From Random House's Hazlitt Magazine and by Ben McNally, a pretty interesting piece on Canada Reads but the trouble that is spells and has spelled for Douglas and McIntrye.
One of the more appalling aspects of publisher Douglas and McIntyre's filing for bankruptcy protection in October was that author Carmen Aguirre is on the declared list of creditors of the firm. The author of Something Fierce, winner of the 2012 Canada Reads, Aguirre is owed in the neighborhood of $60,000 by the company (such is the potential impact of winning Canada Reads) and her prospects for seeing any of that money are extremely dim.
Sixty-thousand is a lot of money. It might seem like peanuts compared to what’s owed the bankers and the printers, but you can bet that kissing it off will cause the author a lot of grief—and out here where we toil, few sins compare with not paying your authors.
Among the titles chosen for the 2013 Canada Reads is Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese. Indian Horse is an impressive novel, one that our store has been supporting since shortly after it was published. We were surprised by its exclusion from the short lists of the three big fiction prizes; we're pleased to see it finally recognized by Canada Reads.
It is published, however, by Douglas and McIntyre. And it's hard not to conclude that no matter how many copies it sells as a result of being on the list, or how successfully it is defended on the air, that Richard Wagamese may not benefit financially as a result.