Chad Pelley’s Open Letter to CanLit about the Derogatory Term, “Small Press”By the Branta Webcrawler • Jun 17th, 2012 • Category: Branta Recommends, Essays, From the Interweb, Rants, Reading Horror(s)
A classic narrative arc played itself out in Canadian publishing this month: Good triumphed over evil. The Canadian government, suddenly and inexplicably, slashed its funding for the Literary Press Group – an organization that distributes and promotes most Canadian-published books. The funding cut would have crippled not only the LPG, but close to 50 publishers and all of their authors. But people successfully petitioned against it, and the Minister of Canadian Heritage restored funding for the LPG. It was an amazing, uplifting example of the power of the people, and I would hope, restored a sense of pride and value in Canadian publishing companies.
But there’s a lesson to be learned here. We need the government to value Canadian publishing houses, and calling them “small presses” is not helping that cause. Whether you know it or not, what we mean by “A Small Press” is “A Canadian Press publishing Canadian Authors.” The other guys, the “Big Publishers,” like Random House and Penguin and HarperCollins, they’re not Canadian owned, and they’re the publishing equivalent of a Wal-mart set up beside a boutique shop. I have no prejudice against “Big Publishers,” but more often than not, the books I love come from a Canadian “small press” like, most recently, Cormorant Books (via And Also Sharks), Douglas & McIntyre (via Radio Belly), and Biblioasis (via Malarky). This article begs you get your mind out of the gutter: bigger isn’t better.
read the rest of the article at Chad Pelley’s Something Daily