This will be a short entry, but a potentially important one.

While authors in the US have to buy ISBN numbers to publish books (or get one via a company they publish through, like Amazon, etc.) in Canada, Canadian authors get ISBNs distributed to them for free through an agency called Collections Canada.

What’s interesting here is that not only can you get an ISBN (or many) for free from the government, enabling you to publish books & other media “officially” (whatever that means now, I’m not sure), but that you can do so without even having your mailing address verified.

Yes, you have to enter an address and presumably it has to be located within Canada (I didn’t test if you can enter ones from outside), but at no point are you sent a piece of mail at the address to prove you live/work there. So, in practice, the system is wide open to abuse. Perhaps the risk is deemed relatively low in relation to the cost of having to send out mailers with verification codes, but it’s there nonetheless.

So basically, once you have your book published with you free ISBN and your unverified and potentially false & untraceable address, you can then also pretty much publish whatever you want on self-publishing sites, and then sell them “officially” through global distribution. Provided nobody reports the content to the printer, and that it doesn’t obviously break whatever their content guidelines are, we live in an age where ANYONE CAN SAY ANYTHING IN A BOOK.

Perhaps we already lived in that age, but at one time the barriers to entry were much higher, even for self-publishing or “vanity” presses as they were once more commonly called. There were much higher costs involved ( for example lets you get set-up for free, and only takes a cut on sales), and for conventional publishing, there were editors, proof-readers, and people who would at least to some degree vet or approve content so that it at least fit within their brand or business.

Now it is just a hyperreal free-for-all.

So once you’ve published your book that can literally say anything, including counter-factual or hyperreal assertions, you can then use that as a reference during your more mutable online campaigns. People can even go and check the reference, and get a copy for themselves to examine.

Of course, the shorter path through the woods in all of this is just to invent arcane or difficult to find alleged “sources” and scatter references to them throughout your hyperrealist campaign. Most people won’t check your sources anyway and will just take it on faith that they exist, or it won’t matter to them in a hyperrealist sense whether they exist or not.