I was delighted to see M&S come out with a very progressive way of celebrating the Terry Fallis novel The High Road, which comes out in Sept 2010.
Particularly in this time of the new copyright act (Bill C32) and all the noise it's causing in the industry (Quill & Quire: Association heads at odds over copyright legislation - Geist summary 1: Copyright Bill, Flawed By Fixable, Geist summary 2: The Day After Media Coverage), I find it refreshing that a larger Canadian publisher is willing to let this freely distributed podcast (ie, no DRM) begin to be pushed out to consumers months before the print version of the book is released.
I've seen much evidence over the years of how this type of move has meant success for a variety of authors including Fallis himself -- Fallis is a McMaster grad; I first encountered his wonderful novel when he contacted my bookstore to set up a book signing for his self-published novel The Best Laid Plans, which went on to win the Stephen Leacock Medal for humour. I've had the pleasure of watching him go from a beginning writer to a widely celebrated success -- that's the kind of thing that often gives booksellers a heart-warming feeling)
By the time the book comes out, there will be a pre-existing audience waiting to buy the print copy version of the book. Part of me wants to do it just to support this trusting Canadian publishing imprint, but a larger part of me wants to do it because Fallis is a phenomenal writer and as a book nerd I want to OWN a copy of everything he writes. And I know I'm not the only one out there who feels this way.
I've written about this bold and wonderful move in my column for The Mark News - where I also make a bold prediction.
I was also tickled that the editors of The Mark News used a cool picture (see above) with the header for my article featuring many successful podcast-turned print publishing contract novels by authors such as Scott Sigler, J.C. Hutchins, Matt Wallace and Mur Lafferty.
So three cheers for Canadian publishing, and three cheers for Terry Fallis!
Now go give The High Road a listen. Chapter One had me laughing out loud.