Book Publishing Support: Block Grants
The Canada Council for the Arts is committed to equity and inclusion, and welcomes applications from diverse Aboriginal, cultural and regional communities, including people with disabilities.
If this date falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the deadline moves to the next business day.
Your completed application and all required support material must be postmarked on or before the deadline date.
The Canada Council will not accept applications postmarked after the deadline date, incomplete applications or those submitted by fax or email.
Please refer to the Program Guidelines for detailed information.
As part of fulfilling its mandate to foster the production and enjoyment of the arts in Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts provides financial assistance to Canadian publishers to offset the costs of publishing Canadian trade books that make a significant contribution to the development of Canadian literature. This assistance is made available through Emerging Publisher Grants (for emerging publishers) and Block Grants (for established publishers).
Book publishers receiving Block Grants are also eligible to apply for Translation Grants, Author Promotion Tour assistance, grants for the publication of art books and for the Flying Squad grants. Information on these program components is available on the Canada Council’s website or from the Writing and Publishing Section.
Eligibility of Publishers
Please note that meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee that you will receive a grant.
Block Grants provide funding to established professional book publishers with an ongoing publishing program that includes at least 16 eligible titles.
To be eligible for Block Grant support, a publishing company must:
- have its head office in Canada, maintain editorial control in Canada and be at least 75 percent Canadian-owned
- maintain full control over editorial processes, have editorial independence from any other company receiving Book Publishing Support from the Canada Council for the Arts, and produce separate financial statements
- have book publishing as its primary, rather than a peripheral or occasional, activity
- have at least 16 eligible titles in print and be committed to a sustained trade book publishing program, consisting of titles by a variety of authors
- have published at least four eligible titles between 1 December 2011 and 30 November 2012. Of these four titles, three must be first editions and one can be a new format reprint.
- use appropriate and effective means to market, distribute and create public awareness of its publications
- issue clear royalty statements on a regular basis and have fulfilled all contractual obligations to writers, illustrators, translators and other copyright licensors; no grants will be issued to publishers that owe payments to writers, illustrators, translators and/or other copyright licensors as of the application deadline.
To apply to this component, publishers must have been successful in their last application for an Emerging Publisher Grant.
All applications for this deadline will be for annual funding. There will not be any multi-year grants issued in 2013.
Eligibility of Titles
You must submit only eligible titles with your application for funding. To be eligible, a title must:
- contain at least 50 percent Canadian-authored creative content - text or graphic
- have at least 48 printed pages between the covers (with the exception of children’s books, which must contain at least 24 printed pages)
- have a print run of at least 350 copies
- be published principally in English, French or one of Canada’s Aboriginal languages
- acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, if produced by a publisher receiving Book Publishing Support.
Because the Canada Council’s mandate includes supporting production in the literary arts, and the study of literature and the arts, only titles in the following categories are eligible:
- graphic novels (minimum 48 pages)
- publications for children and young adults, except those in ineligible categories (see below)
- literary non-fiction.
The Canada Council defines literary non-fiction as narrative text about real events, people or ideas, where the writer’s voice and opinion are evident and the narrative is set within a context and a critical framework. The work should be accessible to a general reading audience and cannot be intended for a specialized or academic readership. Eligible literary non-fiction titles make a significant contribution to literature, or to information about the arts or to the enjoyment of writing by Canadians. Titles within the following subjects are eligible, if they meet all other eligibility criteria: art, architecture, biography, history, literary criticism, nature, philosophy, politics, reference, social sciences, sports and travel.
Titles that are not eligible for support by the Canada Council include:
- those with a print run of more than 25,000 copies
- straight reprints
- titles not printed in Canada, with the following two exceptions:
(1) International co-editions. To be eligible, the Canadian publisher must be the lead publisher and must undertake substantive editing of the manuscript of the title in question. The co-publishers’ names must appear on the title page and/or copyright page of the book. The Council reserves the right to request a copy of the contract between the co-publishers.
(2) Eligible titles for which the publisher can demonstrate that printing at a competitive price is not available in Canada. Please submit a written justification or printers’ quotations for one title only per year, regardless of the number of titles printed overseas.
- saddle-stitched books, except illustrated books for children or books of poetry (but no more than 50 percent of the poetry titles produced by your publishing house per year may be saddle-stitched)
- spiral bound books
- academic, scholarly or educational publications destined primarily for an educational or scholarly market
- catalogues of visual art exhibitions (in other words, a publication of one or more visual artists’ work related to a specific exhibition, which includes one or more of the following elements: detailed information regarding the exhibition, a list of works exhibited, an artist’s statement and provenance of the works)
- reference books, unless they are about the arts
- books with text that is a compilation of short captions, quotations, jokes or sayings
- calendars, agendas, almanacs and cookbooks
- guidebooks, including travel, nature and gastronomy guides
- publications that describe how-to techniques, skills or games
- books that include instructions for activities, including colouring books
- trivia and quiz books
- autobiographies that emphasize personal growth (in other words, those that focus on self-actualization, self-improvement, or devotional or spiritual practice)
- psychology and self-help books
- professional manuals and reference books intended for a specialized audience
- illustrated non-fiction publications that do not include a narrative text with a minimum length of 10,000 words, unless they make a significant contribution to visual arts or literature
- publications commissioned or paid for by an individual, group, political party or company where the applicant publisher does not have complete and independent editorial control
- co-publications with governments, government departments or agencies, except titles that are co-published with museums or art galleries
- publications for which the author receives no royalties (royalties must be paid on each copy of a book sold)
- books to which the author has contributed financially toward the publication costs (this includes an author’s obligation to purchase a given number of copies of his or her book as a condition of publication)
- booksfor which 50 percent or more of the print run is pre-sold outside normal trade bookselling channels and book clubs
- publications written by owners or employees of your publishing house, unless these titles represent less than 25 percent of the house’s program each year
- collections of previously published articles, of letters, journal or diary entries, transcripts of broadcasts and conference papers, unless they make a significant literary contribution
- transcriptions of interviews, unless they make a significant contribution to literature and the arts
- books containing prominently displayed advertising, promotional material and/or corporate logos.
If you wish to obtain a preliminary assessment of a title’s eligibility, send a written request to the Program Officer. You must request assessments of title eligibility on or before 15 October.
Grant Period and Amount
The annual grants are for 12 months, beginning on 1 December of the year that you apply and ending on 30 November of the following year.
Grant amounts are based upon the production in previous years, and are awarded to offset future expenses for the publication of eligible titles.
Bonus points are awarded by the peer assessment committee, based on a comparative evaluation of each applicant’s publishing program according to the Block Grant program criteria.
Writing and Publishing Section
Canada Council for the Arts
350 Albert Street, P.O. Box 1047
Ottawa ON K1P 5V8
1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 5576