Kobo Writing Life Podcast – Episode 032 – Dan Rubinstein

May 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

I interviewed @dan_rube about his book, #BornToWalk. Click through for the audio of our discussion (~22 mins).

Kobo Writing Life

DanRubenstein_BornToWalk Dan Rubinstein, author of Born to Walk

Director of Global Merchandising at Kobo, Nathan Maharaj interviews Dan Rubinstein, author of Born to Walk: The Transformative Power of A Pedestrian Act.

The case for getting back on our feet

The humble act of putting one foot in front of the other transcends age, geography, culture, and class, and is one of the most economical and environmentally responsible modes of transit. Yet with our modern fixation on speed, this healthy pedestrian activity has been largely left behind.

 Combining fascinating reportage, eye-opening research, and Rubinstein’s own discoveries, Born to Walk explores how far this ancient habit can take us, how much repair is within range, and guarantees that you’ll never again take walking for granted.

Nathan and Dan discuss:

  • The fascinating manner by which we are predisposed to bipedalism
  • How, when he travels, Nathan prefers walking to get to his destination…

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Review: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

April 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

I loved Station Eleven, and Andrew did too. His review below.

Arena.Xlsm Released!

March 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

Holy shit. This guy made an RPG in Excel.

Cary Walkin.CA

You can now play the full version of Arena.Xlsm!

Download version 1.3 here: Arena.Xlsm

Key Features

  • Random enemies: Over 2000 possible enemies with different AI abilities.
  • Random items: 39 item modifiers result in over 1000 possible item combinations and attributes.
  • An interesting story with 4 different endings depending on how the player has played the game.
  • 8 boss encounters, each with their own tactics.
  • 12 pre-programmed arenas followed by procedurally generated maps. Each play-through has its own challenges.
  • 31 Spells. There are many different strategies for success.
  • 20 Unique items. Unique items have special properties and can only drop from specific enemies.
  • 100 Achievements.
  • This is all in a Microsoft Excel workbook.

You can also access the official Arena.Xlsm wiki here: http://arenaxlsm.wikia.com/

The Arena.Xlsm photo gallery is here: http://carywalkin.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/arena-xlsm-gallery/

What are the system requirements for this game?
Arena.Xlsm has been tested to work on PC versions of Microsoft Excel including…

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Heroes and dinosaurs

March 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

A banner week.

Kobo Launches Emerging Writer Prize to Celebrate Debut Works by Canadian Authors

February 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

Kobo Writing Life

emerging writer prize

Monetary prize and marketing support awarded for books in three categories: Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction, and Non-Fiction

Did you publish your first book in 2014? Do you have a Canadian passport? If so, you may want to consider entering Kobo’s first annual Emerging Writer Award of Excellence.

Created for debut authors in three categories: Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction (beginning with Mystery, with a different genre showcased each year), and Non-Fiction, each winning author will be awarded a $10,000 CAD cash prize and promotional, marketing, and communications support; winners will be announced in June.

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The time I interviewed Rainbow Rowell

November 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

The lawyer did it: an update on #JKRowling

July 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

When the story broke I said this.

This morning, the author’s presumably-former law firm Russells released a statement confessing to having leaked the true identity of Robert Galbraith. The statement included this sentence (emphasis added):

“We can confirm that this leak was not part of any marketing plan and that neither JK Rowling, her agent nor publishers were in any way involved.”


Why I don’t think J K Rowling’s unmasking was part of the marketing plan for The Cuckoo’s Calling

July 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

So, this happened.

J.K. Rowling

In the early hours of the story, there’s been some speculation that it was the publisher who leaked the author’s true identity.

I think that’s nonsense.

First of all, The Cuckoo’s Calling was released at the end of April. If it’s a deliberate leak designed to miraculously turn a flop into a smash hit, it’s late. The book has lost its front of store placement, if it ever had it, and stores were about to start returning copies to the publisher anytime now. Never mind that if you’re the publisher of J K Rowling’s pseudonymous mystery novel (Mulholland Books, a member of the Little Brown group of publishers, responsible for Rowling’s first non-Potter book, last year’s The Casual Vacancy) you’ve been dying to play this card since you paid the advance, and what’s held you back is that it’s the most powerful author in the world who’d rather you didn’t.

If the leak of Robert Galbraith’s true identity was deliberate, it should have happened the week before TCC was released. This would ensure that all bookstores would blow easily through their initial buy (and stores that had passed would have a chance to get a late order in) and the reprint (or overstock, cannily held by the publisher) could be rushed to stores while the story simmered. Come May, millions of copies sold. Slam dunk.

Instead, it’s Saturday night nearly 90 days after the book landed in stores; not where you’d put your pin in the calendar if you were being strategic. We’ll soon see just how much stock was sitting in the publisher’s warehouse as bookstores experience a flash stockout over the next 48 hours, but I think this is going to be another case of the wide availability and infinite supply of ebooks picking up a portion of the slack while the physical supply chain scrambles to catch up. That means customers will go home from stores empty handed, and only a fraction will get the ebook instead or come back later for the hardcover or paperback. If the objective of the leak is to sell as many copies as possible, this timing won’t likely achieve that. Unless Rowling herself laid out this plan and baked it into her contract, I can’t see a publisher coming up with it.

I think Rowling was sincerely trying to get out from under the weight of her name, having seen the Potter-blinded reaction that greeted TCV last fall.

If there’s one thing that gives me pause, it’s the ease with which the Telegraph appears to have gotten this quote from her:

“I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.”

I guess we’ll find out something near the truth in the coming days.

#2 joins the ranks of the bipedal

May 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

While his brother chose his Polish great grandmother’s house for his 2-footed debut, E opted for grandma’s house in Ancaster.


Some quick thoughts on how to approach ebook pricing

December 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

I did a webinar a couple of weeks ago on ebook pricing and the Kobo Writing Life team distilled it into a blog post.


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