Books Start Here


Books Start Here events raise awareness about Nova Scotia’s publishing industry

Stakeholders in the Nova Scotia book trade have launched the Books Start Here campaign to grow their industry in the province. The campaign’s two main goals are to communicate the news that there is a vibrant local publishing industry ready to grow and to convince the provincial government to support the industry at levels matching other provinces.

A Books Start Here event will be held on Thursday, March 17 from 7-9pm at the Fountain Commons on the Acadia University Campus in Wolfville, and is hosted by the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association with support from Acadia’s English Department and the Vaughn Memorial Library. This event is free and open to all members of the public who are interested in learning more about our regional book trade.

Attendees will hear from authors, publishers, booksellers, and librarians, including Maggie Neilson (academic librarian/director of One Book Nova Scotia), Andrew Steeves (author/publisher, Gaspereau Press), Ami McKay (author of The Birth House and Jerome: The Historical Spectacle), Errol Sharpe (author/publisher, Fernwood Publishing), Alexander MacLeod (author of Light Lifting), Andy Brown (publisher, Conundrum Press), Hilary Drummond (bookseller, The Box of Delights Bookshop), and many others.

Several regional publishers will also be in attendance with books on hand for viewing and purchase, including Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press, Formac Lorimer Books, Conundrum Press, Gaspereau Press Printers & Publishers, and Fernwood Publishing.

Books Start Here’s organizers hope to encourage the provincial government to include measures in the 2016 budget that implement promises of consultation and support made in the 2015 budget. Publishers are looking to expand production, marketing and sales, generating more local jobs and higher profiles for Nova Scotia authors across Canada and internationally.

The Books Start Here campaign launched at a free public event in February at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, attracting more than 200 people. Canada’s new poet laureate, George Elliott Clarke, lent his support to the event, as well as several other Nova Scotia authors and illustrators. A second successful event was held in Mahone Bay on February 24.

More information can be found at

Panel: “Local Publishing and the Ecology of the Book”. Topics include:

  1. Our personal relationship or experience with books (How did books become a significant part of your life and what role do they play in it now).
  1. The local and the global (How do we interact – creatively, culturally, economically – with the wider world while also engaging in and sustaining the local? How do we foster vital local cultural activity that is ‘the real deal’ and engaged with the wider world and not just premised on protectionism or local boosterism?)
  1. Books and civics (culture and community sustainability; What role does a healthy literary culture and creative economy play in our community’s health and sustainability, and what role does our community, and government, play in supporting and nurturing them?)