A “catastrophe for Canadian publishing”: Douglas & MacIntyre goes bust
As has been widely reported, Canadian indie publisher Douglas & MacIntyreÂ filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this week. According to a company statement, the firm will remain open, with the “intention to carry on its operations during … restructuring.â€ť
The 42-year old company has already “laid off an unspecified number of employees in Vancouver and Toronto,” and, while it says it is exploring raising additional capital or finding a buyer, few commentators seem optimistic about the firm’s survival.
Its closure, as a passionate report in The Globe and Mail (“Say goodbye to Douglas & MacIntyre and a 40-year publishing dream”)Â puts it:
…marks the end of a 40-year dream to create an independent industry to publish and promote Canadian authors. With the largest Canadian-owned publisher now gone, what remains is a cottage industry with little ability to generate bestsellers or sign notable Canadian authors, virtually all of whom now publish with multinational companies.
Douglas & MacIntyre’s bankruptcy follows the closure of number important Canadian indies.Â McClelland & StewartÂ became a fully-owned imprint of Random HouseÂ earlier this year. Two years ago indieÂ Key Porter BooksÂ also went bankrupt.
The former owner of Key Porter tells the Globe and Mail that the closure ofÂ Douglas & MacIntyre is â€śa major catastrophe for Canadian publishing … What it demonstrates is that all the measures governments have come up with over the years to help the industry survive havenâ€™t been successful … Nothing has worked.â€ť
Kelly Burdick is the executive editor of Melville House.