The 2012 demise of D&M Publishing, one of Canada’s most respected independent publishers, was mourned throughout the industry, but pieces of the business and the people who ran it seem to have scattered like seeds that are now sprouting in all kinds of new growth on Canada’s West Coast. The newest green shoot comes from former D&M publisher Trena White and chief operating officer Jesse Finkelstein, who are now launching Page Two Strategies Inc., a full-service publishing agency.
“We’re focusing on nonfiction authors … and helping them to navigate all of their options for publishing, including traditional publishing, self-publishing, hybrid publishing, so really acting as a full service shop to help them find the best possible opportunities for publication,” White told PW.
Page Two has formed an alliance with Toronto’s Transatlantic Agency. White and Finkelstein will work as associate agents for authors who they determine are best served by a traditional publisher. For others, such as authors interested in self-publishing, they intend to offer consulting services under the auspices of Page Two.
“Trena and I feel passionately that this is not an either or scenario for anybody anymore,” said Finkelstein. “In fact, the publishing world is so multifaceted that there’s almost a false dichotomy between traditional and self-publishing.” They envision consulting on manuscript development with some authors who would ultimately publish with a traditional publisher, with others in the later stages of a self-publishing process on marketing, sales and distribution options. “It’s a model that is designed to be flexible enough to provide a completely customized strategy depending on what the clients' needs are,” she added.
The other side of their plan is to provide consulting services to businesses. “We feel very excited about the idea of helping businesses with their publishing strategy, whether it is transferring their print content to digital, whether it is finding new distribution methods for them to reach some of the people they are marketing to,” said Finkelstein. Some of their first clients are e-book companies seeking help refining their marketing materials and reaching out to publishers, she added.
Page Two’s inaugural blog post said that family and friends concerned about White and Finkelstein’s re-entry into the tough publishing world accused them of being “danger junkies. Gluttons for punishment. Moths to a flame.” But their post concludes “Can you blame us? Ask anyone who’s ever published a book: the experience is intoxicating and addictive.”
Other former D&M executives and staff share their addiction. Rob Sanders is back at the helm of Greystone Books, which he now owns in partnership with Roger Touchie of Heritage House Publishing. And D&M co-founder Scott McIntyre recently began working as a strategic advisor with Figure 1 Publishing, a custom publishing business launched by three former employees—Chris Labonte, Richard Nideau, and Peter Cocking.