Challenging times for Canadian Publishers
My book Olive Odyssey is slated to come out this spring but earlier today my publisher, Douglas and McIntyre, announced they’re filling for bankruptcy protection. I was in the middle of making dinner when I found out. I peeked at my email after checking an online recipe and before I could get back to the kitchen, my publisher called and delivered the news again. My shock morphed into nausea. How could this be happening? Online I read the proliferating news stories and the reality of the situation started to sink in, consuming me until a burning smell reminded me that I had forgotten about dinner.
Douglas and McIntyre, or D&M as they’re called, has been around for forty years. They’re Canada’s biggest independent publisher. They’ve been amazing to work with; everyone’s talented, from their editors to their designers and publicists. It’s thanks to them that my first book, Rowboat in a Hurricane, became a national bestseller. I had hoped the same would happen with Olive Odyssey.
I’ve been working on this book for nearly three years. I travelled throughout the Middle East and Europe to research the olive tree and was awarded a grant from National Geographic for the project. And finally, finally the book is done, well almost. It’s been written and edited, and with just a little more tweaking it’ll be ready to go. Until today, I thought I was on the home stretch. Now I’m not so sure.
I feel sick at the thought of another Canadian publisher facing bankruptcy and I’m shocked that’s it’s my publisher. I’m hoping for the best, but there’s a chance that this unwritten ending may not be a happy one.