Tag Archives: Publishing

HOW TO GET PUBLISHED ON THE HUFFINGTON POST

A3Serious bloggers know the Huffington Post is the world’s largest blog site. Getting published on the Huff Post is a significant badge of achievement — it’s the gold standard of blogging — social approval by a major media corporation that your work meets its mark of excellence. You just can’t buy this kind of exposure.

As a writer, you have something to say and you should want to hear what others say back. If you have quality content — and that’s the key — you’ll want to say it on the Huffington Post.

But how in the world do I ever get noticed?” you ask.

Well, it might not be easy, but it can be done. And now that I’m a regular contributor to the Huff, I’ll give you Ten Top Tips on how to improve your chances for getting published on the Huffington Post.

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Tip #10 — Know How the HuffPost Works

A19There are four levels of content providers for the Huffington Post:

Salaried Employees — Such as reporters, journalists, and editors who are full-time — generally based in main centers like New York, Toronto, and London.

Assignment Writers — Who are freelancers and paid a fixed rate to work on specifically commissioned projects.

Contributing Bloggers — Who are unpaid, but are a screened and proven commodity. They may submit posts whenever they choose through the Huff’s exclusive internet portal called Backstage.

Occasional Guest Bloggers — Who submit posts on an unpaid, unsolicited basis. This is the Huff’s slush pile and, for the most part, is a longshot at getting accepted.The good news for unknown bloggers is that the Huff editors are constantly looking for new contributors — especially unique, talented contributors with interesting voices. The challenge is in getting yourself noticed.

A21The good news for unknown bloggers is that the Huff editors are constantly looking for new contributors — especially unique, talented contributors with interesting voices. The challenge is in getting yourself noticed.

Read this article by Huffington Post senior editor, Jason Linkins: How The Huffington Post Works (In Case You Were Wondering).

Tip #9 — Be “The Right Fit

The Huffington Post truly looks for the “right fit” in their contributors. This is hard to describe as submission style and content varies drastically in categories as diverse as politics to entertainment to minorities’ issues. Here’s a quote from the Huff editor’s cold-call invitation for me to write my first assignment piece:

A7Hi Garry ~ I wanted to see how interested / available you are over the coming days to tackle a paid writing opportunity for us, for which I think you would be an excellent fit, based on your experience in forensics and the quality of content I see in your blog at www.DyingWords.net.

After getting over the shock of this invite, I thoroughly researched the subject matter (which was on crime scene cleaning) and what the HuffPost expected in format. My first submission raised the editorial staff’s confidence that I’d be a long-term “right fit” and that led to the next invite — becoming a regular Contributing Blogger with direct access to the Backstage — now with over two dozen articles published on the Huff.

What makes the “right fit”?

A39

The combination of everything you do as a blogger.

It’s in the quality of content you write, the uniqueness of your voice, your professional presence, and your commitment to the craft. It’s in your platform, your brand, and your profile. But — most importantly — it’s in the value you offer to them.

Tip #8 — Add Value

A core value at the Huffington Post is “Idea Is King — every move should be predicated on the integrity of valuable ideas and their value in the marketplace.”

A26Bear in mind that publishing is an industry that creates products just like any other business. Those products must have a consumer demand in order to be saleable. They must be valuable to a volume of readers, whether for education, entertainment, or enlightenment.

Arianna Huffington has often been quoted saying she likes stories about how you make life work — how you balance work, family, self, and everything else. When planning to submit a blog post to the Huff, take a good look and ask, “How does it add value to someone else? Not just to please or benefit me, but what it will do for the reader and the Huffington Post Corporation? What bottle of wine do I bring to the party?”

Tip #7 — Know Why You Want to be Read on the Huff

We all have reasons for wanting to belong to a club, especially one as exclusive as the Huffington Post Blogging Team. But that doesn’t mean there’s a fee to pay, a small child to sacrifice, or a secret handshake to learn.

A14Pure and simple, the Huff Post wants intelligent voices with something unique to offer the Huff community through submission of solid content that has the ability to be shared and commented on. A lot of the voice really depends on the motivation that vocalizes it.

Are you doing this for money? Remember as a contributing blogger you’re not going to be paid by cash. You’ll be paid in social currency and that’s worth a fortune if you parley it.

Are you doing this to promote yourself and/or your product or affiliation? Take that into account when designing your content.

Do you have a hidden agenda? Be careful. The gatekeepers at the Huff are very astute.

