So, you’re a writer based in Vancouver, British Columbia and you’ve just completed the writing of your manuscript.
The next step is to approach a publisher and see if it will be interested in publishing your book.
Below we’ve featured 6 top book publishers in Vancouver, BC for you to take a look at.
Formerly known as Georgia Straight Writing Series, New Star Books began as a lone literary supplement to the Georgia Straight in 1969 by the team of active writers and editors like Dan MacLeod and Stan Persky. In its infancy, it even featured the works of bill bissett, one of the most famous poets at the end of the Beatnik era. Unlike GSWS however, New Star Books no longer publishes unsolicited poetry manuscripts, although it does publish poetry, and also tends to focus on non-fiction books covering political and social issues, like Anarchy Explained to My Father by Francis Dupuis-Deri, and Two Roads by Jack Scott. They will accept: Social issues and politics, literary prose in fiction and non-fiction, culture and history of British Columbia and the West
If you believe that your writing represents everything New Star is about, you can send them the manuscript by following this link and the instructions on the page. If you are not sure that you are the right fit for this publishing house but believe you might be you can still send them a query letter first and find out before you go through the trouble of submitting a full manuscript. They state that their response time is 6-8 weeks.
Open to Canadian writers only, Talonbooks wants everything with literary merit that ever touched the Canadian soil. Talon began as a poetry publication in 1963, by David Robinson. Today, they have over 500 titles in their literary arsenal, featuring some the best Canadian playwrights, poets and novelists, like David French, Morris Panych, Marie Clements etc.
Talonbooks publishes drama, cultural studies, criticism, history and, of course, fiction with unequivocal literary merit. They don’t accept anyone outside Canada, and they will only consider submissions sent to their P.O. Box, so don’t bother with email. For more information on what they are looking for and how to improve your chances of getting published, follow this link.
Founded by the author of Ice & Fire: Dispatches from the New World, Stephen Osborne, in 1971, Arsenal Pulp Press remains one of the most important cultural ventures in Canada today, publishing some of the most important and diverse set of artists, from Ivan Coyote, Sarah Schulman and Vivek Shraya, to Ashley Little and Amber Dawn. They publish cookbooks (especially vegan ones), graphic novels, cultural studies, craft books, LGBTQ+ fiction, young adult, multicultural fiction, literary fiction and non-fiction – you name it, they publish it. They are also very interested in hearing about diversity, from a diverse group of artists, so people of color, women, and members of LGBTQ+ community are all welcome and encouraged to submit.
Make sure to head to their submission guidelines page and read the instructions carefully, or your submission might not even get to the slush pile. As they are a really small publishing house, Arsenal Pulp Press requires you to have a synopsis and chapter-by-chapter outline for fiction and non-fiction. They only accept submissions sent directly to their editorial board in Canada, so no mail or fax, and the response period lasts for up to 6 months.
Founded in 1988 by Ronald Hatch, a Canadian writer and publisher, its aim was, and still is, to publish the best Canadian fiction, non-fiction, poetry and regional work. Some of the finest works they published include Whiskey Bullets by Garry Gottfriedson and Jeannie & the Gentle Giants by Luanne Armstrong. Ronsdale believes in diversity, and welcomes multicultural writers to submit. For this reason, they became very interested in another form of manuscript which is rarely accepted elsewhere, called ‘parallel text’ – a book written in two languages. If this is what you managed to pen down then this is a publication just for you. They don’t, however, accept submissions from anywhere outside of Canada. If you believe that your writing is the right fit for Ronsdale Press, feel free to read more about their guidelines, their do’s, don’ts and other requirements to better your chance of acceptance. The editorial tries to read all the manuscripts within two months, although it might sometimes take three, but the overall response time is respectable.
UBC Press is fundamentally different from all the previously mentioned publishers, seeing that it only deals with social sciences. It was established in 1971 and its aim was, and still is, to bring forth some of the brightest Canadian scholars into the limelight. If you happen to belong to this category, then UBC Press might just be the home your manuscript needs. They are very interested in numerous subjects to do with social sciences and humanities, like Canadian history, transnationalism, health policy, food studies, race and gender issues, legal trends, environment, indigenous culture and history etc. They have published over 900 titles in print, and continue to contribute to the collective Canadian pool of knowledge by putting out around 70 new titles per year. Titles they released include, but are not limited to: Unbuilt Environments by Jonathan Peyton, Accusation Edited by George Pavlich and Matthew P. Unger, Trudeaumania by Paul Litt, Everyday Exposure by Sarah Marie Wiebe and more, all of which won prestigious awards and academic praise.
In order to be accepted for publication, however, your manuscript has to go through many able hands, and they even have a list of different editors to pitch different book ideas to, seeing that each has a different area of expertise and interest. Another important step which this publishing house takes is pulling your manuscript through a body of scholars to review before it is even considered. When sending your pitch, make sure to follow their guidelines very closely. Begin with a title and an academic summary, proceed with a rationale, explain what your target audience is and how you will approach it, mention similar volumes or volumes that you might be contradicting, and always end with a table of contents. This, of course, is a very brief summary of a very serious and prolific publication, so feel free to visit their website to get more details. Their editorial claims to read manuscripts and respond to submissions within 6 weeks’ time.
A specialist publisher of high quality and visually attractive books about food, wine, regional history, health and wellbeing, and regional books, Whitecap Books was started by Michael Burch in 1977, and the current publisher of this organization is Nick Rundall. At present, this publisher has a particular focus on increasing its list of books on food and wine, and works published by Whitecap Books on these topics include family cookbooks, historical cookbooks, books about barbequing, books that are illustrated to help those new to cooking and for those who are more experienced in the kitchen, and guides about wines, makers of wine, recipes for beers, books of interest to people on special diets, among other topics. Do note that this award-winning publisher is currently closed to accepting unsolicited manuscripts.
Are you a book publisher in Vancouver, BC? Please tell us about your publishing activities in the comments box below!
Sara is a freelance writer with an aspiring author with years of experience under her belt and two or three words of wisdom to share. She blogs at https://sistermantis.wordpress.com/