Black Friday Signed Editions

This fall, I was eager to get my hands on one of the signed copies of John Green’s TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN. I pre-ordered a copy and it showed up in my mailbox shortly after it was released. Easy as pie. For those of us who live outside of a major city, it’s tricky to get signed books unless you grab them up online right away, or happen to be traveling near a book signing. Will one of our lucky young readers get this copy of TURTLES next summer…..wait and see.

But in the meantime, if you’re desperate to add a signed edition of a new book to your home library, Barnes & Noble are kicking off the holiday season with a Black Friday sale of signed books! You can find out all of the info you’ll need as well as see a complete list of the books that will be available, and get ready to shop! There is a wide selection, from adult fiction & non-fiction to teen books (including the one above) and even children’s books. Make someone (or yourself) happy by getting your Black Friday shopping list ready today!


Piracy Has Consequences

It isn’t often talked about by authors, but book piracy is a real thing…and it can be just as awful for someone who is already an established author, as it is for a debut author. With the internet age, it’s very easy for people to find an advance digital copy of a book, and make digital copies into PDFs that are distributed online either before or right when an author is about to release a book. You might not think it’s a big deal, but bestselling YA author Maggie Stiefvater–author of THE SCORPIO RACES–recently posted about her experience with piracy on Tumblr.

So how does digital piracy work? People make copies of the digital advance copies, and widely distribute them online so that people can read the entire book without having to purchase it. Often, the argument you’ll hear is that those people who read the pirated copy weren’t going to purchase the book anyway, so it wouldn’t make a difference to the sale. But…..this is where it DOES make a difference.

Publishers count everything. They look at sales of a first book. They look at sales of a second, and a possible third book. If the digital sales are dragging (not to mention the traditional sales), the publisher sees this as a lost cause and may cancel a later book in the series, or drop the author entirely. So, for anyone who DOES buy the books, the chances of them getting to read an entire series grow slim when pirated copies are making the rounds. This is true for “famous” authors (who don’t earn as much as you might think), and for unknowns (who earn very little in comparison).

Stiefvater was convinced that digital piracy was making things difficult for authors. While her first book in The RAVEN CYCLE did well, the second book took a drop in sales for e-copies. Her publisher thought it might just be a sign of the times–that readers had lost interest. But she was certain she could prove that idea to be wrong. So, prior to her release of book three in the series, she roped her brother into helping her make fake PDF’s of the book. It looked the same, had the same number of pages, but was just the same first four chapters repeated over and over. On the day the book released, her brother flooded the digital piracy sites with his special copy.

“The effects were instant. The forums and sites exploded with bewildered activity. Fans asked if anyone had managed to find a link to a legit pdf. Dozens of posts appeared saying that since they hadn’t been able to find a pdf, they’d been forced to hit up Amazon and buy the book.


“And we sold out of the first printing in two days….


“I was on tour for it, and the bookstores I went to didn’t have enough copies to sell to people coming, because online orders had emptied the warehouse. My publisher scrambled to print more, and then print more again. Print sales and e-sales became once more evenly matched.


“Then the pdfs hit the forums and e-sales sagged and it was business as usual, but it didn’t matter: I’d proven the point. Piracy has consequences.”

——- Maggie Stiefvater

So, the next time you consider reading that pirated copy of a book online (or listen to a piece of music, or watch a digital copy of a movie), consider the fact that you’re doing more than hurting the author. You’re placing the entire future of that series in jeopardy, and making it more difficult for good stories to come to print.

Best Books of 2017








It’s that time of year again….the best books of the year are being announced—and debated.

According to Publishers Weekly, the best piece of fiction this year was Hari Kunzru’s WHITE TEARS. But Indigo books though Angie Thomas’ YA book, THE HATE YOU GIVE, was more deserving of praise. I guess it depends on the type of books you read, and how extensive your reading list was this year.

Here are the listings for the Publishers Weekly winners, followed by the Indigo picks:

White Tears
, Hari Kunzru (Knopf)
Ill Will, Dan Chaon (Ballantine)
In the Distance, Hernán Díaz (Coffee House)
Grief Cottage, Gail Godwin (Bloomsbury)
Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward (Scribner)

Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India, Sujatha Gidla (FSG)
The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln’s Ghost, Peter Manseau (HMH)
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein (Liveright)
Extreme Cities: The Perils and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change, Ashley Dawson (Verso)
Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics, Kim Phillips-Fein (Metropolitan)

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas (Balzer & Bray)
The Sun & Her Flowers, by Rupi Kaur (Andrews McMeel)
Beartown, by Fredrik Backman (Atria)
The Lonely Hearts Hotel, by Heather O’Neill (Riverhead)
Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime, by Ben Blum (Doubleday)
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (Knopf)
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of The Last True Hermit, by Michael Finkel (Knopf)
Hunger, by Roxane Gay (Harper)
The Child Finder, by Rene Denfeld (Harper)
Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman (Norton)

Are these the best books of the year? What do YOU think? Let us know in the comments!

Man Booker Short List Announced

One of the most important literary awards celebrating the English language, the Man Booker Prize, has just announced their short list for 2017. The list consists of six titles, from authors all over the world, and surprisingly, doesn’t include many of the other big award winners of 2017.