Looking back, here’s what my motivation was:

  • A31To be recognized as a credible resource by a large audience.
  • The potential to profit elsewhere — both in money and self-esteem.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • Prestige on my platform.
  • To build my mailing list through the amplified exposure.
  • I had stories and information to share.
  • I enjoy helping others.
  • To learn from the experience.

The opportunity to blog for the Huffington Post fulfills all this — more than I ever imagined.

Tip #6 — Learn How to Blog Professionally

Here’s the reason that disqualifies more Huff submissions than all others combined — your post is not written to acceptable, commercially-viable blogging standards, let alone to a Huff Post standard.

A32Blogging is an entirely different style of writing from novels, non-fiction, essays, Facebook messages, Tweets, recipes, how-tos, and letters to your grandma. It takes a learning curve  the length depends entirely on your experience and your willingness to learn.

I strongly recommend investing in yourself by taking credible, online training courses in blogging. Not just writing courses. Blogging courses.

You can read all the online tips you want and follow all kinds of more advanced bloggers, but nothing’s going to pay better returns that learning in a structured format from people who are truly experts.

I’ve taken these two courses and attest to their exceptional value:

A34Tribe Writerswith Jeff Goins of GoinsWriter.com.

Blogging Certification Program — with Jon Morrow at BoostBlogTraffic.com.

I promise that no matter your level of skill, these courses will make a definite difference and increase your odds of getting noticed by Huff Post editors.

Tip #5 — Develop Your Voice

What makes a great writing voice?

Here’s a definition I put together in a guide I wrote about blogging for the Huffington Post:

A33Your writing voice is the one thing that’s unique to you. It’s your most valuable asset — so valuable that you should buy some insurance on it. And it’s the one thing you have to get right. Right from the start. It’d be a bitch to go back and self-edit voice — if it can even be done.

But what is “Voice”?

It’s your relationship with language — how you use language. Voice comes from the people you’ve met, the books you’ve read, the education you have, and the worlds you’ve inhabited — not just in your body — but in your mind. It’s your personality. It’s your attitude to your writing. It’s how you say things.Voice is your distinctive way of choosing and stringing words together — your writing accent, your views, culture, biases, and formal training. It’s using some goddam profanity every now and then. It’s imagery. Being serious, stuffy, snarky, and sarcastic. Being funny, silly, foolish, goofy, and stupid. It’s your level of confidence speaking through.

A36Voice is your distinctive way of choosing and stringing words together — your writing accent, your views, culture, biases, and formal training. It’s using some goddam profanity every now and then. It’s imagery. Being serious, stuffy, snarky, and sarcastic. Being funny, silly, foolish, goofy, and stupid. It’s your level of confidence speaking through.

It’s your rhythm. Your cadence. Your tone. And your mood.

It’s your emotional guts spilling out.  It’s relating gut to gut — not brain to brain. No editing in the world can take an intellectual exercise and make it emotional. Remember — blogs, like novels, aim to evoke emotion in your reader. Get emotional when you write and then again when you revise. “No tears in the writer — no tears in the reader. No emotion in the reader — no interest in the story.”

I like this definition by the Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty, who gave me permission to quote her:

Huff Post 101 RevisedVoice is the distinct personality, the style, or the point of view of a piece of writing or any other creative work. Voice is what Simon Cowell is talking about when he tells American Idol contestants to make a song their own and not just do a note-for-note karaoke version. Many musicians have played The Star-Spangled Banner, for instance, but there’s a world of difference between the Boston Pops’ performance and Jimi Hendrix’s, even though the basic melody is the same.

In writing, the New York Times and the New York Post may cover the same story, but their headlines are likely to be quite different. For example, when Ike Turner died, the New York Times had a straightforward headline “Ike Turner, Musician and Songwriter in Duo With Tina Turner, Dies at 76 whereas the New York Post went for a bad pun: “Ike Beats Tina to Death”.

Is there an ideal voice?

A12Nope. But my advice is to lighten up. Personally, I’m not big on sarcasm or stuffiness. Ever go to a party with lawyers and politicians? I have. They’re boring as shit because they’re bound by the restraints of graduate degrees and academic correctness. Ever hang with cops & coroners? I have. They’re a blast. They’re like honey badgers and don’t give a fuck what they say.

I like hearing a natural, open, appealing, and charismatic tone and style that draws me in and binds me with storytelling. Ever read foul-mouthed Chuck Wendig? Hilarious crime writer Meg Gardiner? Listen to quadriplegic blog-king Jon Morrow? Or follow opinionated Johnny B. Truant? Now those folks have voice.

