For many years Mansfield Press has relied on the Literary Press Group of Canada to represent our books across the country. Their sales force is second to none and we have always felt grateful for an organization that is committed to literary publishing and enthusiastic about poetry. Now they are in trouble.

On June 4th the LPG learned that the Department of Canadian Heritage would be cutting their funding to the LPG effective April 1, 2012. As a result of this short-sighted decision, the LPG will have to shut down its sales force. This is a serious blow to literary publishing in Canada. The LPG represents 47 literary publishers across the country, and crippling the LPG will endanger all of its member publishers as we scramble to find alternate sales representation on such short notice. It is incredible that the government can provide such generous support to publishers to run our companies and to writers to write their books, yet take away the ability to market our books effectively. We can only hope that this decision can be reversed before it causes irreparable damage to Canadian literature.

We publishers banded together under the LPG umbrella as a way to have a greater impact in the market and ensure that Canadian stories were available to anyone who had an interest in what this country is capable of producing. Do we really want to go back to being a country whose literary culture is determined by the bottom line multinational companies? We certainly don’t here at Mansfield and if you agree, there are a couple of things you can do to help.

First, have a look at the LPG statement on the funding cuts. Here’s a Quill and Quire post on the same subject. Then please help by writing to your local MP to tell them what you think of their decision. You can find a template for this at the LPG site.

And thanks for reading this. The LPG deserves our support. We hope you agree.


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