The Black-Sheep of the Canadian Book Trade: An Exploration of the Current State of Self-Publishing in Canada
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The following thesis explores the exclusion of the self-publisher from the publishing sector in Canada. Even though the self-publisher has been a part of the Canadian publishing sector since the 1960s, this type of business model is not acknowledged as a legitimate form of book production. The thesis utilizes mixed methods to create a metanarrative of how the self-publisher is viewed in the publishing industry. The quantitative portion of the thesis employs descriptive statistics in order to summarise the data of how the Canada Book Fund was distributed over a three-year period from 2016-2018. The qualitative portion utilizes a narrative policy analysis of various government documents including the Canada Book Fund guidelines, Creative Canada policy framework, and the guidelines of the different provincial art councils. Through this analysis the study highlights the discourse around self-publishing and how the self-publisher is excluded from the funding models. Furthermore, the reports of the key players of the industry similarly do not acknowledge the self-publisher as a legitimate member of the book trade. The last section investigates what concepts/themes/ideas self-publishers emphasise about the self-publishing industry themselves, which are agency and legitimacy. Through recognizing the discourse linked to the self-publishing infrastructure, the thesis concludes with some suggestion on how to alter this infrastructure in order for the self-publisher to become a legitimate member of the Canadian publishing industry.