Voice is the way you put things down. The way you say it. It’s your personality coming out on the page. It’s not the paint on the wall. It is the wall.

A15For your blog posts to be successful, your reader has to hear your voice telling the story. Nothing else matters if they can’t relate to your voice. They want you to sound confident, intelligent, personal, authentic, trustworthy, and even vulnerable. They want to be your friend and follow you around.

So be natural. Don’t overthink. And be careful not to cut your own voice’s throat by being too careful.

Tip #4 — Know the Huff’s Blogging Structure

The Huff’s blog structure is no secret. It’s much the same as print journalism where there’s an old news reporter saying “Don’t bury the lede.” The what? The “lede”. Not the “lead”.

Conventional articles are written in a six-part structure:

  1. A22Headline
  2. Lede
  3. Body
  4. Solution
  5. Call to action
  6. Byline

Same with the Huff. This is critically important stuff to know and implement if you want to blog for the Huff Post.

Tip #3 — Make Your Posts Look Like Huff Posts

Study the style and format of other Huff Post Bloggers, especially the prolific writers in the same sections you’re targeting. Notice how they use titles and subtitles, where they embed block quotes, where they hyperlink and how often, as well as how they proportion the six-part structure.

A38

Notice which font the Huffington Post uses. It’s “Georgia” in 11.5 point in the older posts and “Helvetica” in 13 point in the new look. Additionally, the Huffington Post logo and collateral material are in the “Adobe Garamond” font.

A24Notice even the tiniest things—like how they use two en-dashes — instead of an em-dash, which is their uniform break style. Seriously, the editors will send your piece back to you for errors like this and tell you to correct it — then re-submit. (And then WordPress overrules HuffPost and converts them back to em-dashes 🙂

I think it’s critical that when you submit a piece to the Huff — when you’re an unknown and pitching to get one post published (let alone trying to get on as a Signature Contributor) — that you present it in as publishable a format as possible. That means you have to make it look like a Huff post. Just sayin’…

Tip #2 — Brand and Profile

Your brand is a summary of your values. Branding is the story other people tell themselves about you.

Final LogoYour profile is how you present yourself in words and in images. The more closely these align, the better your audience will understand what you do and what you stand for.

My brand is crime writing — both fiction and non-fiction. It’s been built by my years of experience as a homicide detective and forensic coroner, now bestselling crime writer. You’ll see this in my Byline on my Huffington Post blog pieces. My audience knows I’ll provoke thoughts on life, death, and writing and I value a no-bullshit approach.

My profile comes through visibility on my website, social media presence, personal and video appearances, and in my books. I promote myself by exposing my experience and make no apologies for self-promotion. You must do the same if you want to be recognized by a Huffington Post editor.

Byline Screenshot

Here’s a great article by the Huffington Post Writers Relief Staff titled Why Every Writer Needs an Author Brand.

Tip #1 — Pitch to the Right Place

Make sure your submission goes to the right Huffington Post section. Editors specialize in certain departments and will bypass a submission that’s not suitable for them, but might be an appropriate submission for another department. Be aware of how busy these editors are and that they don’t normally have the time to pass a submission on to another editor in a different department.

A40Take the time to learn all the Huffington Post sections. Go to their homepage and scroll through the top bar and drop down menu.

Also, make sure you’re pitching the right country. The biggest site and where most editors are is the U.S. but if your article is country specific, you might want to contact that arm directly.

Bonus Tip — Believe in Karma

What goes around, comes around is an absolutely true statement. If you consistently strive to produce unique, quality content eventually you’re going to get noticed and will catch the attention of a Huffington Post editor.

There’s an extension of karma called providence and it’s well captured in this quote by German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

A42Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back — always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth — the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of unforeseen events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

Who? When? Where?

I can’t answer this. But I do know it was my goal to build my blog into a publication worthy of catching the Huff’s attention. Karma worked for me and it’ll work for you. Just be aware of how big a thing you’re wishing for and treasure it when it arrives.

Then feed it like a hungry beast.

