Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Simon and Schuster gets green light to publish Canadian books domestically

As one major Canadian publisher disappears with the global merger of Penguin and Random House, the federal government has lowered protectionist barriers to welcome an eager replacement.

Long restricted to distributing foreign titles, the Canadian branch of New York based Simon and Schuster will now be permitted to publish books in Canada by Canadian authors, according to a statement released by Heritage Canada.

"Simon and Schuster Canada has met its obligations under the Investment Canada Act and may now launch a book publishing business in Canada," Heritage Canada spokesman Pierre Manoni said in an e-mail.

Story continues below advertisement

"Canada has a vibrant book industry," he added. "This shows that companies want to invest and publish in Canada's publishing industry."

The announcement comes a month after the ministry approved the Random Penguin merger, which will see the country's two most prominent trade book publishers combine into a single company and is widely expected to reduce opportunities for Canadian writers to find a market for their work.

Simon and Schuster Canada has been lobbying for the right to publish in Canada since the company's inception more than a decade ago and has managed to act in that capacity by persuading its corporate parent to publish Canadian-themed books in New York that it can legally import for sale in Canada. In its most prominent deal, the company contracted with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to publish a book about the early history of hockey, set to be published this fall.

Simon and Schuster Canada president Kevin Hanson did not respond to requests for an interview. But other observers were quick to applaud the move.

"We have to have more options in this country, especially with Penguin and Random House merging," Toronto literary agent Denise Bukowski said in an interview, noting that the market for new manuscripts has steadily tightened following previous mergers that have seen the disappearance of several formerly independent publishers in Canada, including McClelland & Stewart, Doubleday and Little, Brown.

Report an error Licensing Options
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.