PUB 371: Structure of the Book Publishing Industry in Canada

This course is about the book publishing industry in Canada, with a focus on how we got here, where we are now, and where we’re going next. 

After a brief history of book publishing in Canada (with a focus on shifting markets, technologies, and policies), we’ll move on to talk about cultural policy and why it matters, shifting ownership patterns in Canadian publishers (from indies to multinationals), bookselling and marketing, book prizes and mass reading events, and of course the contemporary state of the publishing industry. Particular attention will be paid to the relationship between the above practices of the industry and the ongoing struggles for inclusivity.

Coursework will include in-class responses, online mark-up of weekly readings, and blog posts and responses. In lieu of a final exam or essay, 50% of the course grade will be based on a book project to be hosted on SFU’s OJS system.


All course readings will be hosted to a password-protected site and must be used only for study, in accordance with SFU’s Fair Dealing policies.

Grade Distribution

  • One-Minute Essays (due after every class) 10%
  • Use of (cumulative) 10%
  • Blog Posts (one per month) 15% (3 x 5%)
  • Blog Post Responses (one per month) 15% (3 x 5%)
  • Book Project 50%
    • Proposal 5%
    • Drafts Submitted to PKP 5%
    • Peer Review Completed 5%
    • Revised Drafts Submitted 5%
    • Participation in Copy Editing & Layout 10%
    • Book Completed 20%