The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, May 05, 2006

Lessons in Publishing: The Continuity Girl

by Anne Chudobiak

The Continuity Girl is Leah McLaren’s new novel, but you knew that. That’s Lesson Number One: Platform. I wanted to read this book before it was written. How often can you say that about a debut novel?

Leah McLaren doesn’t need to blog; she is a Style columnist and features writer with the Globe and Mail. She comes with a ready-made audience, which brings us to Lesson Number Two: People.

McLaren thanks Stuart McLean and Clayton Ruby in her acknowledgements. Even the people she knows have platforms, which comes in handy for reviews, both negative and positive. What sells more books: back-cover praise from fellow McDermid author and former Globe fashion editor, Ceri Marsh, or back-and-forth with Ryan Bigge, who trashed McLaren’s book after she trashed his? Lesson Number Three: Controversy, Good.

Why else would Marsh’s one-sentence promotional blurb also manage to indict the rest of Canadian literature for being either smart or fun, but never both?

Platform, people, controversy--that’s why you want to read this book. Should you? I’ll leave that up to and your discretion. I know what I did.


Blogger Thea Atkinson said...

very cool anna. got me thinking.

Fri May 05, 07:16:00 pm GMT-4  

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