According to The Globe and Mail, things are getting worse, not better.
It may be a golden age for Canadian literature, with Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro and Michael Ondaatje garnering world renown, but data suggest book exports to our country's main trading partner are dwindling....
Industry challenges are myriad, ranging from a weak U.S. dollar in relation to the Canadian currency, which is cutting into the value of book sales, to changes in the U.S. booksellers' market, leaving Canadian publishers scrambling to keep up.
Together, these factors amount to a slow but steady drop in exports over the past five years and may help explain the growth in Canada's "cultural goods deficit." Book exports to the United States slid 23.6 per cent between 2002 and 2006, Statistics Canada said yesterday, as the greenback tumbled 26 per cent against the loonie.
Publishers are "finding new markets, trying to plug away at the U.S. and tightening their belts, but the deterioration of the exchange rates has happened so quickly -- to the point where it's almost impossible to keep changing the pricing on the books."I found another surprise in looking at the statistics at the end of the newspaper article: the U.K. imports a very small amount of books from Canada despite the historical relationship between the two countries. So I'm asking for some help from my Canadian friends. Which authors should I be looking for, and can you recommend any websites that specialize in Canadian books, especially those sites with relatively low postage charges? Let's get the word out.
Publishers are trying to cut costs and diversify into new markets in Australia and - once books are translated - Europe and Asia. The United States, however, still accounts for about 90 per cent of Canadian book exports, according to Export Development Canada.