New Comox Valley publishing house produces first book

Delores Broten, editor of the Watershed Sentinel, is trying her hand at publishing, with Watershed Sentinel Books.  - PHOTO SUBMITTED
Delores Broten, editor of the Watershed Sentinel, is trying her hand at publishing, with Watershed Sentinel Books.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

Comox-based Watershed Sentinel Books has just released its inaugural book, Beyond Banksters: Resisting the New Feudalism by Toronto author Joyce Nelson.

WS Books is the fledgling book-publishing arm of the non-profit Watershed Sentinel Education Society, which has been publishing the award-winning environmental news magazine the Watershed Sentinel for the past two and a half decades - first on Cortes Island, and for the past 10 years in Comox.

Editor Delores Broten says the society had been thinking for years of starting a book publishing arm, and the timing was right.

“The author wanted a fast turnaround and we’re a really small operation so we can do things much faster than a larger company could.”

Author Joyce Nelson has been writing investigative articles for the Watershed Sentinel since 2009 and writes regularly for Counterpunch, Economic Reform, and other publications. Beyond Banksters is her sixth book. Two of the book’s chapters appeared first as articles in the magazine; and one, “Bank of Canada Lawsuit,” has been viewed at least 143,000 times online.

Broten explains Nelson wanted a quick turnaround on this particular book “because it’s about very timely topics like the trade deal with the European Union - CETA - and about the Canada Infrastructure Bank that Justin Trudeau’s starting up, which is going to lead to large investment companies and banks owning public assets … she wanted to get that information out there - how the trade deals, the banking institutions and the big financial investment companies all interact to remove the public interest from what government is doing with our property.”

The book has earned positive advance reviews, and there is an in-depth review in the latest CCPA Monitor (policyalternatives.ca/monitor). About 150 advance copies were sold; unfortunately, there was a bit of a wait because of a hold-up with the printer in Vancouver. Broten says she learned to “never try to get a book printed in October … we ran into the Christmas printing rush.” As soon as the books were printed and delivered, Delores and staff spent a full day packing and shipping the backlog of pre-orders.

Though the book was published here, the release was in Toronto – but, Broten says, Watershed Sentinel Books hopes to fund Nelson to come out west on a speaking tour sometime in 2017. There is an advantage to living close to the publishing house though – buyers can save the $6 shipping fee and pick up their $20 copy from the office (just make sure and call first – 250-339-6117). The Watershed Sentinel’s table at the World Community Film Fest (Feb. 3-4) will also be stocked with copies, and it can also be ordered online (watershedsentinel.ca/beyond-banksters).

Asked about Watershed Sentinel Books’ future plans, Broten said they’re keeping an eye on incoming (nonfiction only) manuscripts and hoping to get into a new project by next summer, “but we want to have this one properly off the ground – and break even – first.”


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