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Huff Post 21 RevisedYou can get “How To Blog For The Huffington Post — 21 Proven Tips for Getting Published on the HuffFREE in pdf by using the sidebar or go to the Amazon page where it’s under a FREE promotion as a Mobi eBook.  Click Here

Huff Post 101 RevisedOr get the full-length guide “How To Blog For The Huffington Post — 101 Proven Tips for Getting Published on the Huff” by going to the Amazon page.  Click Here  If you do read either of these guides, I’d sure appreciate you taking the time to write a short review! Also, please check out my Huff Blogger Profile and “Fan” it.  Click Here

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Footnote:  As of this morning, 20 February 2016, “How To Blog For The Huffington Post — 21 Proven Tips for Getting Published on the Huff” is the #1 BestSeller on Amazon in the “Writing Reference Guides — Journalism” category and #5 overall in Books & Publishing.

Huff Post #1 BS Screenshot

 

ZAP YOUR APP

A1On Christmas eve, marketing guru Seth Godin sent an email link to Zapier’s website. “Zap who?” you ask. So did I, until I opened it and got blown away by what this amazing technology does for writers and online marketers. Zapier is a software integration application that allows over five hundred other apps to mingle efficiently. It “easily connects web apps you already use, making it easy to automate tedious tasks”.

Here’s Seth’s link to Zapier:

Powering A Digital Future With Zapier

A3Now anyone who knows me, knows I’m far from a techie. In fact, I’m a Luddite with a Capital LUD. Just ask my buddy, Jake, who I recently “helped” set up a technological monster called the Security Management System for a commercial marihuana producer.

I grew up in a computerless age and watched the moon landing on a black and white TV that got airwave reception. We changed the channel by going outside and turning the aerial pole while the guy inside yelled out the window when the picture got clear.

I took typing classes in the police academy when we were still pounding on mechanical typewriters filled with carbon paper. Whiteout was a huge technological breakthrough.

A4I remember the first “word processor” showing up. I was doing a wiretap application and this new-fangled gizmo saved me an incredible amount of time. When I left the police force, all the detectives were sitting at their desks pecking-out reports on laptops while the steno supervised them, troubleshooting IT stuff.

As a coroner, I saw the first voice-to-text app come in as the pathologists began dictating autopsy reports right while they were cutting. Now, as a blogger, I rely on a number of different software applications to produce content.

Which got me thinking…

I opened Zapier’s list of over five hundred compatible apps and went through it to see how many I either use or have used.

Twenty-seven.

Me, the iceman of the internet, is familiar with twenty-seven of these apps. Here’s the list:

A5Evernote, MailChimp, Twitter, Dropbox, Facebook, RSS, WordPress, Linkedin, OneDrive, MS Office, GoToWebinar, PayPal, AWeber, OneNote, YouTube, Amazon, Pinterest, Reddit, SumoMe, EBay, Excel, Google Adwords, Google Analytics, Google +, LeadPages, Outlook, and Sharepoint.

I also just got a free download of the Scrivener writing software. I’ve heard so many good things about Scrivener from other writers and I’m looking forward to learning this app as well—particularly its ability to convert Word.docs into Mobi and ePub formats—as I have a pile of these eBook conversions coming up. I’m betting once the learning curve is done, Scrivener is going to really pay back in time… and time is money.

Makes me wonder how the over four hundred and seventy-three other apps that Zapier interfaces with might make the writing life easier and more productive.

I guess I’ll just have to thaw.

SERIAL KILLER, PAUL BERNARDO, SELF-PUBLISHES ON AMAZON

B10Paul Bernardo is Canada’s most notorious serial killer. In 1995, Bernardo was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of manslaughter. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a Dangerous Offender designation, giving him zero chance of parole. Bernardo also confessed to committing violent rapes—perhaps over thirty. Today, he’s in solitary confinement at Millhaven Institution, a maximum-security penitentiary near Toronto, Ontario. And this week, Paul Bernardo hit #1 on the Amazon BestSeller list by self-publishing an eBook spy-thriller titled A MAD World Order.

So HTF did this happen?

Before threatening to set Amazon on fire with what’s left of my hair, I decided to check out what Bernardo wrote. Here’s Amazon’s product description:

B11The top echelons of the Russian government lament for the glory days of their superpower status. Resorting to desperate and nefarious means, a secret cabal has strategized a plan to return Russia to a world power. By a fate not of his choosing, one man finds himself caught, and involved in the Russian plot.  Mason Steele with his best friend Kyle Boorem founded Social Mall. It is a 3-D social media website. It is targeted by the by the Russians for a hostile takeover to get the off-the-books financing for their operation, and the FSB uses the local Russian Mafia as its covert operatives.  NSA has picked up al-Qaeda chatter of an impending catastrophic strike against the United States. Given the size and sophistication, it is concluded small dirty-bombs are involved.  Mason prepares a plan to rescue his co-founder, revenge the attacks against them, and stop the theft of his company. Unrestrained by rules or laws, he takes the battle to the Russian Mafia in San Francisco and across the globe.

