Bruce's old blog about book marketing trends can still be found at

News snippets


"I want you to meet a brave young woman..." - Jack Webster
Born with cerebral palsy (CP), Nova Bannatyne was a trailbrazer for disabled students in BC

Nova Bannatyne-Eng, one of the first children with a significant disability to be integrated into, and graduate from, a BC public school, has written an eloquent memoir of her remarkable early life. "Just Think, I Could Have Been Normal: Growing Up Extraordinary with Cerebral Palsy" is being launched on April 16th at Guildford Library in Surrey at 10:30 am to noon. Nova is available for interviews. Media release.

Private investigator reveals her files on two BC cold cases
Can you figure out who did it?

Private investigator Leanne Jones's Blood In The Cabin: A mystery based on real events and a revelation.

David Suzuki says Guy Dauncey's ecotopian novel is "brilliant"
"Journey to the Future" lauded by leading scientists, activists, green politicians


Health care policy researcher and bestselling author Alan Cassel reveals medicine's best-kept secret
The Cochrane Collaboration

The Cochrane Connection work has been pivotal in reforming health care worldwide.

Toronto financial advisor reveals rationale behind his clients' success
Invest for value, not in what's popular

All Good Things by leading financial advisor Adam Hennick.

Dual-diagnosis specialist releases second book
Sequel to "Faces of Dual Diagnosis" (2011)

Dr. Robert Pereira's Reflections of Dual Diagnosis: A Canadian Perspective.

Painting Out Loud
Janet Brooks paintings

Painting Out Loud: Selected Works 2012 to 2015 by noted abstract painter Janet Brooks.

Popular mentor reveals how to boost your sales
Barry Andruschak gets down to basics

Prospecting & Setting Appointments Made Easy.

Old Boys from UK orphanage compile their stories
The Boys of St. Mary's: Keep On Keeping On

Edited by Sidney BC author Caroline Whitehead, written by the members of the KOKO old boys network.

Touching story out of rural France about cancer and love
Neil's Story by Anne Morbey

When a couple's peaceful life becomes a nightmare, hope and love are the only ways forward.

Movie script reveals aeronautical design and espionage between the Great Wars leading up to the development of the Spitfire fighter's iconic wing
Storm Rising: A Movie Treatment

Read the press release.

Anti-stress colouring books are the hot genre - Michelle Miller and Kate Carson enter the market
Celebrated Victoria painters and teachers release MichKa Art Play's second book

Anti-stress Colouring & Doodling Book For All Ages.

1970s Dog Team trip to Dawson recalled
Bruce Batchelor's quest for the cosmic bannock, and other Yukon stories

read details here.

Veteran Ed Brown uses poetry to move past PTSD and create a fun-loving life
A Soldier's Fortune and Other Poems

more info here.

Bestselling BC author Charlie Schiedeman releases third RCMP book, When Grampa was a Mountie

media release in PDF.

  • Kathleen and Michael Pitt (author of Franklin, Oops, Mud and Cupcake will present "Canoeing the Seal River" at the 2015 Saskatchewan Paddling Symposium in Prairieland Park, Saskatoon, SK on April 25, 2015. More info at .
  • David Johnston (author of an upcoming seven-volume series on C.J. Jung) has artworks on display until the end of March 2015 at the Shatterbox Cafe on Yates Street in Victoria.
  • Abstract artist Janet Brooks's new book, Painting Out Loud: Selected Works 2012-2015, is available for purchase at Amazon. Copies will be available for purchase at Janet's upcoming home gallery showing. Details at
  • Dr. Robert Pereira's second book, Reflections of Dual Diagnosis, is available in hardcover and ebook editions at Amazon and Kindle.
  • Ed Brown's poetry book, A Soldier's Fortune, has inspired Niagara Falls students to create a play which just won top prize at the local drama festival. Next step is the regionals. Good luck, Max and students!

Double Rainbow at Full Moon
Surviving a real-life hyper-inflation dystopia

Novel reveals human impact of Zimbabwe's societal collapse when billion-dollar banknotes were not enough to buy food.

The Third Path: Breaching the Materialistic Wall, Grow in Spiritual Awareness of Life Here and Hereafter

What is your level of spiritual awareness? Are you a believer, a doubter or a seeker?.

COOL TO BE CLEVER: Edson Hendricks
New app for kids reveals genius who invented the Internet

COOL story tackles bullying and being "different".

The Second Seraph: The Complete Trilogy
The second coming of Christ is unfolding - and it's a girl child

Renowned seer creates provocative autobiographical fiction trilogy that entertains, and could save your soul.

From Clay to Classrooms: An Architect's Dream to Advance Education in Africa
Canadian architect pursues his dreams in Eastern Africa

Sponsors and oversees construction of primary schools in impoverished areas of Tanzania.

Beyond the End of the Road: A Winter of Contentment North of the Arctic Circle

Couple chooses Saskatchewan for its cold winters - article by Ron Petrie, The Regina Leader-Post.

Ancient Bloodlines Trilogy
Holy Grail trilogy abounds in bold action and accurate historical detail

Pender Island playwright-director pens novels with engaging plot, compelling characters and quick pacing.

