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.

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