Yeah, whatever I thought. Different flavor on an old ice cream bucket. But I wonder if the guy can actually write? 

B17Now, I’m sure as hell not going to buy this monster’s work, but I did have a free “Look Inside” on the Amazon site. After skimming the first twenty pages, my impression was Hmmm. Crappy cover. Story kinda sucks. Not much of a hook. Slow… not sure how this is gonna keep anyone in it for the advertised 631 pages. But the editing’s pretty goodespecially for a self-pub. It’s fairly clean for punctuation. Grammar’s okay. Don’t see any obvious spelling mistakes. And the formatting is professional. Can’t see how anyone sitting alone in a jail cell did this, so there’s no doubt Bernardo had some experienced help putting this thing on the market. 

Now setting aside the legal, moral, and ethical issues of a human piece-of-shit like Paul Bernardo being allowed to publish from a jail cell, let me remind you what this animal did before becoming a BestSelling novelist.

B7Bernardo was the Scarborough Rapist who viciously attacked women in the Greater Toronto area in the early 1990’s. A pretty-boy who later score 35 out of 40 on the psychopathy checklist, he tangled up and married an equally evil Karla Homolka. The pair compounded each other’s sick fantasies which led to them drugging, raping, and killing Homolka’s younger sister.

14 year-old Leslie Mahaffy was their next victim. They abducted Leslie and took her to their house where they videotaped themselves raping and murdering her. Then they cut Leslie’s body apart with a circular saw before encasing her pieces in concrete and dumping them in a lake.

Kristen French, 15, was third. Bernardo and Homolka filmed Kristen’s terror over a three day period, then dumped Kristen’s naked body in a ditch.

Bernardo was caught through DNA. Before the video tapes were discovered, the prosecution cut Homolka a deal, letting her cop to a 12-year manslaughter sentence in exchange for testifying against her now-divorced husband. And that’s the sum of the Paul Bernardo story.

How—in a sane world—is cesspool scum like Bernardo allowed to still breathe, let alone be allowed to profit from his mind? His eBook lists at $5.97 USD so he pockets $4.18 per copy. How many copies is he selling? Well, as I write this, A MAD World Order is #1 on Amazon.ca in the Spy Thriller category and #45 on Amazon.com in the War Fiction category. To me, that says a lot of sold books and a lot of coin.

Bernardo screenshot

And it’s getting a ton of reviews—over 600 on Amazon’s Canadian site, so far. The vast majority are 1-Star hates, but some people are sticking up for the right of free speech and uncensorship.

Here’s a sample of what they’re saying: 

