Every year a variety of books flood the shelves of bookstores, libraries, and homes.
Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children's books are just a few of the many possible
genres one might find, all available due in part to the work of publishers. Book
publishers are essentially risk-takers who invest in books they envision will earn a
profit. Selectively, they weed through manuscripts, searching for those that suit an
A publisher must pay those involved in the production of a book, including writers,
editors and printers. Since theirs is such a risky business, publishers are often
unwilling to take a chance on books that they are not sure will turn a profit. As a
result, certain types of books can be neglected. At the same time, numerous publishers
are motivated to take risks simply because they believe in the material they are
publishing. For example, Alberta's George Melnyk felt that Canadian books were not
fairly represented in the literary sector and from the desire to promote and encourage
the development of a distinctive Western Canadian culture, emerged the foundation of
several publishing companies.
The following section will focus on a representative selection of these publishers,
the books published and their histories. The section looks at publishers such as
NeWest Press, founded by George Melnyk, who wished to publish books related to Western
Canadian culture. The Red Deer Press,
University of Alberta Press, and
Calgary Press are also featured as companies dedicated to promoting Canadian culture
through publishing titles focusing on Canadian content. Also included is Mel Hurtig,
another nationalist turned publisher, who has constantly supported and encouraged
Canadian ideas through his political and literary activities.
Other examples of Albertan publishers are
Company's Coming, dedicated to producing
quality cookbooks in the hopes of making cooking an enjoyable everyday experience and
the Books Collective, an Edmonton-based publisher established in 1992.