Monday, September 23, 2013

Spooky Swag

Barnaby was excited to try on a new t-shirt when some of my Spooky Sudbury swag arrived this past Friday.

I'll be bringing the swag to the book launch events that Jenny and I are doing this coming weekend in Sudbury.

Barnaby will, of course, also be there to greet people.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Goodreads Giveaway

I recently worked with my publisher to create a Goodreads giveway for SPOOKY SUDBURY.

It works relatively simply. You determine how many copies of a book you want to ship (it has to be a physical book), WHERE you want to ship it and how long the contest will run.  Goodreads then has to approve it and if so, it's live.

When I contacted my publicist about it, he said, sure, Dundurn would ship 5 copies to any address in Canada.  (Spooky Sudbury is a regional title, focusing on ghost, UFO and supernatural creature stories set in or near Sudbury, Ontario).

We had 197 people enter the contest.  The winners were drawn earlier this week.

Yesterday I popped down to Dundurn's office to sign copies of the winning entries and they are being mailed out today.

Laura Harris (editor), Mark Leslie (author), Jim Hatch (publicist)

I had the pleasure of getting to meet my amazing editor (Laura Harris) and awesome publicist (Jim Hatch) in person. One of the things I love about Dundurn is that the people there are wonderfully supportive. Yes, I toil in the indie-publishing world, and also release self-published products. But I also enjoy working with a great publisher, too. I find that there is much to be gained by embracing both traditional publishing and self-publishing ventures.

Laura was a fantastic editor to work with - she helped Jenny and I take the book from a really good original draft to something really great. She made insightful suggestions, asked great questions, pointed out modifications that would make it even better and kept things on track. And Jim has been tirelessly working at various angles to get some spotlight on the book -- so far, I'll be doing two radio spots and one television spot next Friday when I'm in town. And there's more great promo opps coming.

The results of the giveway are that 103 people added SPOOKY SUDBURY to their Goodreads libraries (only 7 of them are Goodreads friends).  Getting your book added to folk's libraries by getting them to add it to their "To Read" and even better, their "Read" library, help aid in the discovery of a title.  Of course, getting people to rate and review the boo, help best of all. But it all adds up.

Banner for Spooky Sudbury - author photos by

SPOOKY SUDBURY is being released officially next week.  Jenny and I will be signing copies at the Chapters in Sudbury from 11 AM to 1 PM on Saturday September 28th.  Then we're heading over to the Coles New Sudbury from 2 PM until 5 PM.  Here's a link to the event on Facebook.

Here are some places you can purchase the book

Print Book - Chapters/Indigo
Print Book -
Print Book - Support US Independent Bookstores
Print Book - Barnes & Noble

eBook - Kobo
eBook - Jan's Paperbacks (Oregon) - US Indie Store I'll be at in Nov. (You can search for the eBook at your favourite local indie bookstore to purchase the Kobo book through them and support your local bookstore -
eBook - Amazon (Kindle)

eBook - Barnes & Noble (Nook)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Atwood For The Win!

Margaret Atwood's latest book MaddAddam is just out (Kobo eBook / IndieBound Print Book Link / Amazon Link).  Earlier this summer, she was at Kobo's home office in Toronto for a Kobo in Conversation with Carol Off to discuss her new book.

During the conversation, Margaret began discussing the Wattpad novel (The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home) she had co-authored with Naomi Alderman of Zombies, Run! (an absolutely wonderful GPS-based interactive running app).  They ended up having a little side-bar conversation in which Atwood explained how a character could get out of a perilous seemingly dead-end situation being trapped in a cabin with a ravenous zombie trying to break in.

Kobo edited a snippet of that conversation into a video entitled Margaret Atwood VS Zombies.

Is there really any doubt as to who would win such an encounter?  Atwood FTW!

I have long been a fan of her writing. But I am also a fan of her spirit, energy and playfulness.

After decades of enjoying both reading and selling her books, I had the distinct privilege of being able to present her with the Canadian Booksellers Association Lifetime Achievement Award last year, which was an absolute honour for me.  And yes, I never get tired of sharing this picture.

A Bucket-List Type Thrill - May 2012 - Presenting Margaret Atwood a CBA Libris Lifetime Achievement Award
I was too nervous the night of the CBA Libris Awards to remember to ask for her autograph, but I did manage to get her to sign the back of my Kobo Glo when she was here at Kobo.

