Last year, a conversation with an author got me thinking about the publishing industry in general and the Canadian industry specifically. Why are so many Canadian authors stuck in the small-fish pond — is it just the general difficulty of getting your name out there, or is the Canadian industry a particularly tough nut to crack? Has the shift to self-publishing and electronic media helped authors or hurt them?
All of my experience in the industry has been gained since the turn of the twenty-first century, so my days in publishing have been entirely immersed in a world where digital communications are the norm. In fact, my first editing gig was for a website. And now people are finding editors and publishers online, many are self-publishing, and e-books are flourishing. I couldn’t help but wonder just how we got here and where we’re going next.
I decided to take a look at the publishing world from the ground-level and hear from the people who are most directly affected by these changes, so I reached out to a few authors, editors, and others in the business, particularly those in Canada, to see what they had to say. I asked each of them the following five questions:
- What changes have you seen in the publishing industry and how have they affected you?
- Have you tried to work outside of the Canadian market? If so, what was your experience?
- What do you think are the greatest challenges that Canadian authors face in the publishing industry today? How can authors overcome these barriers?
- What are the greatest opportunities presented to Canadian authors and publishers by the current state of the publishing industry?
- Do you have any predictions about what may happen in publishing in the next 10 or 20 years?
In my upcoming series, I will discuss what I have learned from my contributors, starting with the massive shifts in the nature and goals of the publishing industry as a whole. But before we begin, I would like to thank them for taking the time to share their knowledge and experiences with me. They are, in no particular order:
Beverly Bambury (publicist)
Brendan O’Brien (editor)
Claude Lalumière (author, anthology editor)
Hayden Trenholm (author, editor, publisher)
Jen Frankel (author)
Laura Edlund (editor)
Nicole Chardenet (author)
Nina Munteanu (author, writing coach)
Stephen B. Pearl (author)
Vanessa Ricci-Thode (author, freelance editor)
The Brave New Publishing World Series:
Where Have All the Authors Gone?
Whither Shalt Thou Publish? Part I
Whither Shalt Thou Publish? Part II