Explore Acquisitions with Coteau Books

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We probably get three to five
submissions a week. 52 weeks of the year. It’s amazing, actually. It’s very hard to keep up with,
it’s very hard to maintain commitment of when you’re going
to get back to people when they keep tumbling in. Because its alot of reading. My own view is when somebody has
taken the time to sit down and write a book, and then send you
a sample I think that it behooves us to actually spend
a little time looking at the sample and making sure
that we’re being fair in our assesment because it’s pretty
cut and dry. I mean, if we say we’re not
publishing it, that’s kind of catastrophic news to someone who
just spent three years working on something, so we take
the process really seriously. And, we get a ton of manuscripts
so, its a big time
consuming thing. We start with a kind of
nebulous conversation about is this a Coteau book, which
means is it something that is kind of consistent with our
values, both expressed and just the way we feel about what
we do. We’re a regional publisher. We like
to represent regional writers as much as we can. We try to
stick to literary fiction, poetry, and Young Adult. Every now and again, something
comes in that’s really astonishing, but it’s a bit off
what we normally publish and that foments a discussion
because part of the issue is that we have developed
expertise over time in marketing the genres that
we do publish. And, we sometime get a hold
of a book and we think this is going to make a great
book, but I dont know if we’re the group to give it the kind of
marketing it needs. It needs to be in a different
realm then we work. that could be cooking, or
natural science or astronomy or something. We just don’t work
in that realm all the time, so we don’t have the contacts and
things like that. So, that’s part of it. And, then
there is the literary merit of the book. I mean, is it well written? What kind of editing
does it need? Those are all things that go
into it. To license the rights of a book what that means is that when we
sign a contract with an author we sign a contract for the
english language rights So, a book could also be
published in a different language, and in a different
jurisdiction, in a different
country. And, that usually means if a
manuscript is going to travel across borders to be published
over there somebody usually has to buy the rights for it
to do that. And, so we sell those rights
right when the opportunity comes up. And, that’s money we
split with the author. I mean, it’s negotiatied what
the split is, but it’s shared. It gives the right to produce
the book to a printer or publisher in a different
jurisdiction. I think that everything that
comes through the door is a potential astonishing book.
And, every now and again one is, all the way through, an
astonishing book. And, that’s really exciting. That’s really exciting to come
across a manuscript like that. As well, I get excited when we
near the end of production. My career started in
the production end of the printing arts. And, I
still get a big thrill out of being in a printing press. I
mean there is nothing like it. It’s a great cataclysm of noise,
and roaring and screaming and at the end of it there’s a
pile of books on the floor it’s just fantastic.

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