Adventures From the eBook Frontier – Nora Arrives With Her Magic Mic

In the publicity and promotions game, there’s one thing you need to know. Can you guess what it is?






Can *the meat* (one of the many nicknames for the creatives), can the meat talk? And I mean, can they talk eloquently about their book? Are they abusive? Are they low talkers or high talkers? Me, I’m all over the place. One second and I’m whispering and the next moment I’ve jumped an octave into a near bellow. 

To show our fellow journos that I can string together a sentence Nora and her kindly elves assembled this sonic masterpiece

Cut and paste into the URL and follow the breadcrumbs until you find yourself at a magice sonic site.

Thanks Nora!

I think this is likely it folks, until the launch.





Adventures on the eBook Frontier – Dispatch Twenty Seven

Hi gang,

It’s going to be a busy weekend press wise. This Thursday, May 9th, Susan Cole of NOW will be doing a print review of Night Town.




Then the ever fabulous Pearse Murray of PROUDFM is interviewing me on  his radio show A Fabulous Morning. 

It’ll be playing this Sunday between 8 &9 and then repeated the following Saturday between 9 & 10 Don’t miss it. Pearse and I knew one another from a previous incarnation in the 80s –

– and the same zany energy still exists.

 And then, on Monday, the big day …  LAUNCH-O-RAMA!!!!

I really hope you can get your fine selves down to the Imperial Pub, but if you can’t, you can always order a copy from Amazon, Iguana, Chapters . All of the usual eBook sales portals.

And remember Night Town is available in both digital and print.

There are some pretty good deals on the book right now, so if you’re thinking about grabbing yourself a copy, now’s not a bad time.

Till late!


Adventures From the eBook Frontier – Night Town is Available for Sale!!!!!

Hi all

Oh my gosh, oh my golly and as Samantha Stevens used to say on Bewitched, “Oh my Stars.”

She’s out. My little baby Night Town is out on the streets, well she’s actually at all of the m and waiting to be printed somewhere in Tennessee.  

You can find Night Town at Barnes and Noble, Chapters, Kobo, iTunes, you name it, Greg and the gang at Iguana made sure it was there. But just in case you think it’s only available in a digital form, uh uh uh, you can order a print copy while you’re at the eRetailers just as easily.

I’ve got all kinds of amazing press lined up and I’m going to tell you more about that later, but first, I want to formally invite you all to the book launch, graphic kindly designed by my pal Scott Barker. Squishing of image courtesy of me.

And I do also want to ask you to consider buying the book. It’s a darned fine read, if I do say so myself. So far nobody has said anything negative, although I’m sure that will come. And when it does I’ll come here and cry.

In all seriousness, I welcome constructive criticism and perhaps as some time passes we can get a good discussion going about Night Town. What works and what doesn’t. As I said at the beginning of this journey, I believe that the wall between author and reader has dissolved and I truly am interested in discussing my writing with my (hopefully I’ll have some) readers.

One caveat though, it has to be constructive. 🙂

All for now. You wouldn’t believe how insanely GOOD busy I’ve been.





Adventures on the eBook Frontier – How Much Does Shipping Cost ????

Big lesson being learned in Bondville. It seems that, contrary to popular belief, a lot of people I know don’t really buy books online. Books or anything for that matter. Hmmmmmmm. 

Funny all that smoke and mirror reportage hooting wildly about the staggering numbers of people abandoning stores in favour of the ease of shopping online.

Who wants to make bets that Cathi will end up being her own distribution hub? A little wrinkle is that I hate the post office. 

Since the term “going postal” likely originated for a good reason, I’ve been doing a bit of research as to how much it will cost in shipping for readers to buy my book from


Spend $25.00 and it’s free. Any less and it’s time to pony up, but it’s really not all that bad.

Standard Books $2.99

Express   Books  $5.49

Priority $10.99


Also free with an order of 25 clams and up. I wonder what it is for just one? OHMYGAWD! It’s a scandalous $5.99, but wait, wait, the salesperson on the phone just told me that if I have my copy of Night Town shipped to an Indigo near you there is no charge at all.

This is very good news for those still nervous about taking the physical book store out of the shopping experience. But you still have to pay for the book online.

And prices as of April 15th? A mere $7.69 for your kobo as well as a considerable 24 % discount on the hard cover dropping the price to … $13.68

Sweet. But you still have to pay GST. ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…Don’t blame me. Take that up with the government.


I don’t see that the Nook Version is live, but the cost of the hard copy is about the same right as it is at Indigo. $13.46

As far as shipping goes, Barnes and Noble are following Amazon and Indigo’s examples. 25 buckaroos

Standard Books $3.00

Express   Books  $3.99

Priority $12.49

This seems pretty fair to me. Tomorrow, I’m going to call and check in as to exactly when the hard copies are in stock. It should be super soon. Fingers, toes, eyeballs and knees are crossed.


