Saturday, November 13, 2010

Literary Success and the Small Press / Publisher

Recently, Joanna Skibsrud's book, The Sentimentalists, was awarded the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize. That's a big literary deal here in Canada. Winning 'the Giller' pretty much guarantees that sales will go skyward. As a result, the small press/publisher, Gaspereau Press which is based in Nova Scotia cannot meet the demand for the novel. Gaspereau Press is committed to "reinstating the importance of the book as a physical object" and print and bind their own books.

I understand that arrangements are being made to print the book elsewhere in order to fulfill the demand. Gaspereau Press has been criticized for not responding quickly. Here's my question and I think it's very relevant. Would a larger publisher have accepted the book in the first place? I do wonder about that.

2 comments:

Susan said...

Not yet having read the book (I'm on the waiting list at my local library), I can't answer your question, but it's a good one! How exciting for the author to win the Giller!

Pat Hollett said...

I watched the awards as well Diane, and I tend to wonder the same thing. I don't know that a larger more prestigious publisher would have picked it up. It's lucky for any writer to have their manuscript picked up. It reminds me so much of J.K.Rowlings first book. It was thought so little of in the beginning...now look...hmm!