December 8th, 2007

Can-Lit Tip

It’s going to be a Can-Lit Christmas here at Rose-coloured, and while not exclusively, I have mainly been accumulating books for the holidays, which in addition to being entertaining and edifying, are also easy to wrap rectangles! Hurrah!

I’m also attempting a semi-non-corporate holiday here, not because I am completely convinced of the evils of big companies (I do enjoy shiny, as we all know) but because when possible, I’d rather my cash go somewhere that I think will do something awesome with it, and most likely needs it. I won’t be naming names but the companies that I’m ambivalent about are not really feeling the bite of my semi-boycott–if I don’t shop there, other people will. On the other hand, when I buy a book at Book City or This Ain’t the Rosedale Library I feel like it might actually matter. Which is a good feeling.

Much as I love the look and feel, breadth and range, and care that I see in small bookstores, they can’t stock everything. In our want-what-I-want-when-I-want-it lifestyle (ok, in mine) it can start to seem quixotic to stomp to 4 bookstores in the cold when you actually know what you want is at the mall. And while shopping online is the answer to many lifestyle issues, as far as I know the online bookstores are all big corporate. (if there’s a little indie site somewhere in Canada, please tell me!)

You’ve probably understood the point of this post from paragraph one, or some years before, but to me it was a revelation that came last month: you can order books directly from the publisher!! If the book’s print, it’ll be in stock, and the publisher actually makes more money on that particular sale because they don’t have to give a cut to the store/site/distributer/whatever.

Ok, yes, I’ve been working in publishing for more than five years, but let’s emphasize that it wasn’t marketing/sales, ok? Thanks!

I can see not wanting to do this if you only want a single book from each publishing house, but multiple books in total, and want the economies of scale that come from the online superstores (ie. free shipping). But some houses have pretty good deals about this stuff, too, especially around the holidays, and many (I’m sure not all) are as quick and easy as an online superstore.

So here’s what you do–find out what publishing house puts out your book, or distributes it in Canada (most, though not all, imported books will come into the country through some sort of a arrangement with a Canadian house–no need to order books from abroad unless a) they haven’t been picked up here for whatever reason, b) they’re cheaper elsewhere, c) you particularly like a cover from another country. If you don’t know, Google your book (or, sigh, search it on one of the Canadian bookstore sites) and it’ll tell you.

Then google the house or find it on The Association of Canadian Publishers website, and follow their ordering system. It’s a couple extra steps, but it might be worthwile, if you feel so inclined.

Happy reading and, oh, happy Hannukkah (everyone spells this holiday differently! How do you spell it?)


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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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