Canadian Publisher Promotes Independent Authors At U.S. Book Fairs


As a self-published Canadian author, you may think that you will sell enough books by marketing them by yourself online. And while this may certainly be the case, it might not necessarily work out for you in the long run. This is because although you can certainly sell a certain amount of books online, only selling less than twenty books doesn’t make for a good living. You may even sell a greater amount of copies by attending a book fair in Canada, but there is one aspect of selling books that you will miss out on if you go it alone: major institutional book buyers in the United States. Institutions in the U.S. have a large book-buying capacity, but they have many restrictions that a self-published author simply cannot meet, even if they go to book fairs there.

What Are Major Institutional Book Buyers?

Major institutional book buyers are retailers which include Barnes and Noble with over 1000 “bricks-and-mortar” bookstores across the U.S. as well as the public and private libraries, colleges, high schools, and organizations that will buy your books in bulk. They will then distribute and recommend your books to a wider range of the reading public than you cannot possibly reach with your own means. And here’s the most important aspect of institutional book buyers: if just one of these organizations starts recommending you as a Canadian author, you will have the credibility as an international writer who is guaranteed to sell even more books.

There’s just one catch though. None of these institutions will talk to self-published Canadian author without representation. It’s not a bias against Canadian writers. It’s just that administrators from academic institutions in the U.S. who purchase books have a process they are required to go through before they approve any books for acquisition. For example, most libraries in the United States can’t purchase a book until it has an ISBN number, is approved by the Library of Congress, or comes from a reputable publisher. Even though there are many improvements in the U.S. book-buying system to give self-published Canadian authors a chance here, most ordering of new books for libraries and schools is accomplished by a computerized system which haspreset criteria.

So, as a self-published Canadian author with no professional publishing representation, it doesn’t make sense to go to a U.S. book fair and think that a public library or educational institution will pick up your book. You need a publisher to represent you and go on your behalf. Because a publisher is the only one that educational and institutional book buyers will talk to when they go to spend their allotted budget for the year. can help. This is a publishing company that represents authors, not only by attending U.S. book fairs to sell copies of their books but also by talking to major institutional buyers who purchase the books that are read in public libraries (like novels), or nonfiction books that will be used by universities. As a Canadian author, talking to a professional publisher is the best way to make sure your book can be represented to major institutional book buyers in the U.S.