Book Marketing Demystified
Innovator changing book industry again - demystifying marketing and slamming wasteful practices

POD pioneer Bruce Batchelor's book and appearances promote economic and environmental solutions.

The Onion Files
Former NATO intelligence chief writes cyberterrorism spy thriller

Major General Val Pattee's novel lauded as compelling and a "tutorial for homeland security personnel".

Journalist searches for meaning after his own death...
Heart stopped for 20 minutes after 8K race

May 28, 2012, Victoria, BC - Gregory Marchand's survival from a heart attack in 1998 was considered miraculous - his heart was without a pulse for 20 minutes after he collapsed at the finish line of an 8K road race near Victoria, BC. In his inspiring new book, Open Heart Runner: searching for meaning after my heart stopped, Marchand recounts how he struggled to recover from surgery and brain injury, while wrestling with questions about why he didn't die.

"People are very good at forgetting, which is why a book like this is so important," says poet Terence Young. "In Open Heart Runner, Gregory Marchand reminds us of many things: our fragility, our capacity for love, our deep desire for meaning. He reminds us that we are neither wholly flesh nor wholly spirit, but a strange amalgam of the two."

"Gregory Marchand takes us to a place most of us will never be, or would chose to go," says Rob Reid, race director of the Royal Victoria Marathon. "He re-enters life with rich insights that can help us all on our journey down the right road."

For the highly-trained athlete, weekend warrior, or anyone (runner or not) who has feared death, Gregory's meditative memoir offers insight into how nearly dying can bring new life.

Open Heart Runner: searching for meaning after my heart stopped by Gregory Marchand, is published by Agio Publishing House, Victoria (Canada), 2012, 214 pp., trade paperback, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-897435- 79-3, ebook 978-1-897435-78-6.

About the author, Gregory Marchand
Gregory Marchand has been a runner and competitive athlete all his life. Since suffering a cardiac arrest and subsequently undergoing open-heart surgery in 1998, his running has continued to be a major focus in his life but now as a source of wellness and spiritual growth rather than competition. An educator and counsellor for over 25 years, Marchand is also a prolific freelance writer, having published over 100 magazine and newspaper articles. He and his wife, Debbie, live on Vancouver Island and are newly-hatched empty nesters with three grown children. Visit Gregory Marchand's website at


Victoria private eye shares Internet inventor's story

January 09, 2012 - by Erin McCracken, Victoria News

View the trailer for the app:


New kids app reveals who invented the Internet: COOL story tackles bullying and being “different”

December 1st, 2011 - Victoria, BC - The COOL to be CLEVER app for iPad is available today!

For immediate release
contact: Producer Bruce Batchelor,, 250-380-0998

Is your child intentionally getting lower grades to avoid being ridiculed as a ‘nerd’ or a ‘geek’? A just-released iPad app provides an inspiring message: “It’s COOL to be CLEVER” — based on the true story of Edson C. Hendricks, the genius who invented the design for the Internet.

When Hendricks was bullied at school as a youngster, he retreated into an imaginary world where he had machine parts, rather than biological organs and emotions. Years later, as a computer scientist working in IBM’s Cambridge Scientific Center in the early 1970s, Hendricks’ unique ability to “think like a machine” led him to invent VNET, the world’s first “connectionless” communications network.

VNET quickly spread to link IBM’s facilities around the world, then spawned other networks using Hendricks’ software, including EARN in Europe, NETNORTH in Canada, BITNET and USENET/UUNET in the USA. In the early 1980s, this connectionless design became the basis of the new inter-networking (“internet” for short) standards.

Developed by Agio Studios (part of Agio Publishing House of Victoria), COOL to be CLEVER is available as of December 1st on Apple’s App Store. The script was written by children’s book author and former teacher Leanne Jones. Now a private investigator, Jones uncovered Hendricks’ role as Internet inventor while interviewing retired US intelligence officers for a novel she’s writing. Hendricks now lives in San Diego, California.

“I wrote the COOL story to inspire and encourage others who may feel they are ‘different’ and may be bullied or stigmatized,” said Jones. “They may have important ideas that will change society like the Internet has.”

The app includes up-to-date bullying prevention tips and research provided by the Canadian Red Cross, The Council for Exceptional Children and the US Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.

“For the app, we videotaped twelve interviews with Mr. Hendricks, on how his mind works, true inventions, overcoming bullying, predicting the future, tips for programmers and other topics,” said app producer and director Bruce Batchelor. “His voice was so rich that we then asked him to narrate the story — which he did superbly.”

Internet history junkies will find a treasure trove of ‘backstory’ material in the app: information on the first ever email virus, the 1979 IBM Systems Journal article by Hendricks and Tim Hartmann chronicling the technical development of VNET into a world-wide network years before the Internet was launched, dozens of anecdotes about creating VNET and meetings with Vint Cerf and other scientists, trip reports, internal memos and documents detailing IBM’s bungled opportunity, and a 160k log of pre-Internet emails between scientists debating standards.

