1. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    Sources to locate lists of Publishers for Canadian authors

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by KevinMcCormack, Jan 30, 2020.

    Hi:

    I'm at the stage now where I want to learn more about the publishing options for a Canadian author.

    My plan is to review the publishers to identify some good fits, with the intention of fine tuning my ABI and eventually either pitching directly to them (if they accept it) or identifying associated agents and querying them instead.

    Here's the problem I've encountered so far... I have only tripped over publishers by chance (eg: when they do a talk or sponsor a conference) and the few I've been exposed to just aren't interested in my chosen genre and subject matter. Nothing wrong with them, just not a good fit.

    And I'm out of ideas, and no longer want to rely on random chance. I am willing to invest time doing research, but no idea how to be comprehensive.
     
  2. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    Just following up on this, here's what I've come across so far, but it's clear none have a 'complete' list:


    Unfortunately, they seem to only contain a fraction of actual Canadian Publishers - if anybody can recommend further resources, I'd be much obliged.
     
  3. grecong

    grecong New Member

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    Hi Kevin, any luck?
    I have noticed the same with my searches of Canadian publishers. Seems very Canadian, doesn't it.
     
  4. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin I've got no use for kale... Contributor

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    You looking for Canadian publishing companies or publishing companies that accept Canadians? Can't imagine the latter would be an issue...
     
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  5. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    Hi:

    For now, just concentrating on publishers in Canada.

    But you have a good point about expanding to include non-Canadian publishers who accept Canadian submissions... my impression is that list is 90% just "US publishers."

    I'm still feeling this out, so if I'm off base, please let me know.

    Where I'm coming from is that I will be pitching in a few years, and Pitching 101 usually starts with step 1: "Sort through the big list of publishers to find the ones that are appropriate for your manuscript."

    Me: "How do I get that starting list of publishers that I narrow down later?"
     
  6. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin I've got no use for kale... Contributor

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    I wouldn't sweat it then. Publishers come and go constantly during normal times, of which, these are anything but.
     
  7. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    It's more that I want to go through the exercise. I can always update and maintain a database once created.

    What I want to do is hit the ground running after I take a retirement package with my day job. I'll be able to free up my calendar and participate in conferences and pitching sessions. I can't do that now, as my schedule is too unpredictable with work.

    I have respect for the fact that this takes a long time to learn, and don't want to start years of learning from scratch the day I retire - I want to be ready to start working as soon as possible.

    There's also the marketing aspect - writing with an audience in mind, writing with a publisher in mind, helps me shape the manuscript's polished drafts. I want to practice applying this.
     
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  8. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    OK, some progress.

    The reference book Writers Market does have a lot of Canadian publishers and literary agents listed in it. Scanning through it, so far, it looks more comprehensive than the online resources I listed in my OP.

    -----
    Edited to add links: (links are not affiliated with me in any way)
    * Writers Market 2020 at Chapters
    * Writers Market 2020 at Amazon.ca

    Worth mentioning, there are companion titles for specialized markets:
    * Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market 2020
    * Novel & Short Story Writer's Market 2020
    * Guide to Literary Agents 2020

    I haven't read the Children's Writer's one, but the rest did have Canadian agents and publishers in their lists.

    At least it's a start.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
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  9. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    And further adding some online databases that don't explicitly filter for Canadian, but do contain Canadian Agents/Publishers:

    * Publisher's Marketplace: https://www.publishersmarketplace.com
    * AgentQuery: https://www.agentquery.com/default.aspx
    * QueryTracker: https://querytracker.net

    Which brings me to my next question:

    How are authors not overwhelmed by the colossal task of creating a shortlist of good fit agents/publishers to query? There must be ten thousand out there. Based on the progress I made today, it'll take me 3 years to sift through them just to *start* my query submissions.
     
  10. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin I've got no use for kale... Contributor

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    Who says they ain't?
     
  11. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I subscribe to the online edition of the Canadian literary magazine Geist. They might be able to help, if you contact them.
     
  12. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    Oh, for sure, but I'm hoping I'm just doing it wrong.

    There's got to be a middle ground between "read all their websites to evaulate whether there's a good fit," and "pick a few, based on chance."
     
  13. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    I'll have a look at their site, thanks for the suggestion.
     
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  14. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There might not be a lot on their site (I believe they publish out of Vancouver) but their editors seem very friendly, and they might be able to direct you to exactly what you're looking for. (And you might get interested in getting some of your work published there as well.) I quite rate the magazine, actually.
     
  15. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    Ah, right. These guys. I'm remembering them now, I've attended some lectures where they gave talks to groups I attend. I'm in Vancouver as well. IIRC they're more literary. My manuscripts are very genre (a 6 book SF novel series)

    I think they came up blank for suggestions because long form genre like this was outside their scope, but I'll reach out again. They may have been on the spot when confronted with what's in retrospect a pretty involved and IIRC off topic question like this, while it's just a post-talk Q&A in a live venue. And there's a nonzero chance they'll offer talks later this year when BC gets to that stage.


    I'm optimistic that I'm just doing it wrong. Good thing about it is that this is why I gave myself 5 years of runway to undertake this learning process, joining as many local writing groups as possible, plus some online ones.

    So far, the advice for getting an agent/publisher has developed a pattern:

    #1 answer: trad is for suckers, don't do it
    #2 answer: good question, i'm still querying, it's been 10 years, what do you suggest?
    #3 answer: i'd recommend my agent, but she passed away in the 80s.
    #4 answer: my agent is my mom's friend, i didn't really query. i'll put in a good word for you. she only does cookbooks, though - what's yours about?

    I know it's not a trade secret or anything, it's just going to take time. All suggestions are appreciated.
     
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  16. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    Hmrg. They did get back to me, recommending the Writers' Union resources. Which is fine, it was already on my list (see previous post), but they charge for it. I think I'll take a chance, it's only $20ish. Will report back.

    ETA: orrrrr..... $85 for the entire booklet series. Hmm...

    Also ETA: Only 30 literary agents in Canada, according to their resources. That's a lot fewer than I expected. Really narrows it down.

    ETA again: moof. And some of their suggested links are kinda dated. They sent me here to sort through a list of Canadian literary/genre magazines to review and shortlist: http://canadasmagazinestore.ca - ouch. So, in my defense, I still think this is going to be a project that I should calendar out as probably taking up the rest of 2020.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  17. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    OK, new but related question.

    One of the suggestions I've been given is to filter Agent/Publisher lists by their preferred subjectmatter using BISAC coding. I've identified my series' appropriate code (FIC028140 - FICTION / Science Fiction / Crime & Mystery) but not sure how to apply it to an actual search activity. Does anybody have insight on this?
     
  18. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    Another good resource that was sent my way:

    * Manuscript Wish List: https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com <- not a complete roster of literary agents/publishers, but nicely searchable and appears quite current. I could not see any Canadian literary agents or publishers when I searched for the ones I knew already, though.
     
  19. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    Reporting back. Writers' Union of Canada's $10/year subscription for their Canadian Publishers Database access is worth it IMO. At least for somebody at my stage.

    They have about 250 entries, which is probably comprehensive, or close to.

    What I like about it is that the descriptions of publisher subject preference is much clearer than poking around on their websites. Publishers submit their interests succinctly by checking off categories, which the author can search. So, in my case, Science Fiction, and all the ones that say they publish SF come up in the search results. Some of them didn't say so on their websites, or not that I could tell.
     

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