Northern Ontario book publisher moves events online

The head of a Sudbury-based book publishing company says she’s shifting launches online due to COVID-19.

Latitude 46 Publishing has been releasing books by emerging and established authors with a connection to northern Ontario since 2015.

Publisher Heather Campbell says when 2020 started, the company had three spring book launches planned. The first happened before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The second will take place this weekend online. The release of Eleanor Albanese’s new book If Tenderness Be Gold will take place on the company’s Facebook page on Saturday.

“Typically, we like to have a celebration in the community and that wasn’t possible,” she said. “We have been on social media and we’re going to test out a virtual launch.”

Campbell says she’s been encouraging readers to order books online and is especially promoting independent book retailers.

“For northern Ontario, it’s a little bit difficult because we don’t have as many independent book sellers and many people purchase online,”

“We’re all in this together — whether it’s the publisher, the author, the bookseller. We’re all trying to keep things going and support each other.”

Heather Campbell launched a publishing company five years ago. (Markus Schwabe)

Campbell started the publishing company in 2015 and never imagined facing a situation like this five years into her business.

“Thankfully, other publishers who have been through many situations are offering mentorship so we are taking advantage of that,” she said.

“It’s a little bit scary for us. We’re five years in and are doing fairly well. To hit this sort of bump at this time feels like a rocky boat. We want to make sure we are able to continue to support our authors and keep those northern voices going out there.”

The pandemic has changed how just about every industry does business, including publishing. That means delaying book launches, and moving events online. We speak with a northern Ontario publisher about how they’ve had to adapt to COVID-19. 5:44

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