The original music score was composed and performed on piano by Leanne Jones. Anna Mah provided the illustrations.

An APP LAUNCH EVENT, with Edson Hendricks as featured guest, will be held on MONDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2011 at SIMPLY COMPUTING, 2639 Quadra Street, Victoria, from 7 PM to 9 PM. Brief presentations will be made by Edson Hendricks, Leanne Jones, producer/director Bruce Batchelor, Jim Roepcke of Roepcke Computing Solutions (developer of the COOL to be CLEVER app for iPad), Adam Blainey of Pterotype Digital (producer of THE UNINVITED horror anthology magazine for iPad) and others. The public is welcome, especially cool, clever kids (and adults) of all ages.

Copies of the illustrated hardcover edition of IT’S COOL TO BE CLEVER will be available for purchase at the event. The COOL to be CLEVER app can be purchased directly from the Apple iPad App Store.


It's Cool To Be Clever teaches about man who invented Internet

August 25, 2011 - Here's a great article about Leanne Jones and It's Cool To Be Clever by Keri Sculland at the Alberni Valley Times.


Novelist Tom Morison is living his own storylines
Local writer advocates "living life broadly"

June 5, 2011 - Victoria, BC - Seventeen years ago, Esquimalt writer Tom Morison received an ominous-sounding message from an insurance company. According to their actuarial tables, he had precisely 13.2 years of life expectancy remaining. More amused than shocked, Morison did what any good writer would do: he wrote a grand story inspired by that dramatic pronouncement.

Morison's novel 13.2 followed a man (loosely based on the author) systematically pursuing a list of adventures and experiences into his senior years. 13.2 pre-dated by half a decade the Hollywood movie with a similar theme, called The Bucket List. Morison admits he was inspired in part by "the funniest movie I've ever seen, the classic Danny Kaye film called The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Making a list is an exercise many people should take."

His latest novel, In Search of Her Ayah, was just released in hardcover and Kindle ebook. It is a story of shifting emotions and responses - lust and desire; betrayal and revenge; mystery and adventure; and love and trust - as told through the eyes and the paintbrush strokes of four individuals with vastly different backgrounds and perspectives. This sad and happy story is played out across the world: from the tranquil remnants of a once bustling town on the coast of Oregon, to the peaceful beauty and charm of Victoria, into the steaming heat and poverty of India, in the metaphysical world of the wonders and magic and tragedy of Tibet, trekking through the towering Himalayas, and finally in a transplanted French chateau near Portland.

"My writing is based on incidents in my own life," Morison said. "I can tell in the first five pages whether the author has lived the situation or is making it up entirely in his mind. With rare exception, one can only create an authentic story by experiencing life broadly."

Morison is going strong well after his official 13.2 "due date" expired, largely living life on his own terms since selling his U.S.-based investment management firm (Morison International) in 1986. Back then he decided he would travel, paint, write and climb. He recently sold his second home in a southern French village but still globe-trots whenever the urge seizes him. He is completing a series of oil paintings inspired by the Canadian provinces and territories, and is starting a series attempting to paint the senses - as does a character in In Search for Her Ayah. In the mid-1990s, Morison, who has a doctorate in economics, penned a financial primer cum novel called Pounce: Couchon's Billions, accurately predicting the subsequent major financial downturns. This book deserves to be re-read because all the same forces are still in place.

He has climbed extensively, including Europe's Matterhorn, Kilimanjaro in Kenya, Popocatepetl in Mexico and the Grand Tetons of Wyoming. When his best buddy died in an unexplained climbing accident in Africa, Morison wrote about their shared climbs in the mystery The Gates of Mist (as yet unpublished). High treks in the Himalayas provided authenticity for scenes in In Search of Her Ayah. But age is taking its toll: his climbing has been halted. "When I got much past 70, my balance and leg strength were no longer up to it," he said. "It wasn't safe for me or for others climbers relying on me."

Born in 1924 near Airdrie, Alberta, into a ranching family, Morison served as an armaments NCO for a Canadian Typhoon squadron in the RAF's Second Tactical Air Force during WWII. "I wanted to be a pilot but was rejected for being colour-blind," he said. "That turned out to be fortunate, because so many of the Typhoon pilots died." Although "witnessing the awfulness, the death and destruction of Western Europe" convinced Morison of the massive faults in human nature and governments, it also made him want to "get on with life" and kindled a love affair with European culture that endures to this day.

Who does Morison read? "Emile Zola, one of the greatest writers ever and champion of noble causes. I read in the original French to get closer to the authenticity of his writing."

A Minnesota newspaper reviewing Pounce opined that Morison's writing was a cross between John Steinbeck and Evelyn Waugh, both of whom used their own life experience and wide range of people they met, as source material. Though he admits to slowing down a bit, Morison will continue to "live life broadly," creating content for the books he has yet to write.

In Search of Her AYAH, Agio Publishing House, 2011, 340 pp, hardcover edition $29.00, ISBN 978-1-897435-53-3, available at and by special order through local bookstores. Kindle edition $2.99


Local writers have a message to broadcast

April 2011 - Victoria, BC - For many Victoria writers, it is becoming clear that there is little point in following the old approach of applying to the big publishing houses, hoping to get "picked up". Why wait for rejection letters? Instead they are using the rich local talent pool of editors, illustrators and publishing services, and controlling their own literary destinies.

