Canadian Publishers

Last weekend, I was crazy busy trying to get this website ready to go live. While I was obsessing over its layout, the designs, and blog post links, I had a “moment” where I thought, Hold on. Are you overlooking something? Is there something else you be doing first? Are you ignoring or forgetting something BIG? Typical anxiety-fueled thinking. To soothe my nerves, I had another look to see if there were agents who previously weren’t accepting queries but are now open. Then I spotted something that had me shrieking, “What the f—!”

An American author had blogged a list of smaller Canadian publishers accepting “unsolicited submissions.” After that, I went down a rabbit hole of looking into those publishers and a whole bunch of others. I can’t believe it, but it’s true. There are dozens and dozens of them. Where have I been this whole time? I wish I had known about this years ago. Clearly, my head’s so far up my ass if I’m only discovering this now. Anyway, there are a bunch of sites listing Canadian publishers, but I found this particular website really useful because of its search feature.

Many of these publishers state their desire to be more “inclusive” in their publications. Good news for me. However, a lot of them are solely interested in serious works of “literature.” Think Giller Prize-type fiction. Not exactly my book, a hot piece of commercial fiction ass.

I still managed to find some publishers interested in humour and commercial fiction. I ended up querying two who not only seemed like a good fit, they also had decent response times of one to two months. The other ones I was interested in stated they could take anywhere from six months or more to respond. I don’t have that kind of time, so I didn’t bother to query. I’m not in a great hurry to publish my book, but I’m eager to get it out there now that it’s practically done and ready for the world.

If a publisher expresses interest in my novel, I’d be interested in going in that direction—if our terms align and it doesn’t mean having to wait up to two years to publish. I know it sounds unrealistic because that’s how long it takes if you’re going with a big publisher, but they offer certain advantages worth waiting for. In the end, it’s a business decision, and I have to do what’s best for my novel—and my future novels. And if I don’t get any offers, then I’ll just continue on with my plan to self-publish.

Author: Donna Fernandez

Author of contemporary fiction.