Mark's Blog

Talk at Kitchener Public Library: Success in Self Publishing

4 days 22 hours ago
[UPDATE:  This event has been cancelled in May and re-scheduled to later in the year] I'll be giving a talk at the Kitchener Public Library in a few weeks. It's called SUCCESS IN SELF PUBLISHING and it'll run Saturday May 26th from 10 AM until Noon. I love being able to share with writers the fact that they have more choice, more options and more control over their writing journey than ever
Mark Leslie

My Evil Reaction To LAUREL vs YANNY

5 days 15 hours ago
I'm not sure where that dark part of my imagination comes from. But ever since I have been writing, my mind regularly turns to the shadows, pulls something either darkly humorous or perhaps just dark in general. Below are two examples. During the recent LAUREL vs YANNY audio debates (where, based on a released file, some people hear "Laurel" and other people hear "Yanny") I had two
Mark Leslie

How To Annoy a Science-Fiction Nerd Today

2 weeks 3 days ago
It is May the 4th! Star Wars day! May the 4th be with you! Of course, if you like to have a little fun, either in an attempt to annoy science-fiction nerds or perhaps just to throw a little confusion into the mix, you can share one of the many silly memes that involve mixing memes or confusing popular quotes from a variety of sources. And, of course, providing fictional attribution at the same
Mark Leslie

Tell Me About The Early Days of Self-Publishing, George

2 weeks 5 days ago
The other day, while putting together material for my forthcoming Free Friday Frights, I was looking into the origin of the chapbook Active Reader that I had initially created in print. It led back to 2008 when I had purchased an Espresso Book Machine for the then-bookstore at McMaster University which had been called Titles Bookstore, and we launched a "Titles on Demand" business using a
Mark Leslie

The Ghost of Jack Kerouac

3 weeks 2 days ago
Yesterday's live talk part of my weekly Free Friday Frights included a talk about the chapter "Kerouac's Favourite Haunt" in my 2014 book Tomes of Terror: Haunted Bookstores and Libraries. Once you get me talking about the things I am most passionate about, I will go on and on. In the chat, I not only share the stories I had heard about the ghost of the famous author who allegedly haunts
Mark Leslie

Don't Judge My Love of Sharing Ghost Tales

4 weeks ago
In my weekly Free Friday Frights adventures I have enjoyed the combination of sharing live videos of reading my fiction or just sharing a ghostly tale from the research I have done for many of my non-fiction books on the paranormal.   And last Friday (Friday April 13th), while I was enjoying a couple of pints at The Winking Judge in Hamilton, as part of a quick teaser video that I had
Mark Leslie

Going Your Own Way

1 month ago
"If I could, maybe I'd give you my world How can I when you won't take it from me?" These lyrics, near the opening of the Fleetwood Mac song "Go Your Own Way" might be familiar to authors who are trying to share their words, their worlds with an audience. Sometimes the desire to give and to share is there, but perhaps the audience isn't, or isn't receptive to it. But elements of the
Mark Leslie

What Canadians Read in 2017

1 month ago
One of the things I always loved about Kobo was their willingness to share insights about reading data. I rec'd two messages from Kobo today that really tickled me. One was about my Kobo Reading Life. (And yes, when I created Kobo Writing Life I DID base it on the already awesome "Reading Life" program the company had crafted) Interesting to see how much MORE reading I have done in the
Mark Leslie

Make Your Own Path On Life's Journey

1 month ago
Yesterday I drove to Barrie to say goodbye to a friend. I hadn't seen Frank Nelson in person in a couple of years, and it had been much longer since I had seen Frank on a regular basis. We worked together at Chapters/Indigo many years ago. But he continued to inspire me. And he continues to inspire me to this day. On December 8, 2017, Frank Nelson passed away. I won't say that he "lost
Mark Leslie

Channeling My Inner Dominatrix

1 month ago
I was recently a guest on Dana Pharant's Inner Dominatrix podcast. Episode 77 is entitled "Transition Time Can Be Fun" and in it we talk about the recent changes in my life and how I am taking the time to enjoy the moment rather than panic about what is about to come next. It's funny, this is the first time that I haven't had steady work (via an actual job where I'm required to be somewhere
Mark Leslie