Mel Anthony, who lives on his sailboat in Sidney marina, released Pranksters at Play: Tales Out of School in October with the pledge that all his royalties would go to his charity His novel was based on his own experiences at boarding school in Ontario in the 1960s - so he targeted alumnus from that school. Within two months his plan has borne fruit: Mel's charity received an initial royalty cheque for $2,259.29. More importantly, the book's promotions are raising awareness for CORP and large donations are flowing in.

Local architect Alan Roy is another take-charge person. He's already built two schools in Africa, with more planned, and will publish an account of this amazing work in June. From Clay to Classrooms tells how transforming these projects are - for the children and for Babu Alan himself. Primary Schools for Africa is the name of Alan's charity.

Linda Hunter who has organized dry grad events at Parkland Secondary is selling copies of An Unforgettable After-Grad: Your guide to creating and operating a successful all-night safe, dry, grad event to parent committees around the world.

Caroline Whitehead's sequel to Surviving the Shadows is Rowland: A Heart of Sunshine.

Lori Holmes-Boyle's Second Seraph trilogy features the second coming of the Christ child - but this time it's a girl!

Next time you meet someone around town with a fascinating story, you can ask when their eBook and printed book editions will be available.


"Author returns to St. Stephen to pen next book"

March 19, 2011 - ST. STEPHEN, NB - Martha Goguen worked in sales, corrections, education and human resources. Martha Goguen left her career in human resources in 2007 to follow her dream of writing children's books. In December she moved east from Saltspring Island, B.C., to be with her retired parents in St. Stephen. "And then I found out what I really wanted to be when I grew up," the children's author said in an interview Wednesday. In December, she left Saltspring Island, B.C., to live with her parents in St. Stephen and to write the next in her Dream Believe Achieve series of illustrated books...

Read the rest of this article from the Telegraph-Journal at this link:


Local author/entrepreneurs are nimbly surfing publishing's waves of change

June 2010 - Victoria, BC - During a revolution, there are opportunities for those who are nimble and not encumbered with old processes and commitments. Today's book industry is undergoing a transformation to a digital era, throwing large publishers and booksellers into a tizzy. Meanwhile three local retired businessmen have each started a cottage-scale publishing enterprise to showcase their creativity and leverage their previous career experience.

Before I describe these innovators, let me illustrate the scale of change in the book business. The latest tallies confirm that sales of eBooks are increasing exponentially (doubling each year), with a corresponding decline in sales of printed books. Over 8 percent of all book sales during 2010 will be in electronic formats, compared to 4 percent during 2009, 2 percent in 2008 and about 1 percent in 2007. All of those eBook sales are occurring on the Internet; the loss in business is occurring at real bookstores. Meanwhile promotions and publicity are moving from newspapers (who are featuring fewer book reviews) to the embryonic "social media" and "mobile marketing" of Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Social media tends to favour the "little guy" or underdog author who can amass a following; the larger publishers haven't been successful yet in figuring out these new means of inter-communication.

"Although publishing is changing, books still represent the best way for an author to convey practical information to most people," maintains Sidney's Peter Dolezal who has just released The Smart Canadian Wealth-Builder. Dolezal, whose resume includes stints as CEO of public corporations and a successful second career in real estate, recently established Cufflands Publishing to market his three how-to books (the other two are The Naked Homeowner and The Naked Traveller). "The important part is still getting the word out so people will know about - and want to buy - the book."

Dolezal is using radio interviews and advertising, locally on C-FAX, to promote The Smart Canadian Wealth-Builder, with notable success. For example, one store, Tanner's in Sidney, sold 120 copies in the first three weeks.

"Part of my motivation is to increase financial literacy, especially for younger Canadians," says Dolezal. "Investing prudently over a lifetime will allow them to retire quite wealthy. The book also brings new clients to my independent financial investment consulting business."

UVic writing prof Paul MacRae created Spring Bay Press to publish False Alarm: Why Almost Everything We've Been Told About Global Warming is Misleading, Exaggerated, or Wrong. MacRae wanted to control the editorial aspects and timing of this controversial and provocative book, and of subsequent titles MacRae and other writers will create.

"Print-on-Demand for production and online sales means I can reach a worldwide audience, and quickly," says MacRae. He is also arranging distribution in eBook formats on Apple's iPad and Amazon's Kindle.

A former Globe and Mail editorial writer and columnist for the Victoria Times-Colonist, MacRae has taken a journalist's investigative approach to climate change - and found a surprising lack of objectivity and credibility around some of the "science." MacRae will be leveraging his contacts, skills and credibility in the media to publicize False Alarm.

Another local author/entrepreneur is Carl Mawby, who retired almost 20 years ago to the Saanich Peninsula after winning billions of dollars in international contracts for Canadian industry, and has been active here since in community, charitable and social associations. Collaborating with some of the world's leading authorities, he has put together a readable security and safety manual for the over 55s. With his son Charles, currently senior vice-president of a U.S. high-tech company, Mawby has launched his own publishing company to produce the new book.

