2017 Schedule

8:15–8:45 a.m.: Welcoming Coffee and Registration
Fleck Dance Theatre Lobby
(3rd Floor, 207 Queens Quay W, Harbourfront, Toronto)

9:00–9:15 a.m.: Welcoming Remarks
Cynthia Good (Professor Emeritus, Humber College)
Anne McClelland (Book and Periodical Council)

9:15–10:30 a.m.: Keynote – Publishing: Between Public Service and Private Good
Joseph Heath (University of Toronto)

Sponsored by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Joseph Heath, a business ethicist, philosopher and author of Enlightenment 2.0 and Filthy Lucre, will begin the day by reflecting upon the special position that the publishing industry occupies in a market economy. Book publishing provides an important public good — indeed, books are among the most important and enduring achievements of any civilization. At the same time, publishing is undertaken primarily by profit-oriented, privately owned firms. Managing the tensions that result has always been central to the art of publishing. The balance that must be struck requires constant adjustment, particularly as the technology of publishing is continually changing. We are living in a time of extraordinary change, which has put enormous stress on the traditional business model. Understanding the fundamental tensions of the enterprise of publishing can help us see where these changes are likely to lead.

10:30–11:00 a.m.: Morning Break

11:00–11:45 a.m.: The Melville Model
Valerie Merians (Melville House)

Melville House was founded in 2001 by sculptor Valerie Merians and fiction writer/journalist Dennis Johnson, in order to publish Poetry After 9/11. Since then, they have published politically astute non-fiction and award-winning fiction, curating a list of timely, compelling books. Melville House also includes Melville House Bookstore and the widely read blog, Moby Lives, making it a fascinating model. Valerie will follow Joseph Heath’s philosophical framework by discussing how Melville House runs its successful business and incorporates social responsibility into its decision making.

12:00–1:00 p.m.: Breakout Session One
Sponsored by Penguin Random House Canada

It Starts with the Kids: Children’s Publishing and Social Responsibility
Shelley Tanaka (Groundwood Books)
Itah Sadu (A Different Booklist)
Moderated by Ken Setterington (Author and former librarian)

What children read shapes how they see and interact with the world. There have been many conversations about the need for children to have access to a wide range of books that reflect the diversity of their environment. Shelley Tanaka, author and editor at Groundwood Books, and Itah Sadu, an author and bookseller, join Ken Setterington, a writer and former librarian, in a discussion about the importance of publishing diverse books for a diverse culture and getting them into the hands of all children. They will also explore the controversial issues that children’s writers grapple with today and how publishers deal with them.

Chris Jackson: Acquisitions and Innovation
Chris Jackson (One World)
In conversation with Martha Kanya-Forstner (Penguin Random House Canada)

This fall Chris Jackson will relaunch the Random House imprint, One World. Known for its focus on works by and about African-Americans, the pioneering imprint has been quiet for a few years. Chris, recently appointed vice president and editor-in-chief of the One World imprint, will change that. As former vice president at Spiegel & Grau, he is no stranger to bold and innovative publishing, having published Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, the winner of the 2015 National Book Award, and many other bestselling authors. Chris will talk about his approach to publishing and the importance of publishing groundbreaking books.

Ethics and Social Media
Rachel Giese (Chatelaine)
Manisha Krishnan (VICE)
Moderated by Shireen Ahmed (Writer)

The public nature of social media inherently presents ethical challenges. Privacy issues, accuracy, transparency and truth are a few of the potential casualties in the online 24/7 world. Chatelaine’s Rachel Giese and VICE’s Manisha Krishnan will explore some of the possible land mines and delve into the ethics of social media. No doubt they will discuss when to tweet … and when not to tweet.

The Mobile Revolution: Audiobooks, Podcasts and Mobile
Seung Yoon Lee (Radish)
Chris Lynch (Simon & Schuster Audio)
Arif Noorani (CBC)
Moderated by Deborah Dundas (Toronto Star)

Sue Carter, the editor-in-chief of Quill & Quire, recently commented in the magazine that audiobooks are “the fastest-growing book format, often outselling both print and digital editions.” As our smartphones become more nimble and incorporate better sound and navigation, podcasts, audiobooks and story platforms are rising in popularity. What does this mean for publishers and writers? Are there profits to be found in publishing books via mobile and as audiobooks? Three experts share their experiences and answer your questions.

1:00–2:15 p.m.: Lunch
Brigantine Room
(Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto)

2:30–3:30 p.m.: Breakout Session Two
Sponsored by Simon & Schuster Canada

Tough Publishing Decisions

Chris Jackson (One World)
Meg Masters (Freelance editor)
Susan Safyan (Arsenal Pulp Press)
Moderated by Mark Medley (The Globe and Mail)

All editors face moments when their own beliefs conflict with the needs of the author or publishing house. How do we handle that? In acquisitions, working with manuscripts, facing the media, being the writer’s champion, negotiating deals and all the minutiae of the publishing cycle, editors, publishers and others at the publishing house face tough decisions that this panel will explore.

Digital Age Marketing: A Practical Workshop
Nathan Maharaj (Rakuten Kobo Inc.)
Shilpa Raikar (Blink Advertising)

Are you looking for new ideas to spice up your marketing activities? Shilpa Raikar, a creative writer, blogger and advertising pro, shares her tips for success in planning and executing innovative social media campaigns. And Nathan Maharaj from Kobo, a lifelong bookseller, will talk about all things bookselling, specifically the all-important goal – closing the sale.

Indigenous Writers and Publishing Post TRC
Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm (Kegedonce Press)
Louise Bernice Halfe
Paul Seesequasis
Moderated by Cherie Dimaline (Author)

The report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) made all Canadians aware of the importance of listening to Indigenous peoples and respecting their stories. As publishers and editors add more Indigenous writers to their lists, they must grapple with issues that have sadly been ignored or not respected in the past: community copyright, appropriation of voice, authenticity, preserving Indigenous languages, acknowledging trauma and more. This panel introduces these issues and welcomes all the hard questions from the floor for a collaborative discussion.

People, Planet, Profits and Publishing
Steve Bellamy (Humber College)
Laura Repas (Canopy)
Moderated by Diane Davy (Castledale Inc.)

Can we publish books and be aware of our responsibility to our planet? Can we find a way to reflect the full range of publishing assets on our balance sheets? In this most practical approach to social and economic responsibility, Laura Repas, communications director of Canopy, grapples with books and the environment, and Steve Bellamy, dean of the Humber School for Creative & Performing Arts, talks about the importance of expressing and measuring non-monetary value through triple-bottom-line accounting methods.

3:30–4:00 p.m.: Afternoon Refreshment Break
Fleck Dance Theatre Lobby
(3rd Floor, 207 Queens Quay W, Harbourfront, Toronto)

4:00–5:00 p.m.: A Little Sweet Talk with Candy Palmater
Candy Palmater (Comedian and broadcaster)

She has been a lawyer, a civil servant, a stand up comedian, a TV/radio host, a motivational speaker, a newspaper columnist, an activist, and now Candy Palmater is adding author to her resume. Find out what the experience of writing a book is like from this queer, Indigenous, feminist woman about town. Through sharing her personal story she will provide perspective on diversity in publishing and leadership in a world that is in need of a little sweet talk.

5:00–5:15 p.m.: Closing Remarks
Cynthia Good (Professor Emeritus, Humber College)
Anne McClelland (Book and Periodical Council)