Saskatchewan

Loss of publisher worries Sask. author

A Prince Albert, Sask., author who recently inked a distribution deal with a troubled publishing company is wondering what will now happen with her book — and to the future endeavours of other upcoming Canadian writers.

A Prince Albert, Sask., author who recently inked a distribution deal with a troubled publishing company is wondering what will now happen with her book — and to the future endeavours of other upcoming Canadian writers.

Mary-Ann Kirkby said she signed a distribution agreement last year with Ontario-based Key Porter Books for her memoir I am Hutterite.

But the future of that deal is up in the air as Key Porter announced Friday it is suspending publishing operations as it considers restructuring its business.

The publishing company, which turns out about 100 Canadian non-fiction titles annually, has shown signs of difficulty for the past eight months, including laying off 11 employees and shutting its Toronto office last September.

Kirkby said the loss of Key Porter will take a toll on writers across Canada who can ill-afford to lose a publishing house.

"I get so many requests by people who have been rejected by publishers because they know they have a good stories, and they want to be published, but we don't have enough publishers in Canada," Kirkby said.

But Guy Vanderhaeghe, the Saskatchewan author of the acclaimed novel The Englishman's Boy, said he thinks provincial writers will fare better than others.

"Saskatchewan has always had a very strong history of publishers operating inside the province, so that makes a big difference," he said.

Vanderhaeghe said he suspects writers will self-publish their books more often. Kirkby told CBC News she's been teaching classes to fellow writers on that subject.

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