By Paula McLeod — Hello to the powers that be at Amazon… seriously what were you thinking??? I realize that as an American company that you have very little interest in what goes on north of the border. I also understand the extra work involved in checking up on a vendor prior to allowing them to flog their wares on your site is time consuming but come on…really??? In case you were not aware; there is the little thing called “Google”. How about it??? Do not allow this waste of a life to profit in any way after all of the horrific things that he has done. I do not make idle threats…I will not spend my hard earned money on products that are sold by a company that support a sadistic piece of trash, serial killer, serial rapist, dangerous offender. You must remove this immediately or I will cancel my account and never purchasing anything from your site again.
By Robert Truszkowski — It’s not so simple. Amazon publishes OJ Simpson’s “If I did it”, Charles Manson’s autobiography, Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”, and many other deplorable works, and/or works by deplorable people. We live in a society that is so conflicted. We want to be safe from hateful garbage, and we seem willing to fight in far off lands for freedom and democracy, but it’s a catch-22. Don’t want to read crumby fiction by a twisted freak? Don’t! But it’s a slippery slope once you start banning books.
By Sandy M. — WTH Amazon would even allow this b@stard to sell anything on their site, shows me that Amazon is very sick. Anyone that would support what that good for nothing a-hole has blood on their hands from the 3 girls he murdered after raping them repeatedly, as well as all the other women he raped but were fortunate to get away before he killed them too. Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka should not be breathing. DON’T BUY INTO THIS SICK B@STARD’S CRAP! Murderers and rapists should not be making money from anything!
By Sarahon — To all the upset with the following book…get over it. Yea he is in jail…yes he committed a crime..and now he is serving that time. For life. Yes he is going to make money..however he will never get to touch it because he is incarcerated..those not familiar with the wat it works..if you make revenue while in prison.. You can’t have it until your out. Not to mention the amount of money he would still owe for victims restitution. That money will never reach his hand. Further more at least he is not wasting tax dollars abusing the system. He is at least doing something. The book..amazing read. Loved to story. Very interesting and intrigued me. Buy the book based on the description.. Not the author. Lets help pay those victims family’s for what’s happened.
By Mica — Too bad there isn’t a minus star! Cannot believe Amazon/ca would publish a book by a convicted killer/rapist currently serving 25 years without parole and allowing him to pander to his self-grandizement. Did anyone bother to check out the name when he came into the system or does anyone work for Amazon old enough to remember the horror of what he and his then wife did? I remember. I remember the total state of disbelief most Canadians felt over what this perverted psycho did. I will seriously look at changing my shopping source for ebooks if this book remains on your available list.
By Amazon Customer — Kudos to Amazon! I am so HAPPY ,that Amazon decided to carry this book on their site, without prejudice. It is up to readers (buyers) to decide whether a certain book is appropriate or not. That is NOT the job of Amazon. Thank you Amazon for recognizing the difference. I will continue to buy items from Amazon because of this. Thank you Amazon for carrying Hitler’s Mein Kampf as well. By the way, I haven’t bought this book. I have not decided yet. I may or may not. That decision is still mine. Oh yes, I am Canadian.
By Amazon Customer — Amazon, you are taking too long. The damage is growing by the minute.
By Amazon Customer —Ignore the people who choose to hate. To deny someone access to selling their work just because of criminal convictions is criminal. Plain and simple. Amazon, all the power to you.
By Scott M. — Had it not been for all the bleeding hearts bringing attention to this book, I would have never known it existed nor would I care. Now that you all have, I think I’ll buy it as a collector item. Not because I really care about the content of the book, but as a reminder of the notorious, heinous crimes he committed and people like him still exist in our world. Yes, had we brought back capital punishment when we had the chance, this wouldn’t be an issue. The best way to boycott is not give it attention. Now every news media outlet is letting the world know. This could very well now be Amazons new best seller. Good job everyone.

B15Hey! Scott M. The voice of reason! (I know this guy from chats around the net. He’s a bright dude.) Scott’s 100% right about the capital punishment issue, but I’m not going to turn this into a death sentence debate. And I’m not going to turn this into a free speech debate either. To me, there’s something bigger that’s the real issue. That’s HTF was a convicted serial killer in isolation inside a maximum security, federal institution allowed access to outside help to self-publish? 

And there’s no doubt that Paul Bernardo had some help. I’m no stranger to self-publishing and I can tell you that his manuscript reeks of higher help.

So what’s Corrections Canada’s position on this? 

Here’s their official statement:

B19The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has been made aware of the (Bernardo’s) e-book that has been published and understands the content may be offensive to some. Offenders are not permitted to profit from recounting of their crimes, however, we are advised that this e-book is a fictional piece that does not relate to this offender’s specific crimes. Materials contained in this book may provide additional information relevant to decision-making regarding the offender. While inmates incarcerated in federal correctional facilities have limited access to computers, they do not have access to the internet or email. They are able to communicate with members of the public in writing and are entitled to privileged correspondence with their legal counsel. 

My understanding of A MAD World Order is that the content does not refer to Bernardo’s personal crimes and that’s fine. It’s a novel and many novels are graphically violent. (You should read mine.)

But come on, Corrections Canada. Limited access to computers? No access to the internet or email? Only communicate with outsiders by writing? Except with their lawyer? 

I’m calling bullshit.

008It’s taken me four years to become a relatively competent fiction writer and that involved thousands of internet hours in learning the craft of fiction writing and researching material. Hundreds more in drafting a manuscript in Word. Hundreds of emails in networking with editors, proofreaders, formatters, cover designers, marketers, and peer writers. And the time learning the computerization necessary to upload to Amazon…

Nope. Paul Bernardo had help. Lots of help. From the outside, which he didn’t get telepathically. Remember—this guy was already locked up before Amazon was formed.

Jeff Bezos didn’t visit Bernardo in jail to self-publish this novel.  Bernardo sent it to them, ready to go, and Amazon is perfectly within their rights to keep selling it for him. I hope Amazon acts morally and takes it down, but don’t bet on them trashing a BestSeller.

The real issue is the failure of the system to control incarcerated serial killers like Paul Bernardo.

Corrections Canada. Do your fuckin’ job!