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US marketing and distribution of regional independent Canadian publisher Harbour Publishing

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This report describes the relationship between a well-established independent Canadian publisher, Harbour Publishing, with the greater North American publishing industry, through an exploration of the processes of distributing regional books to a broader audience. This report begins with an introduction to Harbour Publishing and a brief summary of its foundation and expansion, with a focus on the acquisition of Douglas & McIntyre in 2013, and an examination of the regional demographics of the audience of both publishers. This is followed by a discussion of current marketing practices and the unique considerations and challenges of marketing regional titles to a US audience. The second section of this report describes the specific challenges brought about by the sudden change in the US distributor for Harbour Publishing, from Partners Publishing Group to Midpoint Trade Books, in 2016, and explores opportunities for stronger and more successful expansion of Harbour’s titles into the US.
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