Mawby says, "We are never too old to learn," and is relishing the opportunity to work with his son and use the exciting new capabilities provided by direct publishing and the Internet in his book promotion.

Times of change can provide windows of opportunity, as these three local author-entrepreneurs are demonstrating.


Media coverage of Mountie memoir, release of first in YA trilogy, launch of third in medieval trilogy, speaking engagements ...

April 28, 2010 -- Retired RCMP Superintendent Scotty Gardiner's In The Mind Of A Mountie is selling briskly online and in Victoria-area stores following radio interviews of Scotty on CBC and talk-radio C-FAX 1070, and a feature article in Moss Rock Review. Mountie veterans are being alerted through emailing, and arrangements are in progress to feature the book at the RCMP museum in Regina.

Christine Buzzi's Valley of the Misty Mountain, released earlier this month, is the first of a trilogy for younger readers based on the adventures of Kodi and his magical grandfather Gardon. Christine will promote the book at in the fall when she returns from a writing holiday in Morocco! She'll be watching the popularity of fellow Agio author Barry Mathias who is pioneering the use of Wattpad's reach to millions of cell phone users. Even a few years ago the idea of someone reading a book on a cell phone seemed fantastical -- now we have Agio authors offering their fantasies for free reading. Barry is wattpadding the first book (Power in the Dark) of his Ancient Bloodlines Trilogy. The trilogy's third and final book (Keeper of the Grail) is available now, with the official launch event to be held in May.

Agio's publisher Bruce Batchelor has been guest speaker at Victoria-area ProBus groups, and was keynote presenter at the Royal City Book Festival in New Westminster last weekend. He also conducted a standing-room only workshop on Self-Publishing Success, based on his updated Book Marketing DeMystified.


Preeceville couple LOVES winter /
CBC interviews Michael and Kathleen Pitt

September 21, 2009 -- Garth Materie of CBC Saskatoon's Blue Sky Noon Hour Show interviewed Agio author Michael Pitt and his wife Kathleen Pitt today.

"So, how often do you hear that someone moves from Victoria to Saskatchewan, because they're tired of NOT having a winter?" said Materie. "For Michael and Kathleen Pitt, the white stuff is the right stuff for their lifestyle. Hear an interview with the couple about their love of winter, and a book Michael wrote called Beyond the End of the Road - A Winter of Contentment North of the Arctic Circle."

There will be a book launch at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon on Monday, September 21, at 7:30 pm. Then an interview in Saskatoon on the CTV Noon Hour Show with Jeff Rogstad, on Tuesday, September 22. The Pitts will present a slide show as a fundraiser for the Preeceville Public Library on Monday, October 5, at 7:00 pm.

Library appearance on May 27 for Knowledge of Oneness authors /
Launch events bring crowds for TURTLE and JOURNEY

May 6, 2009 -- Mary-Jane Bateman and Bruce Fogel, the wife-and-husband author team for Knowledge of Oneness: Letters of Enlightenment from Beyond the Veil, will be conducting a reading and discussion at the Vancouver Island Regional Library at 2687 James Street, Duncan, BC on May 27th at 6:45 pm. Their book has been featured in True Blue Sky magazine, and is now selling at bookstores in Vancouver, Duncan and Nanaimo.

A happy crowd lined up for over an hour to buy and have author Blaise Eagleheart sign copies of his new book, Journey to the Inner Circle, and Beyond, at Frontrunners store in Victoria on April 14th. Blaise is a well-known fitness trainer, high-performance coach and medical exercise specialist.

Jim and Jane Pratt hosted about 80 guests at their Langley home to launch Turtle on a Fence Post on April 18th. Copies of the impressive hardcover book sold steadily throughout the afternoon. Copies are also selling strongly online as word spreads about this great gift for high school grads.

David Stirling interviewed on CFAX, featured in Times-Colonist

February 18, 2009 -- Victoria, BC-based naturalist David Stirling is enjoying a flurry of publicity for his "Birds, Beasts and a Bike Under the Southern Cross". He was interviewed on C-FAX radio on January 24/09 by Remember When host Susan Woods. Click here to listen! (45 minute interview - 41.7 Mb file in MP3 format, should open quickly in a new window and begin playing while the rest downoads)

"It's a wonderful travel book written by a naturalist who just drank in all the interesting natural history of the area in the two years he was 'down there'," said Susan Wood. "And it is really quite lovely... Some lovely photographs and some really good humour. This book reminds me of John Guzzwell's Trekka Around the World - [David Stirling's] book is the same calibre."

And there was a great feature article on David Stirling in Victoria Times-Colonist, January 11, 2009, page A4
The headlines read, "Ornithology award caps banner year for naturalist: David Stirling also published a memoir and was honoured for bird count work"

Host Susan Woods made a point of saying that the front cover is "absolutely fabulous -- it just grabs you."

