Canada Book Fund looks to build innovation and common purpose in publishing industry during COVID-19 pandemic

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      The federal government’s Canada Book Fund has announced new financial supports for publishing companies struggling to cope with the shifting pressures of the COVID-19 crisis. And, perhaps by design, they reflect the sense of connection and common purpose that the pandemic has stirred up in society at large.

      The Canada Book Fund’s long-standing mission to boost the diversity and reach of Canadian writing now includes “a special call for collective projects that will support new initiatives to either promote or provide access to Canadian-authored books published by Canadian-owned publishers,” according to a media release issued by the fund.

      This new component focuses on “collective marketing or technology projects that seek to respond to the challenges of COVID-19” by bringing readers in Canada to Canadian books. It comes in addition to the standard annual cycle of support distributed by the fund.

      To qualify, publishers and publishing-related organizations are being asked to pitch ideas that show potential benefits for the wider industry during the pandemic. These may aim, for example, at the development of new online sales channels, or at collaborative campaigns between publishers, book stores, and libraries to promote Canadian titles through social media or more traditional routes in radio, TV, and print.

      “Projects benefiting only one publisher or one book in particular are not eligible for funding,” the media release states bluntly.

      Details and deadlines can be found here.