A follow-up to our recent post about a Gaspereau Press title taking Canada’s most prestigious literary award:

I was wondering when I’d be able to lay my hands on a copy of  Johanna Skribsbud’s debut novel — and Giller Prize winner – The Sentimentalists: the answer is sooner rather than later. The Sentimentalists is published by trade/fine press hybrid Gaspeareau Press, whose commitment to high standards of book production mean they can produce only 1000 copies per week; and at this rate, I expected I’d have to wait weeks (months?) for my order to be filled.  The demand for Skribsruds’ novel spiked sharply after winning the Giller Prize last Monday, and 30,000 are needed to meet the immediate demand. Trade rights are now in the hands of Canadian publisher Douglas & McIntyre who will bring the novel out in a trade format that is different than the Gaspereau edition (no letterpress covers, for one) but “while still honouring Gaspereau’s craft.”

Gaspereau will continue to produce it’s own edition of the novel (letterpress jackets, guts printed on their ‘house’ paper (Rolland’s Zephyr Antique Laid), sewn bindings) alongside the trade edition.

The question is, which edition will you buy?

Read the Gaspereau press release:


Responding to the high demand of Johanna Skibsrud’s The Sentimentalists, Gaspereau Press licenses Canadian trade paperback rights to Douglas & McIntyre, an imprint of D&M Publishers, who plan to ship stock by November 19

November 14, 2010 – VANCOUVER, CANADA —  Before Scott McIntyre’s head hit the pillow Tuesday night following the Giller gala, he sent a long email to his friend and colleague Andrew Steeves, co-publisher of Gaspereau Press, reporting on the extraordinary evening.  McIntyre and Steeves immediately hatched a plan to make Johanna Skibsrud’s debut novel widely available to the Canadian book trade, while still honouring Gaspereau’s craft.

Andrew Steeves commented:

“It was important to us that no copy of the book would say ‘Gaspereau Press’ on the spine unless it came directly from our own hands; that’s simply the way we work.  But when Johanna won the prize it was clear that our method of printing and publishing books wouldn’t meet the demand.  It was critical to find a partner who shared our values. Douglas & McIntyre was the obvious choice.

“We’re delighted to be working with Douglas & McIntyre and Friesens to produce a new edition of The Sentimentalists for the wider marketplace. This alliance will ensure that our author’s accomplishment will be honoured, and that readers across the country will have ready access to well-made copies of the book.”

The first 30,000 copies of the Douglas & McIntyre edition of The Sentimentalists (ISBN 978-1-55365-895-5, $19.95, paperback),  printed on high quality FSC eco-paper,  will be shipped from the bindery on November 19, less than 10 days after the Giller was awarded.  Paper is on hand for an immediate reprint of 20,000 copies. The e-book is already a bestseller on Kobo and Douglas & McIntyre will make it available through other e-book retailers, including the Apple iBookstore, Amazon Kindle, Sony eBook store, eBooks.com and Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Store. Gaspereau Press will continue to issue copies of its original edition ($27.95, 978-1-55447-078-5, sewn paperback with letterpress-printed jacket), giving readers a choice of two quality editions of the book.

McIntyre added:

“I have huge respect for Andrew and Gary’s dedication to their craft.  This includes putting their author first.   With our sales, marketing and distribution system onside, an exceptional novel will quickly reach the wide audience it deserves.

“Three proudly independent Canadian entities – Gaspereau Press in Nova Scotia; Douglas & McIntyre in Vancouver and Toronto; and Friesens in Manitoba – have combined forces to celebrate a remarkable writer, a wise and beautiful novel, and the gift Jack Rabinovich gave Canada when he launched the Giller Prize and dared us all to elevate our game.”


— Paul Razzell