Annual Conference


The next Book Publishers Association of Alberta Annual Conference will take place at the Varscona Hotel in Edmonton, Alberta on September 12, 13, and 14, 2019. Registration for this year’s event has now closed.

2019 BPAA Conference at a Glance

Thursday, September 12


Annual General Meeting


Opening Reception featuring ‘Beer, Books, and Trivia’ with Paul Matwychuk

Friday, September 13




Partnerships for Equitable Access – the Read Alberta eBooks Project with Kim Johnson, Kerry Anderson and Colette Poitras

The Public Library Services Branch (PLSB) of Alberta Municipal Affairs has been proud to partner with the BPAA over the last 3 years to create and maintain the Read Alberta eBooks Collection. In pursuing the goal of equitable access to Alberta content for Albertans, PLSB and BPAA have worked to evolve the collection to meet the needs of our diverse population. In this session, representatives from PLSB and the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) will discuss the project and how it has developed into a leading example for publisher/library partnerships.


The All-New Apple Books with Nic Boshart and Chris Jackson

In 2018, Apple’s digital books storefront underwent a significant redesign and branding change. The all-new Apple Books now showcases book covers more prominently, allows for accompanying editorial context, and elevates audiobooks to put them on par with Apple’s e-book offerings. This session will walk publishers through Apple’s new store, present opportunities for featuring e-books and audiobooks, and give an overview on areas of growth within the digital books market.


Mastering Metadata and Managing Projects using Google Forms with Don Gorman

For smaller book publishers in the 21st century, mastering metadata and managing projects has become a full-time job. With various metadata systems, retailer requirements, sales and marketing information, and administrative necessities being juggled by publishers and staff on a regular basis it has become increasingly difficult to keep all of the seasonal title information cohesive, consistent, and correct when copying and pasting from one spreadsheet or document into another. There are many software options available for those able and willing to pay for systems that can manage such things, but these pay-as-you-go platforms tend to be extremely expensive or simply have too many options for the average book publisher. When costs need to be effectively managed and time is at a premium, a “hack” is sometimes the best way to improve efficiencies. Through years of trial and error, Don Gorman has found a dynamic, innovative, and inexpensive way to create and generate clean, manageable metadata spreadsheets, catalogue documents, marketing briefs, and print quote requests using Google Forms and one Google Chrome plug-in. Best of all? It’s free.


Home Field Advantage: Using Your Website to Build Direct Connections With Readers with Craig Riggs

Being able to quickly and efficiently connect with and engage your audience is a tremendous advantage for any publisher and one that is increasingly affordable and easy to achieve thanks to new systems, approaches, and the redefined role of the publisher’s website.

In the past, publisher websites functioned largely to house catalogues and share information on author submissions. Now, they can be designed to build direct sales, stimulate reader engagement, and encourage fans to spread the word about books, events, and authors. They can meet readers where they’re at – online – and reach them while they’re in the mood for a great new book.

In this session we will explore industry trends, case studies, consumer insights, and best practices for using your website to accomplish key business imperatives such as boosting discoverability, increasing sales, and growing your fan/subscriber base.


The More Canada Report with Philip Cercone

The More Canada report is the work of a volunteer think tank of industry veterans, publishers, booksellers, librarians, former wholesalers, and media executives who investigated the decline in awareness and reading of Canadian-authored books that has occurred in English Canada over the past 10-15 years.

This session, facilitated by one of the report’s co-authors and think tank participants, will be a roundtable discussion about what recommendations Alberta publishers would want to push for to increase their market share, with public libraries, school classrooms, and independent bookstores being possible sectors to address.

Participants are asked to review the report before this presentation. It is available at


Publishing In An Exponential Age with Brian O’Leary

Publishing has become an increasingly complex, global, and interdependent industry. Growth in complexity affects both production (new titles, new formats, growing importance of metadata and rights) and consumption of published content. The key to managing this complexity starts with a commitment to standards and a willingness to adapt workflows to support the creation of multiple products from a common source. This talk will address both how this complexity has grown and what publishers and their supply-chain partners can do to manage it.


Publishers Roundtable

Join us for informal discussions on a variety of topics pertinent to the publishing industry.


Alberta Book Publishing Awards Gala

Saturday, September 14


BPAA Government Relations Update

Brookes Merritt from Global Public Affairs will provide an update on the BPAA’s lobby activities and will discuss how book publishers can effectively lobby governments for changes to policy and funding. He will lead a discussion on priorities for BPAA members given recent changes to the political landscape of Alberta.


eBOUND with Deborah Nelson

What is eBOUND? What do we do? What is New? In this session, Deborah will provide an update on the enhanced keyword research eBOUND has conducted, talk about additional metadata and marketing services and provide an update on the Department of Canadian Heritage (DCH) and their accessibility work.


Feeling the Squeeze: Roundtable on the Editorial Process with Frances Peck

As publishing budgets and workflows grow ever tighter, what’s happening to the editorial process? Is there time (and money) for all books to undergo a thorough edit? How much should today’s manuscripts be edited before they’re acquired? Is pre-acquisition editing a plus because it lightens the publisher’s workload, or a minus because it’s done without the publisher’s input? What trends and challenges do you face when it comes to editing, editorial workflows, and balancing the tasks of in-house staff and freelancers?

Explore these and other questions in a lively roundtable led by veteran editor Frances Peck. Bring your own questions and challenges, share experiences and advice with colleagues, or simply listen and learn as we exchange information and best practices on making the editorial process work for you.

Conference Program (PDF)

Welcome Package (PDF)

Red Arrow has generously agreed to offer a 10% discount for those travelling to Edmonton for the conference. This discount is valid for travel between September 11 and September 15, 2019. Please book online, and enter the code BPAA19 in the coupon area at checkout to redeem.

Google Map of the venue


Winners of the annual Alberta Book Publishing Awards are announced at the Awards Gala that takes place during the conference. This much-anticipated event draws industry, government and media attention to the world-class excellence of Alberta’s publishing industry.

Download the 2019 awards shortlist in PDF format.

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