One thing I did neglect to remember to ask her, though, was for some tips on how to ensure I didn't get ambushed by the random zombie mobs when I run using the aforementioned Zombies, Run! app.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering A Tragedy By Celebrating Their Lives

On the anniversary of the tragic day where 2996 people lost their lives blogger D. Challenger Roe began Project 2,996.

The concept was to bring bloggers from around the world together to remember and pay tribute to the victims of Sept 11, 2001.

Photo from 9/11 Virtual Career Fair article by Kevin O'Brien - Huffpost

Roe instructed bloggers to take the time to get to know one of the people who died and to celebrate and remember their lives rather than focus on the tragedy that befell them that fateful day.

I still love the fact that the focus of this blog meme wasn't on the horror, but on celebrating the lives, the people they had been before 9/11.

Here are my own links to three individuals that I focused on learning a bit about and sharing.  Ever year, on this anniversary, I re-read the posts, think about the lives they lived and the differences they made before those lives were ended.

The posts about the people are listed below.

 Raymond Meisenheimer

Deora Francis Bodley
  Remembering The Lives of Two Heros (Blog post from 2007)

David Reed Gamboa Bradhorst
  Project 2996 - Sept 11, 2008 (Blog post from 2008)

It's my small way of celebrating these lives, and not forgetting.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Goodreads Giveaway for SPOOKY SUDBURY

In preparation for the book launch for SPOOKY SUDBURY, which will be taking place on Saturday September 28th in Sudbury at two different locations (11 AM to 1 PM at the Sudbury Chapters and then from 2 PM to 5 PM at the Coles New Sudbury), my publisher is offering up 5 copies of the book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway.

Promo Banner for SPOOKY SUDBURY, featuring Barnaby, Mark & Jenny

The giveaway contest is open to anyone in Canada.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Spooky Sudbury by Mark Leslie

Spooky Sudbury

by Mark Leslie

Giveaway ends September 18, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
So go ahead - enter for your chance to win. Good luck.

And if you don't win one, don't worry, there will be plenty of copies available for purchase at the events listed above.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Return of the MAC

I spent 5 wonderful years working at McMaster University for the campus store formerly known as "Titles Bookstore."  McMaster was a fantastic place to work, the people, both at the bookstore as well as the amazing staff and faculty that I got to know while I was there were amazing, and it is an opportunity and experience I cherish.

I am delighted, next week, to return to my old McMaster stomping grounds as part of a pretty amazing multidisciplinary celebration of Robert J. Sawyer's archival donation to the University Library Collection.

In honour of Rob's generous donation, the university is hosting a special three day conference entitled Science Fiction: The Interdisciplinary Genre from Friday September 13th through Sunday September 15th.

Special guests at the conference (apart from Robert J. Sawyer) include John Robert Colombo, Julie E. Czerneda, David G. Hartwell, √Člisabeth Vonarburg, Robert Charles Wilson, and Chris Szego. 

Never mind the amazing content and people involved, but get this:  The conference is FREE.

There is more information hereHere's the Tentative Program.  And you can check out the Facebook Page.

Rob and I in front of McMaster's Espresso Book Machine - 2010

I am delighted to be doing a talk and presentation called "Digital Pi: The Transcendence of Digital Publishing" -- I will be sharing some of the things that I have learned, in over twenty years of bookselling, about how digital technology is allowing authors, publishers, academics, students and readers amazing opportunities to share and explore the world around them in bold new ways.  I will, of course, be talking about the Espresso Book Machine at McMaster, how publishers and universities have embraced a "deliver digital / print local" methodology, how innovative publishers are evolving to embrace eBooks and other born-digital projects that take publishing to exciting new levels.

And I will, of course, tie much of my thoughts back to the writings of Robert. J. Sawyer.  I mean, the man owns virtually every eBook reader known to mankind and has been doing readings off of a handheld digital device of one form or another for as long as I can remember.

Rob doing a reading from his novel WATCH on an ereader March 31, 2010 at Titles Bookstore

When I was at McMaster and working on various POD experimental projects in publishing, such as CAMPUS CHILLS, an all original anthology of Canadian horror stories set on campuses across Canada by some of Canada's most amazing writers of dark fiction and printed and launched on the EBM's at McMaster, Waterloo and University of Alberta bookstores, Rob was an avid supporter of the project, and wrote a wonderful introduction for the book.

Campus Chills Contributors: Kelley Armstrong, Kimberly Foottit, Mark Leslie, Sephera Giron, Michael Kelly, Edo van Belkom (McMaster Book Launch October 2009)

Rob has given so much to the science fiction and academic communities.  It will be a special thrill and an honour to participate in an event that celebrates him and his donation to a wonderful university.