Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

One Book I Won't Be Buying

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I spend a lot of money on books. I have no patience with writers who won’t spend money on books, and even less patience with writers who don’t read much. And I’ve come across both over the years.

It’s a tough business, book selling, book publishing, book writing. If writers won’t support it, how can they expect others to do so? When I think about the cost of a large pizza with all the toppings compared to the price of a book… sheesh… buy the book.

I admire people who get into the book publishing business, and stay in the publishing business, especially at a time when there is so much uncertainty, the electronic media changing the face of publishing and communication.

Having said all that, there’s one upcoming book that I won’t be buying. That’s Final Appeal: Anatomy of a Frame, by Colin Thatcher. I respect the publishing house, ECW Press, and do not dispute its right to publish the book. That’s not the issue here for me.

For me, it’s a matter of personal choice. I’ll be donating the cost of the book to a local women’s shelter – and then some. In memory of JoAnn Wilson.

~ Marianne Paul


In response, I've made a donation to the Women's Crisis Services in my home town as a positive action that I could take. As well, I've subscribed to a struggling online magazine for women, based in Saskatchewan (Thatcher's home province). The magazine is called Cahoots. You might like to take a look.

It is precisely the sensationalism of heinous crimes, like Thatcher's, that
presses like ECW are counting on to sell books. It's a shame that this type of book gets published, sold, and read. Hopefully, your voice and the voices of others like yourself, can influence readers against putting money into the coffers of criminals.

You know, I hesitated making the post at all, mainly because by saying anything, I'm drawing attention to the book and therefore advertising it. In crimes where women are killed, too often the names of the women are lost in the sensationalism of the case - people remember the names of the killers.

The book has also received media attention lately because of the issue of royalties - should people convicted of a crime derive money from books about that crime?

Small presses like ECW are often 'forced' to publish cookbooks and how-to books and titles like Final Appeal by Colin Thatcher that they think might be more marketable with the general public in order to carry their literary titles which unfortunately are much less marketable.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Marianne Paul

Marianne Paul's is the author of the novels Dead Girl Diaries (BookLand Press, 2009), Tending Memory (BookLand Press, 2007), Twice in a Blue Moon (BookLand Press, 2007) and The Shunning (Moonstone Press, 1994). Her fiction, non-fiction and poems have appeared in publications such as Vox Feminarum, Cahoots, Canadian Author, Western People and The New Quarterly.

Go to Marianne Paul’s Author Page