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Open Book Canada

Open Book Canada showcases Ontario’s literary scene, with a focus on books and events produced by the province’s independent, Canadian-owned publishers.

The story of Open Book’s evolution starts with three separate websites: Open Book Toronto, launched in 2007, followed by sister site Open Book Ontario in 2010, and then Open Book Explorer. All three brands were designed to showcase and celebrate books and book culture in Ontario, each with a slightly different angle and approach. But all three had been built on Drupal-based sites, which, over time and with every addition, had become unwieldy, overly complex, and were failing at their objective to manage and showcase great content.

The Organization of Book Publishers of Ontario (OBPO) contracted with the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and its 49th Shelf team to leverage to work they had done on 49th Shelf and its eco-system of book publishing websites, to consolidate the three existing sites into a single, reimagined Open Book site.

The new site needed to enable to Open Book Canada to achieve its goals to:

  • Increase the profile of Canadian authors and publishers
  • Increase the readership of Canadian books through more retail sales
  • Increase awareness of, and accessibility to, Canadian writing, in all its diversity of region and genre

The resulting website is a widely read and highly regarded online magazine with a robust editorial program that supports multiple posts per day, a writer in residence, and an active events listing service to promote readings, book launches, and other literary events throughout Toronto and the rest of Ontario. The site is supported by book data from 49th Shelf, a linkage that will eventually see Open Book evolve into the largest-ever online platform dedicated to Ontario books and authors.

Open Book is now part of a community of major literary websites in Canada all maintained by the same systems and technology, including the eZ Publish CMS, that enable us to leverage and publish content, including rich ONIX publishing data, with ease. Its relaunch in fall 2016 was received with great enthusiasm by the literary community.

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