Noted naturalist David Stirling releases tale of 1950s adventure down-under /
Nine Dog Winter hailed as 'instant classic' about Yukon winter camping /
First book in kids series sets sales records /
Deeper Souls, Less Shoes reveals the secrets of high vibrational healing /
Voices from 'beyond the veil' predict dramatic changes on Earth

December 05, 2008 -- In a flurry of activity, Agio Publishing House has released five intriguing books in time for the holiday season. Publisher Bruce Batchelor managed to include one book in the lineup that he wrote plus another he co-wrote with an Ontario-based psychic.

Victoria, BC-based naturalist David Stirling spins delightful yarns in his "Birds, Beasts and a Bike Under the Southern Cross". Stirling and his late wife Ruth were definitely striking out against the post-WWII norm to leave job security for a two-year round the world odyssey on a motorbike. They took on a wide range of temporary jobs -- each an adventure in itself -- and toured wilderness areas of New Zealand and Australia.

Continuing the theme of 'what adventures I had when I was 30', Bruce Batchelor describes an event-filled winter of 1980-'81 in the Yukon, camping and traveling with nine sled dogs, as temperatures plunged down to 67 below zero. Agio's co-owner Marsha Batchelor is the heroine of the adventures and misadventutes. "Nine Dog Winter" is selling strongly through Mac's Fireweed Bookstore in Whitehorse, and has been hailed as an 'instant classic'.

In its first week of availability, over one hundred copies of "Emily: Dream Believe Achieve", the first in a series of children's books by Martha M. Symington, were snatched up through online sales. Martha will now begin promoting this book through bookstores, taking time away from preparing the next book -- tentatively titled "Global Heart Warming".

With a host of angels advising her, even dictating passages that appear in her book, high vibrational healer Nadine Mercey appears destined for celebrity status. "Deeper Souls, Less Shoes" is light, funny and very entertaining. Nadine reveals how, "a blonde Forrest Gump laugh out loud character with too many shoes bumps into people throughout her life to awaken to her true soul's life destiny." Nadine's first public event to promote the book is at the Ancaster, Ontario, Chapters store on December 13th.

Husband and wife mediums Bruce Fogel and Mary-Jane Bateman present similar ethereal messages, plus extensive information about nutrition, crystals and healing, in their new "Knowledge of Oneness: Letters of Enlightenment From Beyond the Veil". Guides, angels, archangels -- and even Jesus and God -- pass on directions for individuals in preparations for radical changes in the world's vibration.

"Collaborating with these authors has been a privilege," notes Batchelor. "Each has a strong message for the reader."

Author and former merchant mariner Rowland Marshall dies

July 23, 2008 -- Rowland Marshall, author of Luck Was My Companion: Adventures of an Old Sea Dog passed on July 19 in Sidney, BC. He was 89. Rowland is survived by his sister Caroline Whitehead and daughter Susan and her children.

A gifted storyteller, Rowland related details about his early life in an easy-to-read style that won praise from readers around the world. One reviewer wrote that Rowland's "tales evoke both laughter and tears."

Ancient Bloodlines Trilogy launch on Pender Island

June 4, 2008 -- Author Barry Mathias launched his new books at Talisman Books and Gallery on Pender Island this evening to an appreciative crowd.

This was the unveiling of the first two books of the Ancient Bloodlines Trilogy. Book 1 is The Power in the Dark; Book 2 is Shadow of the Swords. Barry gave a dramatic reading from the first chapter that had the audience mesmerized. Afterwards refreshments were served and the author signed copies of the new books. Already people were asking for Book 3 -- scheduled for release in early 2009.

LUCK a compelling companion

April 30, 2008 -- Christine van Reeuwyk, writing in the Peninsula News Review, says Rowland Marshall's autobiography Luck was my Companion: Adventures of an Old Sea Dog is "a graphic and compelling tale ... memoirs of love and war set to make readers laugh and cry."

Author Rowland Marshall will be signing copies of his new book at Sidney's Shoppers DrugMart from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 20th.

Van Reeuwyk said the book has "detail that brings the reader onboard the ship, into the inferno, the moments when his life flashed before his eyes and how he fought to survive ... the tales evoke both laughter and tears."

Read the full article at

THE ONION FILES is 6th most popular release at

March 24, 2008 -- In its first month on's audio book charts, The Onion Files has cracked the Podiobooks Top Ten. This is a "list of the most popular books by number of subscriptions in the last thirty days," says's co-founder, Evo Terra. Currently Major General Val Pattee's spy thriller is at the number 6 spot.

Episodes may be accessed through Fans are able to listen for free to these episodes.

These audio recordings are narrated by the author, Major General Val Pattee, and were recorded at Agio Publishing House's home studio. General Pattee is at the forefront of a wave of authors creating their own indie audio books to meet the growing demand for content as MP3 listening devices such as iPods, cel phones and eBook readers become ever more ubiquitous throughout the world.

"Releasing chapters as podcoast episodes through can provide excellent publicity for the printed book, and for the complete audio book on CD or DVD," notes Bruce Batchelor, publisher at Agio Publishing House. "This is part of the new vision of marketing stories as CONTENT through a wide range of editions and channels, rather than the old publishing model of selling only the printed BOOK and only through book stores."