The nominees include:

4 3 2 1,  Paul Auster, January 31, 2017, Macmillan/Henry Holt and Co.; Trade pbk, Picador, February 6, 2018 — U.S.


History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund, January 3, 2017, Atlantic Monthly Press; Trade pbk, Grove Press, November 7, 2017 — U.S, debut authorTr


Exit West, Mohsin Hamid, Riverhead Books, March 7, 2017; Trade pbk, March 6, 2018 — UK/Pakistan


Elmet, Fiona Mozley, No US publisher announced yet. UK publisher is Hodder & Stoughton — UK. A first novel, this one is considered a wild card.


Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders, February 14, 2017, Random House; Random House Trade Paperback, February 6, 2018 — US


Autumn, Ali Smith, February 7, 2017, PRH/Pantheon; Trade pbk, PRH/Anchor, October 31, 2017 — Scotland

Who will win? The award will be announced on October 17, 2017.

Manipulative Purchases?

A just released YA debut novel by Lani Sarem called HANDBOOK FOR MORTALS has thrown up some red flags around the publishing world and bestseller lists. Until its release on August 15, 2017, there hadn’t been much press related to the book or the author. It’s the first book published by GeekNation, and it hit #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list in the first week of sales.  And while reviews on Goodreads, Twitter followers, and Facebook likes reached a fever, it started to be a little suspicious when each social media site had the same number of followers…all people without previous book reviews or posts.

So, how exactly does an unknown author, published by an unknown publisher, with very little prior advertising, rise to the top spot on the NYT list overnight? No one could quite comprehend it…until they started doing some background checks.

It seems that there were many large pre-orders and first week sales placed for the book at companies like Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. But none of the orders were large enough to raise any suspicions from the booksellers. In fact, it only made them consider ordering more copies for their stores in order to cover the possible demand for the book. Once the book reached number one, however, the New York Times had to stop and look into allegations that something was up.

As it turns out, it was something called “manipulative purchasing”. Geek Nation was behind the mass-purchasing, the reviews, and the social media frenzy. They knew just how many books to order so as not to arouse too much suspicion, and claimed they were only trying to drum up excitement for a book that was actually written as a result of a film already in development, not the other way around. While it is normal for an author to purchase large orders of their own book in preparation for an upcoming book tour or conference, Sarem’s claim that she needed the books for a ComicCon event seemed slightly defensive.

The New York Times eventually pulled the book from its Bestseller list, saying it “did not meet their criterion for inclusion”. After the somewhat devious promotion, the book actually increased in sales, which may eventually make it eligible once again for ranking on the list, but now with a slightly tarnished cap.

Would the book have reached such success on its own? We’ll never know, and it’s sad that the author didn’t really get the chance to try. Here is a summary of the book:

Zade Holder has always been a free-spirited young woman, from a long dynasty of tarot-card readers, fortunetellers, and practitioners of magick. Growing up in a small town and never quite fitting in, Zade is determined to forge her own path. She leaves her home in Tennessee to break free from her overprotective mother Dela, the local resident spellcaster and fortuneteller. Zade travels to Las Vegas and uses supernatural powers to become part of a premiere magic show led by the infamous magician Charles Spellman. Zade fits right in with his troupe of artists and misfits. After all, when everyone is slightly eccentric, appearing “normal” is much less important. Behind the scenes of this multimillion-dollar production, Zade finds herself caught in a love triangle with Mac, the show’s good-looking but rough-around-the-edges technical director and Jackson, the tall, dark, handsome and charming bandleader.

Hopefully fans of YA fantasy will draw their own conclusions.

What Books Are We Buying?

CBC has an interesting list of Canadian books that we’re buying this month. And it’s not surprising to see that Madeleine Thien’s DO NOT SAY WE HAVE NOTHING is top of the list. Giller Prize winners are always a favourite!


  1. Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
  2. milk and honey by Rupi Kaur
  3. The Witches of New York by Ami McKay
  4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood​
  5. By Gaslight by Steven Price
  6. The Only Café by Linden MacIntyre
  7. Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
  8. A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
  9. ​The Handmaid’s Tale (TV Tie-in Edition) by Margaret Atwood​
  10. One Brother Shy by Terry Fallis


  1. No Is Not Enough by Naomi Klein
  2. Embers by Richard Wagamese
  3. The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King
  4. The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant
  5. The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew
  6. On Trails by Robert Moor
  7. You Might Be from Canada If… by Michael de Adder
  8. The Right to Be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier
  9. Unsettling Canada by Arthur Manuel & Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson
  10. Secret Path by Gord Downie & Jeff Lemir


  1. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Sheila McGraw
  2. Carson Crosses Canada by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Kass Reich
  3. Canada ABC by Paul Covello
  4. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Michael Martchenko
  5. Heartwood Hotel by Kallie George, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
  6. Narwhal by Ben Clanton
  7. The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield, illustrated by Terry Fan & Eric Fan
  8. ​Good Morning Canada by Andrea Lynn Beck
  9. Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland
  10. The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands