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Focus on Canadian Exports

The international recognition Canadian publishers and their titles enjoy, and the tremendous increase in the industry's export sales are probably Canada's least heralded export success story.

The list of successful Canadian authors and publishers, who have garnered prestigious international awards such as the Booker, Pulitzer, M├ędicis, Goncourt and Orange prizes is getting longer every year. Through international rights sales, Canadian titles are well-known in Germany, Italy, France, the U.K., etc. Distribution sales of fiction and non-fiction titles, whether for children or adults, also contribute to Canada's success on the international stage.

The Canadian book publishing industry's export success story is also illustrated by its statistics showing substantial increases in rights and distribution sales. 

According to the most recent Statistics Canada figures, export sales of Canadian-controlled firms increased by 74% between 1992-93 and 1998-99 (not including rights sales). 

Isolating the group of AECB permanent beneficiaries between 1993 and 2000, the AECB identified even more impressive results. Between 1993 and 2000, total export sales for this group of publishers increased by 231%, with distribution sales growing by 221% and rights sales by 381%!

During the same period, this same group of Canadian publishers' rights sales increased by 767% in Germany, 545% in France, 368% in the US, and 26% in the UK! 

Also between 1993 and 2000, this group of Canadian publishers' distribution sales increased by 331% in the US, 214% in the UK, 73% in Belgium and by 18% in France!

Canadian publishers derive export sales revenues by attending international book fairs and conventions, and by sustaining/financing promotional and R&D activities on foreign markets. While the English and French-language countries (US, Australia, and Europe) remain the main export markets for the industry, for reasons of proximity as well as for linguistic and cultural reasons, other territories are considered emerging markets by Canadian publishers: Latin America, Asia, developing countries, and Eastern Europe.

Turning to export as their key growth area, Canada's emerging and most experienced publishers/exporters continue to build their capacity at home and abroad while contributing to Canadian stories and Canadian content being read and enjoyed around the world.