Friday, March 23, 2012

health of Canadian publishing

Canadian publishing has struggled during the many years I've worked in the
industry. In all those years we've been constantly told, one way or another,
that it's dying. But it never dies and I don't believe it will. It just
changes, and those who can adapt to change often find ways to survive, maybe
even thrive.

One way the Canadian publishing industry might become healthier is by more
freely sharing info about itself. I subscribe to several free US-based
services/organizations that deliver free e-info about the publishing
industry to my inbox daily or every few days. So it's easy for me to
maintain a general impression of what's happening in American publishing.
Maybe there are similar Canadian services/organizations, but I'm not aware
of them. I do receive the free [Canadian] 49th Shelf e-mailings but they
come infrequently. I also receive free e-mailings from Random House Canada,
but that's about it. Quill & Quire would be a prime candidate for
disseminating Canadian e-info. But I either have to pay for a subscription
or go to their site and look at the [limited] info they provide free. Sorry,
I'm too cheap and lazy.

Another example: The Canadian Children's Book Centre, which I understand is
nonprofit, exists partly to share info about Canadian children's publishing.
Yet when I visit their site, looking for a simple e-list of publishers that
do Canadian children's material, I have to pay for it. Sorry, I don't want
to. By contrast, I can find many free lists of American publishers that do
kids' material.

Maybe the Canadian publishing industry is too self-protective? And maybe a
tad spoiled, with the government assistance it receives. I'm not knocking
that assistance. I'm glad we have it. I understand American publishing
doesn't receive nearly as much government help. But we Canadians shouldn't
lose sight of the fact that we still need to work hard ourselves. That
should include seeking innovative ways of handling change.

Elma Schemenauer, author of 75 books published in Canada and the USA, editor
of many others. Blog Website

No comments:

Post a Comment