PS If you’ve got any questions you want me to cess out, now’s the time. I’m still climbing up my very steep learning curve.



Adventures on the eBook Frontier – Dispatch Twenty Six

Hey there! I know it’s been more than a week, but what a week+ it’s been. The writing’s finished, but the publicity machine is slowly assembling itself around me, like a promotional exoskeleton.

Here are just a few parts of the beast, aka what publicity and press people historically have brought to the party, but are now part of the writers’ responsibilities.

First, try and get the invitation to the launch completed.  Next, try and assemble a killer email contact list for the folks who write literary reviews. 

Let me tell you, one should never scoff at the significant power of a well stocked Rolodex, painstakingly assembled by a seasoned promotional department.

Then it’s time to seek out the bloggers. I don’t know why I’m afraid of the bloggers, but I am. I think it’s likely because they don’t have bosses who can stop them from being too mean for fear of lawsuits. Because let’s face it folks, there are few things meaner than writers who decide that they don’t like another writer’s work. It’s a scary thought what they could say, and what if it went viral?

To really impress the press you so desperately need, what you need is a killer media kit. In the past I thought it was not big deal. Easy peasy to assemble one. Pah! I knew nothing.

For a good media kit you require a “can’t stop reading” synopsis, a whole bunch of “praise”, followed by a bio, pretty pictures of me (yeah like that’s a lotta fun) and the book’s cover (much easier) and then contact info for Emily Niedoba. Who thankfully is riding shotgun with me for the whole ride.

And we’re just getting ready to launch the campaign! It boggles the mind. At least my mind.

At this point in the journey I have two observations to make about the differences between the mid 20 century book business compared with the new digital model.

I’m not saying that writers can’t, and shouldn’t, be involved with the selling of their own books. There is no denying that things have changed and we need to pitch in and shill.  But somewhere in the new financial model, editing and promotion need to return to the mix. I am not an editor and I am not a publicity person. These are significant crafts, fields of expertise all until themselves.

*Abandoning them is foolhardy and not good for reading or writing.*

Until next time.





Adventures on the eBook Frontier – Dispatch Twenty Five

My Blackberry just vibrated with the news that Night Town arrived at the printers moments ago.  I feel like crying. I truly do. It’s unbelievable. It’s so totally surreal. After all this work. Draft after draft after draft. Rejection after rejection. Heartbreak, followed by moments of creative elation. That’s when the pleasure receptors shoot all that feel good juice into your brain and you’re on cloud nine. At least for a short time.

That’s where I am right now. The pleasure receptors are engulfing me, letting me swim in pure joy and excitement, if only for a short time.

I will return to trying to figure out a publicity plan soon enough, but right now I’m standing on top of my desk, staring the window at a slate grey city sky, while dancing like a crazy freak to The Five Royales.




Adventures on the eBook Frontier – Dispatch Twenty Four

Are you ready folks? Drum roll please……….

We have a pub date: May 13th, 2013 

A time: 6pm-8ish pm

And a place to launch my baby …

The Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas St. E, just a stone’s throw from Yonge Street.

Last Friday, at Emily’s recommendation, I wandered in and instantly knew that the Imperial was perfect.

First off the whole place just screams Toronto 1970s.

There’s a bar on the main floor called The Aquarium Bar and it’s got a big honkin’ aquarium full of real live fish. Not the usual puny, near belly-up, pale goldfish. No these fish are good looking, happy fish. 


Next I went upstairs into the other bar called, “The Library Lounge.”

It was then I fell in love. The place is so retro. I could just smell the 70s.  The worn rug, a jukebox and the clusters of round tables and captain’s chairs. The kind of chairs that newspapermen used to sit at while they jotted down last minute copy, swilling cheap whisky out of tumblers.

On top of that, the Library Lounge has a jukebox, a fireplace (whoa!) and book cases full of real books. And some of them were … gulp … *hard covers!*

But what’s best of all is that it’s not some faux 70s. It’s real 70s. Walking into The Imperial was like visiting a magic place where time stood till. It’s the ideal place for you to meet my baby Night Town for the first time.

So mark it in your calendar. If I’ve got your email, you’ll be getting one of those “Save the Date” notices, followed by a very groovy Scott Barker designed invitation. If I don’t have your addy, it’s worth giving it to me just to get one of Scott’s designed objects. (BTW Scott’s a very talented young architect who’s just opened his practice.)

That’s all for now. Till next time … c


Adventures on the eBook Frontier – Question VS Dispatch – I double dare you to do it

Hey there, this time I’m not fooling around. This time you have to give me an honest opinion. This time you must not be meek and mild Canadians who don’t say anything for fear of being rude.

Well actually Burke who frequently comments is delightfully rude, but he has an excellent excuse. He is a brash and sassy Texas playwright and I think if anything allows one free reign to be rude it is to grow up as an artist inTexas.