As soon as General Pattee has recorded all the chapter episodes, Agio will release the full audio book as an MP3 CD, manufactured on demand and available through and

First episodes of THE ONION FILES released as podcast episodes at

Feb. 27, 2008 -- The prologue and first four chapters from The Onion Files are now available as podcast episodes through You are able to listen for free to these episodes.

These audio recordings are narrated by the author, Major General Val Pattee, and were recorded at Agio Publishing House's home studio. General Pattee is at the forefront of a wave of authors creating their own indie audio books to meet the growing demand for content as MP3 listening devices such as iPods, cel phones and eBook readers become ever more ubiquitous throughout the world.

"Releasing chapters as podcoast episodes through can provide excellent publicity for the printed book, and for the complete audio book on CD or DVD," notes Bruce Batchelor, publisher at Agio Publishing House. "This is part of the new vision of marketing stories as CONTENT through a wide range of editions and channels, rather than the old publishing model of selling only the printed BOOK and only through book stores."

As soon as General Pattee has recorded all the chapter episodes, Agio will release the full audio book as an MP3 CD, manufactured on demand and available through and

'Old Sea Dog' Rowland Marshall reveals the adventurous, the seamy and the mystical sides to a career in the Merchant Marine before and during WWII

Feb. 8, 2008 -- Sidney, BC resident Rowland Marshall reveals how fate played a huge role during his amazing life, in his newly-released memoir, Luck Was My Companion [Agio Publishing House; ISBN 978-1897435-090]. This inspiring book provides a stark look at Marshall's upbringing in a post-WWI orphanage in England, his challenges with first jobs (a teenager had to help support the family during the Depression), and an initiation to a seafaring career aboard merchant marine vessels plying the routes to Western Africa and beyond.

A gifted storyteller, Rowland Marshall entertains with vivid details of life aboard rusty tramp steamers as he encounters the seamier side of life in distant ports, and contracts Malaria. When war breaks out, he finds himself braving fierce Atlantic gales on convoys bringing supplies from the USA. When Britain needs sailors to crew heavily-armed merchant ships on a dangerous relief convoy headed for the Isle of Malta, Marshall is 'volunteered'. This massive convoy, codenamed Pedestal, is attacked relentlessly by German dive-bombers, U-boats and Italian E-boats, as it sails across the Mediterranean. The aircraft carrier H.M.S. Eagle is soon sunk and each day more naval and merchant ships are destroyed. Then a Junkers dive bomber breaks through the anti-aircraft barrages to land bombs on Marshall's vessel, the M.V. Waimarama. Within minutes fires have ignited the cargo of aviation fuel and munitions, and the young sailor is badly burned as he manages a desperate escape into a sea covered in flaming fuel oil from the sinking ship. Luck is clearly his companion, as he survives a strafing attack and is discovered and plucked from the water a few hours later by a Royal Navy destroyer. He will make a partial recovery in hospital on Malta.

Although he is classified as too injured to ever work again, Marshall argues his way back into duty as quartermaster aboard a ship ferrying supplies and soldiers between North Africa and Italy. During the great invasion of Europe on D-Day, Marshall can be found on an ambulance craft assigned to ferry wounded GIs from Omaha Beach to the hospital ships. As the war comes to a close, he is part of the escort to the captured crew of the sunken German pocket battleship, the Admiral Graf Spee.

Throughout the book, Marshall describes a quest to locate a sister he's never met. This mission haunts his life and sets the scene for a rather dramatic climax to this amazing memoir.

Luck Was My Companion contains many photographs of the era, including images of vessels Marshall served on and the battle for Omaha Beach.

Marshall, who recently celebrated his 89th birthday, now lives in Sidney, BC, Canada.


Val Pattee to be interviewed on CHQR, Calgary

Feb. 4, 2008 -- Val Pattee will be interviewed on Calgary's CHQR at 7:05 pm (Pacific time) on Tuesday Feb 12th, 2008 - you can listen live on the web at

CBC host enthusiastic about THE ONION FILES

Dec. 18, 2007 -- Val was just interviewed on CBC Radio One. Host Jo-Ann Roberts said, "I was hooked when I started reading it... I found myself comparing it to Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum..." Later she expressed surprise that major publishers and agents hadn't snapped up this book and predicted that producers would soon notice it: "It really sounds like a movie."  

Enthusiastic comments and a Best Seller ranking for Agio author's first novel

Val Pattee's THE ONION FILES is catching on with READERS.

"It kept me up all night" - Al S, retired Col RCAF.

"Didn't know I was having drinks with Jim Buchan all those years ago" - Bruce F.

"Sure made for a short flight across the country" - Don M, retired General.

"The cultural divide in the Covered Bazaar was fascinating" - Rich, 16 years old.

"I enjoyed the book and am impressed ... a compelling and moving story ... a bit of Tom Clancy and a bit of Arthur Hailey. The movie should pack them in! Well done" - Jack M, CEO.

"I rationed myself not to finish the book in one gulp ... scary stuff..." - Ursula H, UK.

