This afternoon I attended a Round Table Discussion jointly org-ed by The Writers’ Union of Canada and The Association of Canadian Publishers. The two local publishers participating were Jack David of ECW Press and Alana Wilcox of Coach House Books. Both these publishers are writers’ friends and deeply on-side. The panel was moderated by TWUC writer Genni Gunn and TWUC chair Wayne Grady.
Perhaps 50 or so writers attended. We watched on the blackboard how the publisher’s revenue of a hypothetical book selling for $10, displayed at Chapters, is dropped into the Big Box woodchipper. First the Chapters/Indigo discount of 45% is applied. Then a further charge of $1 per book is levied for strategic in-store placement, reducing the revenue to $4.50. The publisher must now grind off his/her costs. Brinnggg. The book is half the size it was.