Publicity Tip #18
In a recent conversation with Literary Agent Sam Hiyate of The Rights Factory, I learned a lot about the Canadian Book market.
The DL – if you’re a genre writer you will be hard-pressed to find traditional publication options in Canada. If you’re an un-agented author, you won’t even crack the Big 3: Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster.
If you can’t break into one of the major publishing houses in Canada, you will find it difficult to entice a local or small press into publishing your work. More often than not, these smaller houses are grant-based. What that means is the Canadian Government gives them money to publish Canadian Writers — “Namely,” Sam says, “people who are Canadian, writing about Canadian things.” More often than not this is a literary fiction market.
Did you know that Canadians hold the stigma of not being interested in money?
I know, I was just as surprised to hear that. Apparently, the majority of writing produced by Canadians is poetry and short story related – where strong characters have difficulty manifesting… “it’s just an art thing,” says Sam.
For a Canadian writer to pick up representation with an agent, and to stand a chance at sneaking in the back door of the big publishing houses, our stories need to focus on more than just ‘the language.’ For an agent, it’s about “falling in love with the character,” and “great writing coupled with great storytelling.”
If you can do that, you might just stand a chance at landing a Canadian agent and a local book deal.
The Big Three:
Imprints of Random House of Canada Limited include Anchor Canada, Bond Street Books, Doubleday Canada, Knopf Canada, Random House Canada, Seal Books and Vintage Canada. Recently: Penguin & Penguin Random House of Canada.
HarperCollins imprints in Canada include HarperCollins, HarperPerennial, HarperTrophyCanada, Collins, HarperWeekend, and Patrick Crean Editions.
Simon & Schuster’s Canadian imprints include Simon & Schuster, Scribner, The Free Press, Touchstone Fireside, Atria, Pocket Books, Simon Spotlight Entertainment, Howard Books and Simon & Schuster Audio. Our children’s imprints include Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Margaret K. McElderry, Atheneum, Aladdin, Beach Lane Books, Simon Pulse and Simon Spotlight.