SALES of THE ONION FILES are doing well. The paperback is being sold (and has been re-ordered by one store when it sold out) at Munro's and Chapters Downtown in Victoria and at Tanner's Bookstore in Sidney.

Most of the promotional push has been directing potential readers to, and At the Canadian site (, THE ONION FILES was showing in 6th place among bestselling espionage thrillers last week! That was AHEAD of fellows like Follett and Ludlum. Pretty amazing for a first-time author in the first month after his book's launch. Well done, Val!

CFAX rates The Onion Files as "a very good story and a pleasure to read"

The Onion Files is "a very good story and a pleasure to read" says Terry Spence, host of CFAX 1070 Talk Radio with Terry Spence. "It has that feel of truth to it like the guy who wrote it really knows what goes on in that part of our world."

Times-Colonist business section: "Former Trafford boss returns to the fray as a cottage publisher"

A great story in today's Victoria Times-Colonist (Oct. 26/07) by Carla Wilson. Front page of the Business Section, with a colour photo of Agio's publisher, Bruce Batchelor. Carla writes about the opening of Agio, Book Marketing DeMystified and The Onion Files, and our quest to change the long-standing and environmentally harmful practice of publishers (over-)selling books to bookstores on consignment. Thanks, Carla and editor Darron Kloster, for spreading the word.

Upcoming publicity: Bruce will be speaking at SFU's Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing on Oct. 30th; appearances on CFAX-1070 talk radio by Bruce (Oct. 30th) and Val (Oct. 31st); feature on Val in the Victoria News (probably on Oct. 31st); possible feature on The Daily on Shaw TV channel 17.

Book Launch Event for THE ONION FILES to be held at The Union Club in Victoria on November 2; author Val Pattee will be interviewed on C-FAX 1070 Radio by Terry Spence on October 31

The pre-launch excitement is mounting for Major General Val Pattee's The Onion Files! The final PDF files are now at the printers, so we'll have copies of both trade paperback and casebook editions by month's end. The launch party will be held at The Union Club in Victoria on November 2nd at 4 pm. Wine, cheese and cake will be served. Val will entertain us with some "secrets" from his years as Chief of Intelligence for NATO, and field questions from guests. We expect about 200 people to attend.

Terry Spence, whose talk show on C-FAX 1070 is one of Victoria's most listened-to programs, will interview publisher Bruce Batchelor at 11 am on October 30th, then Val will be Terry's guest at 11 am on October 31st. Tune in if you can -- on the 'net go to

This great testimonial just arrived:
"The Onion Files is an extraordinary fictional spy thriller written by a true intelligence professional. In this novel, General Pattee utilizes his vast experience and wide-ranging international intelligence contacts to provide a riveting, imaginative, easy read story line. The novel revolves around a post 9-11 plot by Al-Qaeda terrorists to devastate key nodes of the U.S. electrical power system utilizing cyber warfare as the key instrument of this effort. While The Onion Files is a fictional novel, it provides a very accurate tutorial highlighting the growing challenge for current international intelligence agencies. It dramatically reflects the critical need for close cooperation between worldwide intelligence agencies to maximize appropriate counter efforts as the threat continues to grow. In that regard, I strongly recommend that intelligence and homeland security personnel at all levels read this fascinating novel."
---Lt. General Leonard Perroots (Ret), Former Director, Defense Intelligence Agency

Let's see: if every US Homeland Security staffer buys a copy of this book, as recommended by the former DIA Director, The Onion Files could be a runaway bestseller!

5 Star review for Book Marketing DeMystified

"A resource for authors and independent publishers"

By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA), September 3, 2007

It often comes as a shock when newly published authors discover that they must bear most of the burden of marketing their books to the general reading public -- even if they are fortunate enough to be published by one of the major New York publishing firms like Random House, Simon & Schuster or Penguin-Putnam. For self-published authors that marketing responsibility is completely theirs.

Most authors are aware of the many 'how to' books that are available to them for the purpose of helping them master the craft of writing. There are also instruction books on turning raw manuscripts into finished books. What is not so obvious is that there are a number of excellent instructional guides for authors on how to market their books after they have been published. One of the best of these marketing manuals is "Book Marketing DeMystified" by Bruce Batchelor, the man who founded Trafford (Canadian based and one of the larger POD companies servicing North America) and is widely acknowledged as the creator of the print-on-demand (POD) publishing process that has shattered the book publishing monopoly of the traditional publishing firms by allowing anyone to easily become their own publisher.

This 167-page compendium of practical advice offers an especially 'user friendly' introduction to the art and science of book marketing because of its conversational style, its comprehensive coverage of book marketing issues, and Bruce Batchelor's unique perspective. It should be noted that the Midwest Book Review is positively cited (page 120) as a resource for authors and independent publishers.

"Book Marketing DeMystified" is especially useful in terms of its discussion of where to sell books, price/value setting, personal sales, paid advertising, sales promotions, publicity and public relations. Simply stated, every author and every small press publisher needs to have a competent marketing plan -- and Bruce Batchelor's "Book Marketing DeMystified" specifically and effectively addresses that need.

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