James Lorimer started publishing books because there were things going unsaid that needed to be discussed in public. Books are a powerful vehicle for putting ideas and information out there, for sparking debate, for ending public silences. James hoped that readers would respond if the books were written and so he began to publish them.
Readers did respond, and still do today.
Our first books in the early 1970s included a groundbreaking report written by journalist Heather Robertson, from First Nations reserves across the country, and several books that challenged the destructive policies of city politicians and city planners, often taking their instructions from land developers, that were destroying downtowns and neighbourhoods.
The public reaction to these books was strong. So to was the reaction of newspaper book reviewers, radio and TV talk shows, and magazines.These books said things that weren’t being said anywhere else. Bookstores ordered the books, and sold them. Canadian non-fiction was finding a prominent place alongside U.S. books in bookstores.
Since then, we have published more than 1000 books, and we continue to publish 10 or 12 adult titles annually. At the core of our publishing today, as in the 1970s, are books which we’re publishing because they say things that need to be said. Take a look at our recent title From Layton to Singh: The 20-year conflict behind the NDP’s deal with the Trudeau Liberals. Matt Fodor presents an incisive analysis of the federal NDP by examining the historical and ongoing tension between the party’s idealistic, grassroots base and the centrist bureaucracy at its core. Or consider Bruce Campbell’s Corporate Rules, which details how corporations and their lobbyists control most Canadian regulatory bodies, as documented by field experts, insiders, academics and whistleblowers.
Not all the books we publish are so earnest! Our adult list also includes nature guides that cover off some of Ontario’s most scenic locations, illustrated histories for our unique historical landmarks and buildings and even a series of short popular books on topics in Canadian history. These books appeal to casual readers who don’t necessarily want to read long and demanding books – but who are interested in Canadian heritage.
One good thing about this website and our publishing house: we have copies of the books we publish, and we can send them anywhere within one business day. Unlike big online bookstores, there’s no waiting for a distributor to ship to a giant warehouse which in turn gets the book to you. If you order from us, we ship the book to you ourselves.
Of course, we want people to read our books – we always have. Lots of our readers do. But we also are always looking for books that fit the publishing mandate we set for ourselves. So if (like many of us) you’re a writer as well as a reader and you have a project in mind, check out our editorial guidelines. If your work fits our interests, get in touch with our editor.
Meanwhile, happy book browsing on our site.