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Publishing Industry Floundering

Technology, amongst other things, is affecting book sales in Canada.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

The Canadian publishing industry has hit some tough times. In addition to the advent and popularity of e-readers and e-books, other factors are making things difficult on publishers.

According to an article on CBC News, e-books, the U.S. pricing system of books, and a concentration of major retailers in the Canadian market contribute to greater uneasiness today in the publishing world. Electronic books are offering a cheaper alternative to (sometimes costly) paperback and hard cover titles. Discrepancies between U.S. and Canadian pricing of books (and the fact that American books are often cheaper) also hasn't helped the fledging publishing industry.

"It’s the wild west. Nobody knows anything,” said Scott McIntyre, the founding partner and CEO of Douglas and McIntyre, to CBC News. He joined a discussion on the state of the publishing industry along with Margie Wolfe, President of the Association of Canadian Publishers and co-founder of Second Story Press, and Patsy Aldana publisher of Groundwood Books and co-chair of the National Reading Campaign. “The margins on e-books are good, they’re even not bad for writers. But it’s not a business model yet." He later added, "The irony is we’ve always been good creators, and I would argue that the industry is very professional here. But we’re always up against deeper pockets and bigger markets."

Despite the hard times being endured by the Canadian publishing industry, book publishers are trying to remain optimistic. "Instead of staying the sky is falling, we have to remember that Canadian publishers have been remarkable for their resilience,” McIntyre told CBC News.