SaskBooks actively markets books published in Saskatchewan by its member publishers. Saskatchewan Books Go Public is a marketing and promotional campaign designed to raise awareness for the vibrant book industry in our province. It includes a book review service, as well as co-operative advertising, paid advertorials, publicity, and Saskatchewan Book Week. We began submitting reviews of members’ books to weekly newspapers in April 2001, and produced highway billboard signs in November of the same year. SaskBooks hosted a weekly book show on the newly-born CJTR 91.3 Community Radio in Regina for several years and added an online bookstore to its website.
SaskBooks produced the Saskatchewan Book Map – a poster with an interactive online component – roughly every two years from 1995 – 2007 in an effort to pair increased awareness of our members’ books with an educational feature that graphically displayed where books are produced in Saskatchewan. Thanks to Tourism Saskatchewan and the Department of Highways and Transportation, we were able to include a tourism phase by using the highway map of Saskatchewan as a graphic backdrop.
In 2008, we shifted the focus of the poster campaigns away from a books-on-the-map format to highly visible themed posters featuring our publishers’ book covers. Both “Saskatchewan’s Most Wanted”, a wild-west themed poster, and “Saskatchewan Books on Tour”, a rock star poster, were well received by pretty much everyone, except for that one person, but that person has since recanted and says they LOVE IT! We sent the book posters to all the schools, libraries, bookstores, tourist destinations and tourism centres, museums, and speakeasies in the province.
Every fall, SaskBooks distributes a catalogue featuring our publishers’ new and forthcoming books. We work with the Western Producer to cast a wide net of readers passionate about and hungry for Saskatchewan books, and we distribute the catalogue by hand at all of our displays. Later in the year, we send copies of the catalogue to every school and library in the province. You can find a digital copy of our catalogue here.
All of these projects dovetail to raise awareness of Saskatchewan books. However, none of it would have been possible without the support of our funders and our partner organisations. The staff and board of SaskBooks have worked tirelessly to help the world Discover Saskatchewan Books.