The Perils of Using Song Lyrics in Your Book (and how to do so anyway)

Many indie authors ask me if they can use song lyrics in their books, and if doing so constitutes fair use or if permission is required. The short answer is this: yes, you can use lyrics, doing so might or might not fall under fair use, but in the end that is irrelevant because copyright of most lyrics is aggressively defended by powerful licensing agencies who can make your life miserable if you fail to pay for permission. So forget fair use: you can’t afford it. Permission to use song Read More …

Interview on Vancouver Co-op Radio

I was interviewed yesterday on Writing Life, on Vancouver’s Co-op Radio, 100.5 FM. We covered some of the basics of self-publishing, as well as marketing and international publishing. You can listen here or download here.  

Third Edition of The Global Indie Author is now available in U.S. and Europe

The third edition of The Global Indie Author is out now in print on Amazon U.S., UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. All other territories coming soon! eBooks are also on the way. As mentioned in my previous post, the third edition features a new cover, new subtitle — to reflect the truly global phenomenon that self-publishing has become — and a great deal of new content (over 80 pages). The technical chapters have been completely overhauled to deal with the complexities of image handling, the increasing frustrations of font Read More …

Dear Vancouver media: Thanks for nothing.

Dear Vancouver Media: Vancouver, as you know, is in mourning. For our reputation, for those who suffered injury, for the loss of joy at having gone so far in the Stanley Cup. But in the outrage over the hooligans who turned a party into a riot, there hasn’t been any talk about the real instigators of this mess and who is benefitting: YOU. In the weeks leading up to the final Stanley Cup games, there was constant mention in your newspapers, websites, and evening news programs of the Riot of Read More …

Writers Under Attack Again

  The above video was posted on YouTube in the hope of stopping an educational exemption in the proposed new copyright bill. Whether or not the exemption is fair-dealing or the video fear-mongering (as some have suggested) isn’t, to me, the real issue; to me, this proposed exemption is just one more example of the myriad ways in which people seem to think that writers should work for free. Consider Ariana Huffington’s insistence that her contributors are happy for the byline — then making a $315M sale to AOL on Read More …

Government complicit in rape of 16-year-old

Yesterday I wrote about the complicity of the artistic community in the creation of the violent, misanthropic, misogynist media that is adversely affecting us all and in particular our youth, and today I want to look at the government’s role in this, with regards to the arts. Canada is one of the lowest funders per capita of the arts in the industrialized world, and BC is the lowest per capita funder in this country: Yukon, which has the highest funding, spends $268 per capita; Quebec, $41.65; both Ontario and Alberta Read More …

Artists complicit in rape of 16-year-old girl

I know I might open a shit storm for saying this, but the artistic community is partly to blame for the recent gang rape of a sixteen-year-old girl by teenage boys at a rave party in Pitt Meadows. Yes, that’s right, we’re complicit. These teenage rapists have grown up heavily influenced by violent, misanthropic, misogynist video games, television, movies, music, and Internet sites. And we’re the ones creating this garbage. And there’s no use blaming the executives who finance media, because money doesn’t write, illustrate, animate, sing, play a musical Read More …