Via the Writers’ Union of Canada
The Writers’ Union of Canada is extremely concerned for the authors whose work and rights were placed with McArthur & Company. Kim McArthur’s announcement of the closure of her 15 year-old firm leaves many TWUC members wondering what will happen with their books and any unpaid royalties.
McArthur’s closure follows closely on the heels of the splitting up and sale of component parts of D&M Publishers Inc. McArthur & Company was among the larger remaining independent publishers in Canada.
“It’s alarming that yet another independent, Canadian-owned publisher is being shuttered,” said novelist Dorris Heffron, Chair of The Writers’ Union. “The number of options for writers in Canada continues to shrink, especially if one wants to place one’s book on a Canadian list.”
Early reports about the McArthur closure indicate rights to books published by the firm will be placed with other publishers or reverted to the authors. At the time of this release, TWUC has heard nothing about payment of outstanding royalties and no definite word on the timing of such transfers. The Union will continue to monitor the situation on behalf of our members, and will continue to advocate with funders and legislators for better protection for writers’ revenues in the event of publisher insolvency, collapse or closure.
“Writers are the central entrepreneurs and risk-takers in the Canadian publishing industry right now,” said John Degen, TWUC’s executive director and a published author. “We’re expected to take on much more active roles and more risk in the publishing of our books, which many of us happily do, but we need more certainty in an increasingly uncertain sector.”