Diving into the International Marketplace: Assessing the Possibilities for Canadian Small Presses

Luisa Canuto
Communication, Simon Fraser University
August, 2000
 

Abstract


In the last few years, Canadian publishers have been creative in finding ways of establishing a local presence in international markets. Whether through locally retained distributors or agents, their own foreign offices or in co-operation with others, Canadian publishers have secured steadily increasing revenues from international sales of their titles.


The export of finished products and sales of foreign rights, while a labour intensive and intimidating business, perhaps better suited to large Canadian companies with considerable resources, is not off-limits for smaller publishers. The international success of Canadian companies of various sizes in the international scene is testimony to the fact that preparation and a long term strategy is integral to success. Succeeding in foreign markets entails: understanding international copyright laws; taking advantage of eligibility for financial programs available through the government bodies; assessing the exporting company’s resources and potential products; researching international markets and competition; and evaluating the most appropriate entry marketing strategy.


This report is a guide to the way Canadian presses may enter the international marketplace. It is also a case study of my internship at a literary house, Beach Holme Publishing Limited, which hired me to build a database of foreign publishers who might be interested in its list. The exercise evolved into an evaluation of the methods of entry into the international publishing marketplace. Trade magazines and books on selling foreign rights, as well as interviews with publishers were sources for information used in this report in the attempt to capture the current state of the export potential of Canadian publishing industry and its international demand.
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