Random House of Canada
|Parent company||Random House, Inc.|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|Headquarters location||1 Toronto Street, Suite 300
Toronto, ON M5C 2V6
Random House of Canada, established in 1944, is the Canadian distributor of Random House, Inc. It is made up of several imprints, including Anchor Canada, Bond Street, Doubleday Canada, Knopf Canada, Random House Canada, Seal Books, and Vintage Canada. Random House of Canada is also the sole owner of fellow Canadian publishing company McClelland & Stewart, having purchased the remaining 75% from the University of Toronto in 2011.
Random House of Canada publishes both Canadian and international works. In 1986 the company established its own indigenous Canadian publishing program, and the company continues to encourage and support Canadian authors. They have published work by some of the country's most distinguished and notable authors, including Margaret Atwood, Farley Mowat, Yann Martel, Mordecai Richler, Douglas Coupland, and Michael Ondaatje.
Random House of Canada was established in 1944 as the Canadian distributor of Random House Books. In 1986, Random House launched its extremely successful Canadian publishing program. In 1998 Random House (USA) merged with another major publishing company, Bantam Doubleday Dell. Due to this international merger, both companies' Canadian branches merged as well, publishing international titles in this country as well as maintaining their Canadian publishing program.
Anchor Canada, created in 2001, is a publisher of trade paperback books of fiction and non-fiction. It produces paperback editions of many of Doubleday Canada's award-winning hardcover titles, such as Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards and The In-Between World of Vikram Lall by M.G. Vassanji, both of which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize (in 2000 and 2003 respectively).
In 2002, Anchor Canada published its first original trade paperback titled The Notebooks: Interviews and New Fiction from Contemporary Writers. They have continued to publish originals since. Some of these titles include The Fabulous Girls Guide to Decorum by Kim Izzo and Ceri Marsh, and Lost in Mongolia by Colin Angus.
Bond Street was created in 2006 by Brad Martin, President and CEO of Random House of Canada, and Maya Mavjee, then Executive Vice-President of Doubleday Publishing. This imprint publishes international fiction and non-fiction.
Bond Street has published many award-winning international books and brought them to a Canadian audience. Three of Bond Street's international titles have reached #1 on The New York Times bestseller list: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, and Little Bee by Chris Cleave.
Established in the 1960s, Doubleday Canada publishes fiction titles from both new and established writers. It also publishes memoirs, social and political journalism, history, business, and sports books. Some of the imprint's most well-known Canadian authors include Pierre Burton and Nino Ricci. Doubleday Canada also works with new and emerging authors, such as Lynn Coady, Michael Crummey, and Michael Redhill.
In 2010 the American company DB Media Distribution Inc. filed for bankruptcy. There was some confusion surrounding this incident, as DB Media Distribution Inc. owned and operated the similarly named "Doubleday Book Club". When they filed for bankruptcy, some believed that Doubleday Canada (the publisher) was going under; when in fact there was no connection between the two. This was discussed by Brad Martin, who stated, "We are saddened for those who worked there, but it has no direct connection to our business."
Knopf Canada was established in 1991 as an editorially independent Canadian branch of Alfred A. Knopf. The parent company, founded in New York in 1915, teamed up with Louise Dennys in order to launch the Canadian house. Dennys was already the publisher of many major Canadian books, through her work at the Toronto publishing house Lester & Orpen Dennys.
Some of Knopf's award-winning Canadian titles include Barney's Version by Mordecai Richler, the paperback edition of The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje and Life of Pi by Yann Martel. One of the most-awarded books to be published by Knopf Canada is Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald, the Canadian author's first novel which was nominated for the Giller Prize in 1996, and went on to win the 1997 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best first book, the 1997 Canadian Authors Association Literary Award, and the 1998 Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award for best fiction book of the year.
In order to support new Canadian writers, in 1996 Knopf Canada established a program called "The New Face of Fiction". Each year editors choose between 1 and 4 books and promote them through the campaign in order to bring some of Canada's most talented new authors to national and international attention.
Random House Canada
The Random House Canada imprint has been publishing works by Canadian and international authors since 1986. One of their most well-known non-fiction titles is Shake Hands with the Devil by Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire, which won the 2003 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and 2004 Governor General's Literary Award for non-fiction.
In 2009, two Random House Canada publications were nominated for the Giller Prize: The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon, as well as that year's winner, The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre. MacIntyre's win represents the first Giller Prize awarded for a book published by the Random House Canada imprint. In early 2011 Random House Canada announced it will be publishing MacIntyre's new novel, titled Why Men Lie.
Seal Books was founded in 1977, stemming from a partnership between Bantam Books (an American-based company) and McClelland & Stewart. This imprint specializes in reprints of major fiction hardcover titles. However, Seal has always published original books; it is just not the imprint's main endeavor. Many Seal Books were originally published as Doubleday hardcovers. When Seal Books merged with Random House of Canada, they began publishing mass-market titles from Random House of Canada and Knopf Canada as well.
Seal Books publishes work from many world-renowned Canadian authors. All of Margaret Atwood's novels are published in Seal editions. Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of the Anne of Green Gables and Emily novels, continues to be a bestseller for Seal Books.
Vintage Canada was established in 1993. It takes its name from the New York-based publishing house, Vintage Books, which was formed in 1954 by Alfred A. Knopf. Vintage Canada publishes paperback editions, choosing primarily from titles originally published by Knopf Canada and Random House Canada. They also publish new books and modern classics originally published elsewhere, as well as some "Vintage Originals".
Vintage Canada publishes three selections from the Canada Reads contest: 2002 winner In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje, 2006 winner A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews, and 2010 winner Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner.
Speakers House Canada
Speakers House Canada was launched in 2008 as a joint business and marketing venture between Random House of Canada and McClelland & Stewart. It is meant to serve as a vehicle for showcasing authors who are also in-demand speakers. Brad Martin, President and CEO of Random House of Canada, explained in a press release that authors were often asking for help managing a large number of speaking requests, and many did not have booking agents to handle the demand.
Speakers House Canada organizes its many speakers into topics, and acts as a booking agent for them. While both companies have always promoted bookstore tours for publicity during a book launch, the establishment of Speakers House Canada allows authors to book a wider variety of paid speaking events over a longer period of time.
Adaptations to new technology
In October 2010, Random House of Canada introduced the "Conversation Starters" application for Apple's iPhone and iPad. Users can test their knowledge and share "facts and tidbits" about their favourite books with friends via email, Facebook and Twitter. They can also read expanded selections from books. Lisa Charters, Senior Vice President of Digital at Random House of Canada explained that the company recognizes the trend toward Web-enabled smartphones and wanted to get involved by introducing a fun and interactive application.
In February 2011, Random House of Canada announced a partnership with OverDrive, a digital distributor of downloadable e-books. Through this new distribution agreement, Canadian libraries, schools and colleges will have access to thousands of Random House titles through OverDrive's e-book catalog. Lisa Charters has stated that "Random House of Canada is committed to bringing the work of [their] authors to readers in whatever format the readers choose".
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