possible.  So I’m going to read it aloud one and then polish each word and phrase as if each if they were precious stones.

And to me they are.

A book is the sum of all of its parts and each word culminates in creating a gorgeous house you, the reader, wants to spend time living in and exploring.

But if it’s hastily constructed, with no thought to craftsmanship, a novel can feel more like a trip through a leaky dump with broken floorboards and the smell of mould. The kind of building that you can’t wait to get out of.

The one thing that saddens me is that back in the glory days of fiction, a writer had an editor who guided them through this process. A professional with a whip who made certain that no unnecessary phrase remained, no thread left unraveled,  no garbled sentence could be found.

This step exists no longer. It’s not cost effective in the new landscape of fiction and now it’s up to writers to make sure their work is as perfect as it can be and we have no one to blame but ourselves if it is not.

Wish me luck!




Adventures on the eBook Frontier – Dispatch Thirteen

Hey all, big news here. is going to host my blog.  (Thanks so much rabble for this opportunity.)  It allows my weekly missives to get out to a much larger audience and on one big hand, that’s terrific. On the other hand, my much smaller and darker psychological hand (which likes to twitch and flap and snatch for cigarettes) occasionally gets me into trouble.

This is the hand that’s nervous about taking it big, showing the world what it’s truly like to publish digitially. Warts and all.

And that’s what you’re going to get here. The truth. Not the glad hand. The dismissive hand. I’m beating down the old hand and trying something new.

As a novelist and an established  trends and tech columnist I feel I’ve got a responsibility because I’ve been reading and reporting a heck of a lot about these changes in an abstract fashion and now I want to give back and contribute a document of value that truly outlines the changes reading is undergoing in the 21th century.  From a writer’s pov.

To my mind too many people use their blogs as kind gross glossy infommerical (no real content) for what they’re really selling. Which in my case, would ultimately be my book.

If you decide to read Adventures on the eBook Frontier you will read real time, truthful experiences about the smack downs, the love-fests, technical advances or possible retreats, aid from unexpected fairy godparents, or perhaps the bitter reality of an industry still in a terrific state of flux.

Who knows? But you’ll find out in Spring 2013 when Iguana Books launches my novel Night Town. And yeah….it would be kinda cool if you picked one up.

Second bit of news which is terrific. Thanks to the ever lovely and talented Emily Niedoba’s brilliant google market sheet (which everyone should have and has proven to me that clouding is actually good) I’ve been getting some positive feedback from Canadian writing schools about posting my blog on their sites.

It’s too early to tell how big the numbers will actually be, but I’m super happy that the University of Victoria and Humber College are already on board, and the feedback from the writing community is coming in and been extremely supportive.

Not sure about the blogging community, because Emily is handling that.

Oh……the editor called me yesterday…….I have to change the ending…..More on that next time. But I handled the news relatively well.


Till then





Adventures on the E-Book Frontier – Dispatch 12

Hey all, just a quick note to clarify something I screwed up.  Something that precipitated a call from Emily. Oh no..

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Apparently she is going to be contacting the bloggers to set up what is called a “blog tour.” I didn’t know what a blog tour was, so in case you don’t either, a blog tour is where an author shows up on a (hopefully high traffic) blog and either writes a guest column on maybe does a Q&A with the host of the site.

The point? Create a frenzied interest in the launch of Night Town.

Rather than hopping in my car and driving to bookstores all over North America, I’ll be nailed into my chair doing it virtually. Actually I think it sounds pretty cool because I can do it in my pajamas . You can’t go to a bookstore in your pajamas.

Julian Schnabel can, but I’m not Julian Schnabel. I think he wears Olatz pajamas which cost a staggering $550.oo dollars. Whoa, I am so not Julian Schnabel. I get my pjs at Winners.

So you have learned a new phrase today, “Blog tour.”

You gotta dig doing business in the wacky 21st century.





Adventures on the E-Book Frontier – Dispatch Eleven

What’s that you hear? That, my friends, is the drumbeat of the e-Pub marketing machine tuning up. However I’m the one beating the drums and I have tendonitis in my right elbow.  Ow! But will I let a little pain slow me down? No way. Because if I don’t do it, nobody else will.

This product is just great. . Generic drugs that do so should have the same therapeutic effect and therefore the same benefits as their brand-name counterparts, but at less cost.

Well, truth be told, I’m not entirely alone. I have Emily Niedoba, Igunana’s author relations and marketing whiz showing me the ropes, slapping me upside the head and telling what I’ve got to do. Emily reminds me a bit of a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad in Kill Bill.

I don’t mess with Emily.

Emily’s got me working on something called a google doc spreadsheet that contains two documents. One contains a list of all of the top literary bloggers out there, their emails, areas of expertise and contact info.

What’s my job? To contact them and beg them to let me blog about my book on their page. I do not like begging. I really don’t.

What if they’re mean poser bloggers and respond, “Please…<yawn> I don’t know you but I  hate you anyway, you don’t have knee high black leather boots meaning you’re likely uncool and I didn’t see you at the Gillers.”

It makes me feel bad about myself.

“Too bad,” Emily will say, hand on her sword. “This is your job. “

True. I’m the one who decided to publish an e-Book so this is my responsibility. Actually I listened to a great interview on The Next Chapter last week and Michael Redhill (a much celebrated author of literary fiction) confessed that he has to do gross stuff too.  Just part of the biz if you’re going to push your books. Traditional or digital, all writers have to roll up their shirtsleeves.

Meh. Alright… I’ll do it. Next week I’ll start emailing the bloggers. I swear I will. I just need some protective ego gear. Any suggestions as to what works charging into the fray?

Emily’s other google document spread sheet features all of the creative writing schools in Canada. I’ve got to tell you, I thought there would be four (since according to all the blather you read insisting that nobody reads anymore and writing is dead) but there are over 30 schools! And they’re at terrific institutions. Meaning I don’t think writing is dead. Far from it…

The schools are great and they’re fun to contact. They’re responding. They’re intrigued. They’re moving forward with the changes in technology and heck, they just love good story telling.

And I have to thank Emily for this. Maybe she won’t contact the bloggers for me, but did she ever amass one kick ass couple of contact sheets and what’s more, Emily tricked me into working in the cloud. At first I didn’t like it, but now I think it’s swell.

One thing that’s not so swell is how long it’s taking to get structural notes from the editor about revising the manuscript. I’m still waiting on that and I think I told you I was expecting notes over a month ago.

Low level fretting has begun because before I know it it will be time to release the novel and let me tell you, there is nothing worse than being told that you have two weeks to fix an entire story line that the editor decides isn’t working.

If there it something worse, I have yet to experience it.  It’s kind of like having two weeks to change the structure of a house that’s already built. It ain’t easy.

I should ask Emily to speak to the editor…….<wicked chuckle>