Alberta Book Publishers – Telling Alberta’s Story
With over 30 companies, Alberta has one of the strongest communities of regional publishers in North America. These publishers work with writers, printers, artists and other creative people to produce high quality books by local and international authors that are sold in Alberta and throughout the world. With a uniquely innovative spirit, Alberta’s publishing industry provides significant benefits to this province and plays a vital role in telling Alberta’s Story locally, national, and internationally.
Creating Jobs and Economic Growth
The book publishing industry creates roughly 115 full-time equivalent jobs. Because there are a number of part-time employees and contractors/freelancers, the actual number of people employed is much higher. Through this employment, the industry supports nearly $7.5 million in wages and salaries and contributes approximately $14 million to provincial GDP. Alberta book publishers have created loyal, niche markets that are sustainable but also well placed for growth. With a little investment, so much more could be achieved.
Output from the book publishing has a proportionally larger impact on provincial GDP than output from other industries such as sound recording and motion pictures. For example, for every $1 of output from periodical, book, and directory publishing, the impact is 92 cents, as compared to 74 and 87 cents for sound recording and motion pictures respectively.
Alberta book publishers bring our stories to life and celebrate and amplify Alberta’s culture and our unique contribution to Canada and the world. They are the mechanism by which the freedom to tell our stories is realized by developing ideas, packaging them, and bringing them to readers. They also play a key role in educating our children by providing quality, made in Alberta resources to our teachers and students.
Why Invest Now?
To its detriment in the past, the Government of Alberta has not kept up with governments elsewhere in Canada in valuing its book publishing industry. For example, BC’s book publishers receive almost four times the investment from their provincial government. Nova Scotia and Manitoba industries receive as much total investment as Alberta but have much smaller populations and half as many publishers. In Ontario and Quebec, book publishers receive higher levels of investment per capita. It’s time for Alberta to invest in entrepreneurship and growth, and not risk losing a foundational element of Alberta’s culture.
- Investing in an Alberta Book Publishers Fund of $5 million would be a smart, strategic investment to support Alberta’s economy and culture.
- This investment in the Alberta book publishing industry has the potential to create roughly 35 full-time equivalent jobs, generate roughly $2.3 million in labour income*, and increase Alberta’s GDP by nearly $4.6 million. *It is assumed that an annual government investment of $5 million will be used to support publishers’ operational activities and lead to an equivalent increase in industry output. If the funds were instead used for capital or infrastructure in support of the industry, then additional analysis would be required.
How can you help?
- Lobby your local representatives to support an investment in the book publishers fund.
- Share Your Alberta Story and complete our survey.
- Read local titles published right in your own backyard! Read Alberta has booklists, interviews, and other fun articles to help you discover Alberta books.
- Learn more about the exciting programs and events put on by the BPAA such as the Alberta Book Publishing Awards.
- Follow @WeReadAB and @ABbookpub on social media!