Back to me and my question. The said question is about the book launch party. I think that it would be a panic (remember that bit of slang back with gas and riot?) Well, I think it would be a PANIC to hold the launch party at The Zanzibar – one of the oldest strip palaces in Toronto, where the girls are still taking it all off on the steamy Yonge Street strip.

The peeler is a perfect fit with NightTown. Part of the book takes place in the Zanz. The Zanz, as well as one of the body rub parlours, just around the corner on Elm. You will travel back to times gone by, times you’ve forgotten, times you were too young to remember or times you were thankfully too smashed to recall.

But visiting the scene of where the bad boys and girls of the 1970s partied (along with the Gasworks, The Parkside, Bimbo’s, Larry’s Hideway etc) are the place of legend. Think of it as Grease only without the car chases in the storm drains. Don’t you think it would be fun to have a book launch at the Zanzibar? It’s about the only place still standing? Or is it stupid and everyone will be afraid to show up.

I pray for wisdom and prepare for silence……..Or maybe I can get Steven Leckie show up….

Adventures on the eBook Frontier – Dispatch Twenty Three

Howdy! I’m feeling like a cowgirl today who is rounding up the cattle after a long drive back to the ranch.

I’ve picked my cover. Yep, it’s fabulous, and nope … I’m not showing you.

“Why?” you ask. “Anticipation and buildup,” I reply.

You have to wait until the book launch which is going to be sometime in May. I would tell you the exact date if I could, but the publisher won’t tell me.

Why is that anyway? To what end and to whom is that beneficial? It doesn’t help me organize interviews which you would think would ultimately help everyone, because it translates into a better chance for book sales. But I still don’t have what they call “The Pub Date.”

The next detail to round up was getting the blurbs done. You know those one or two sentences that grace the back cover of most publications. These testimonials are important because (if you’re lucky) they’re generally written by people who have good name recognition. The idea being, if so and so liked this book, you’re bound to as well.

The writing pixies graced me the day I asked, because Judy Rebick (activist) and Adrienne Mitchell (producer and director) agreed. YAY!

Then I wrote my bio, considered lying about my age on the Author Questionnaire (that’s a government document where the Library gathers all of their author information) and said no to an author photo because I thought it would muck up the cover design.

Do you think that was a mistake? Not the lying part, but the picture part. I told the truth about my age because I was afraid of The Allseeing Governmental Eye. But now I’m wondering about the picture. Do you think I made a mistake?

So most of the fussy deets are done. Next, this coming Thursday, a get-together with Greg and Emily to discuss the final full court publicity press.

Till later…..cb

Adventures on the eBook Frontier – Dispatch Twenty Two

Hi there,

This has been one heck of a, dare I say it?, fantastically optimistic week with all kind of good news! (And grammatical inconsistencies, but I don’t care because it’s the Internet, and nobody cares about grammar on the internet, or at least they’re not supposed to.)

First, I’m over the moon happy cuz I hired a designer to create my book cover. Her name is Lisa Kiss and her work is fantastic. Here’s a tasty morsel.

Doesn’t that image made your brain tickle? What also pressed my kismet button is that Zab Hobart, Canada’s Grand Poohbah of all that is Typography, and the brains behind Parkdale Wallpaper  (wallpaper made from a typographical perspective) recommended Lisa.

Both of these gals know the book world. They know how hard it is to get a first novel off the ground… they know what works.

And I don’t.

Certainly not in terms of design.

At the risk of sounding nauseatingly woo woo, I feel blessed to have them in my corner. (Eeeeeewwwwww care for a little treacle with that?) How about “they’ll help me not make a horses’s ass out of myself in a strange land I have ne’er traveled.”

Next bit of good news came from my publisher Greg IoannouApparently “Night Town” made it through the copy editing stage with a single remark.

“She said it was it very clean.”

I assume that means no typos and decent grammar. I was dying to call and ask, “Did you like it?” or worse, “Did you cry?  I think it’s pretty funny even though gross things happen. What about you?” Fortunately I resisted.

Greg’s clean revelation followed with something like, “One more glance at it from you and then it’s off to the printer.”

Oh boy. I bet you know what’s happening next. My little baby is going to translated into all kinds of different computer languages and have the typography set up.

To do this, Lisa needs these things from me…

– provide all copy-edited text
– provide all necessary dimensions, logos, content for cover/spine/back
cover of the book as well as printing specs required for the job (exact
dimensions and format expected by publisher)
– supply barcode if necessary
– supply contact information as to where final artwork is to be sent
– provide timely feedback (within 24 hours of receiving proofs) to ensure
project gets completed by deadline
– client will pay for any additional costs associated with the job ie. high
res colour output for matching on press (if required)

EEK! Iguana to the rescue. They have all these strange things. All I have to provide is the salesy, sexy, promotional blurb you read on the back of novels that encapsulates the story in a couple of paragraphs. That’ll be easy peasy puddin ‘n pie. Yeah right!!!

But anxiety aside, it’s starting to feel definitely real. And that feels real real good.