Q&A: Emerging trends in publishing with Simon & Schuster Canada’s president and publisher

February 22, 2017

By Allen Tung

Globalization is one of the biggest challenges facing the publishing industry today, according to Kevin Hanson, the president and publisher of Simon and Schuster Canada, and adjunct professor in SFU’s publishing program

Hanson is one of Canada’s publishing leaders  who will be speaking at The Emerging Leaders in Publishing Summit at SFU’s Vancouver campus, Feb. 6–10.

In advance of the summit, Hanson sat down with SFU News to share some insights into what the emerging trends in publishing are.

Kevin Hanson, president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Canada

Why hold an Emerging Leaders in Publishing Summit?

We want to make sure students are aware of the current issues and challenges in the Canadian publishing industry today.  It’s also a very good way to bring together faculty, industry professionals and students to address these challenges. 

What is the biggest challenge facing the Canadian publishing industry?

Globalization. We need to shift from thinking locally to globally which means thinking about publishing global authors in Canada and Canadian authors in the global environment.

Where are the future opportunities in publishing?

The job of a publisher is always to connect the reader to the writer, and the writer to the reader. As the world gets smaller, it’s easier for publishers to access a global market.  How do we find space for Canadian writers on the bookshelf in this increasingly cosmopolitan space? We’re looking to the next generation of publishing graduates to solve this riddle.

What’s Simon & Schuster Canada doing in the face of these challenges?

When you think of publishers in Britain or the United States, they’re publishing for an export marketplace. In Canada, we tend to publish for the domestic marketplace.  We need to invert that equation.  We are actively curating an editorial program to build a core readership for a global audience. 

How can I learn more? 

I’ll be one of the speakers at The Emerging Leaders in Publishing Summit next week. The five-day summit will delve into the main areas of transformative change in publishing. I look forward to interacting with the audience and hearing new ideas and answering questions.