A Holiday Gift For Writers

1 month ago
I just received a great offer from the good folks behind Superstars Writing Seminars and am delighted to be able to share this during the holiday season. In February 2018 I will be a returning guest instructor at a three day workshop designed to teach writers the BUSINESS of writing and publishing. Superstars Writing Seminars (or SWS for short) is a conference that embraces all aspects of the
Mark Leslie

Podcast: Stark Reflections on Writing & Publishing Episode 1: New Year, New Reflections

1 month ago
I have launched a new podcast and am copying the show-notes from the main website for this (Stark Reflections) below.... Welcome to the first episode of the Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing Podcast. If you have questions or topics you’d love me to cover, please feel free to comment or email me at mark@markleslie.ca or reach out to me on Twitter @MarkLeslie. The start of a
Mark Leslie

Year It Was, What a Beer It Was, It Was

1 month ago
So I recently posted my annual update of my previous year in beer. I use the Untappd app to track and rate the beers that I have in a year. I have been using Untappd since early April in 2013 and have checked in a total of 3,479 unique beers since then. When explaining Untappd to my friends, I usually describe it like Goodreads for beer. You can read the FULL post on my Spirits Untapped
Mark Leslie

Virtual Talk/Presentation - Understanding the Business of Writing & Publishing

1 month ago
On Wednesday January 17, 2018 I will be leading a virtual talk/presentation called Understanding the Business of Writing & Publishing. The virtual talk, which is free to Canadian Authors Association members (or costs $10 for non-members to attend), is being hosted by the Waterloo-Wellington Branch. (Now local to me since my January move to Waterloo from Hamilton) The description for the
Mark Leslie

Podcast: Stark Reflections on Writing & Publishing Episode 2: Living the Healthy Writer's Life with Joanna Penn

1 month ago
In Episode 2 of the Stark Reflections on Writing & Publishing podcast, Mark interviews Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn about her latest book The Healthy Writer: Reduce Your Pain, Improve Your Health, And Build A Writing Career For The Long Term (co-authored with Dr. Euan Lawson) and they also have a discussion about trends in publishing and speculation about the opportunities that are
Mark Leslie

Podcast: Stark Reflections on Capturing Reading Data via eBooks

1 month ago
In the third episode of the Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing podcast, Mark interviews Sinead McElhinney, PR Coordinator on the Communications team from Rakuten Kobo in Toronto, Ontario about some interesting reading data that Kobo released near the end of 2017. They discuss the analysis of reading data, understanding core eBook readers better, as well as some of Sinead’s favorite
Mark Leslie

Podcast: Optimizing Your Author Brand with Robert J. Sawyer

1 month ago
The latest episode of my Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing podcast features an interview with Canadian science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer. It's a great conversation where we talk about how Rob was the first science fiction writer to ever have a website and how he made sure to generously apply the keywords Science, Fiction and Writer throughout the site (aptly named
Mark Leslie

Returning to Lincoln City

1 month ago
I will be returning to Lincoln City at the end of February as part of the WMG Publishing Fiction River Anthology workshop. This is one of many amazingly informative and valuable workshops that Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch teach. In previous workshops, I pulled together the anthologies Editor's Choice, Feel the Fear and Feel the Love (forthcoming). This year I'm reading for a
Mark Leslie

Superstars Writing Seminars 2018

1 month ago
I attended Superstars Writing Seminars this past week as a guest instructor. Superstars Founding Faculty Members (F) and Guest Instructors. Left to Right: Lisa Mangum, Jonathan Maberry, Kevin J. Anderson (F), Rebecca Moesta (F), James A. Owen (F), David Farland (F), Brandon Sanderson (F), Eric Flint (F) Even though I was there to teach and share insights about Kobo and Kobo Writing Life and
Mark Leslie

Podcast: Do You Hear What I Hear?

1 month ago
In my ongoing Stark Reflections on Writing & Publishing podcast series, I recent interviewed Kelly Lytle from Findaway Voices about the amazing opportunities for independent authors and small publishers to help get their books turned into audio and distributed globally. I started using Findaway Voices in the summer of 2017 to test out their services. I had two shorter "chapbook" sized books
Mark Leslie
Checked
7 minutes 55 seconds ago
Mark Leslie is a writer, editor and bookseller who lives in Southern Ontario. In 2005, Mark joined the blogging bandwagon and started posting random thoughts and musings on writing, bookselling and being a father.
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