Best-selling books. International distribution deals. Acclaim for design excellence. These are a few of the hallmarks of success for any publisher, and all of them can be listed among this year’s accomplishments of University of Regina Press.
From a quest to define Canadian cuisine in Speaking in Cod Tounges, to the efforts of a veteran Rwandan peacekeeper to confront and change Canada’s military mental health system in After the War, U of R Press titles appeared on best-seller lists throughout the past year. The publisher recently sold UK rights to Zed Books in London for the soon-to-be-released Psychedelic Revolutionaries, recounting the history of hallucinogenic drug research in Saskatchewan. And, Memoirs of a Muhindi, a first-person account of what happens when nations turn against entire religious and ethnic groups, was named one the Alcuin Society of Canada’s top three best designed Canadian books of 2017, and was chosen as a winning design by the U.S. based Association of University Presses.
“Commercial success in publishing requires excellence in many areas,” said Morgan Tunzelmann, sales and marketing manager for the U of R Press. “Creative Saskatchewan’s investments allow us to focus on three essential pieces of that puzzle including: semi-annual travel to major media markets like New York and Toronto, more prominent advertising across Canada and around the world, and extraordinary cover and jacket design that captures book buyers’ interest.”
In coming months, the U of R Press intends to explore digital collaborations to expand the reach and impact of its publications. “We’re working on a virtual reality project based on The Education of Augie Merasty, and the production of a documentary and original song recording based on Firewater, two of our best-selling books that reveal essential perspectives of the damage inflicted on Indigenous peoples by colonization,” said U of R Press director and publisher, Bruce Walsh. “Innovative digital storytelling gives us the opportunity to share stories with wider audiences which, in the end, is the most important goal of any publisher.”