The Book Overlords of Canada – Part 2

Posted October 1, 2020 by Bluestocking Bookworm in General / 0 Comments

Hi, awesome nerds!

I have been thinking a lot about my post from earlier this week and the pricing of physical books in Canada.

And then I realized that there was a crucial flaw in my findings. I had only looked at one sample. One book, from one publisher. So today, I tried to remedy that.

Here are the books I decided to compare across my four readily available bookstores.

  • The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Penguin Random House)
  • The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue (HarperCollins)
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (Hachette Book Group)
  • Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow & Ann Friedman (Simon & Schuster)
  • Radicalized by Cory Doctorow (Macmillan)

This is still going to be an imperfect comparison, because of different imprints and different genres, etc. But, I think this is going to give me a better idea of the whole picture. I made sure I was comparing the same version of the book.

Prairie Sky BooksMcNally RobinsonChapters/IndigoAmazon Canada
The Water Dancer$37.00$37.00$25.55$24.00
The Pull of the Stars$33.99$33.99$25.00$36.07
Parable of the Sower$22.99$22.99$22.99$22.99
Big Friendship$35.00$35.00$33.87$33.38

You can see that the difference in price is generally not as shocking as with Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad – and there are some publishers where the difference is within $2, or there’s no difference at all.

(A note: I really wish I had the spoons to do more of a deep dive into this. I’m sure there are even tools for exactly this type of thing (checking the price of a title across multiple vendors) that I am unaware of.)

So, is the root cause of the difference because of the publisher and/or the imprint? Is there another factor at play that I still haven’t thought of?

Are you a Canadian bookworm who has noticed this difference, as well? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with the price difference of physical books in Canada!

Stay bookish, lovelies! ♥

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