On March 8, 2021, people across the globe will come together to mark International Women’s Day. One of IWD’s main objectives is to lift women up by identifying and increasing the visibility of their achievements. This International Women’s Day, welcome a new Canadian book publisher that wants to contribute to that objective, Front Matter Press.

Based in British Columbia, Front Matter Press was founded by Rachelle Kanefsky and Carol Watterson, two women with long and diverse careers in the traditional Canadian publishing industry. For the past seven years, Rachelle and Carol have been assisting authors self-publish their books through their consultancy firm, Behind the Book. During their tenure in both traditional publishing houses and as self-publishing consultants, they’ve come to recognize a need and a desire: to increase women’s representation in books. And so, Front Matter Press – a new imprint and publishing program started by Behind the Book – was launched.

Front Matter Press publishes non-fiction books by Canadian women entrepreneurs, chefs, memoirists, influencers, and experts in their fields. Their mission is to amplify women’s voices through expertly crafted and beautifully published books that will reach a wide audience. With Front Matter Press, authors will have the opportunity to expand their brand and enhance their credibility by publishing in the company of other women leaders and changemakers. 

Front Matter Press authors’ books will be available in bookstores across North America through Canadian distributor Fitzhenry & Whiteside. Authors retain creative ownership of their work and control all rights to it. They’re part of a publishing partnership and are involved in the decision-making every step of the way, learning the industry ropes as they go along. And the cherry on top? Because authors invest in their projects up front, they keep the lion’s share of profits from sales.  

Rachelle and Carol have been involved in the publishing of hundreds of Canadian books over their combined careers. Today, their books fulfill authors’ personal visions and not only meet, but exceed, industry standards. Take if from Mary Chernoff, author of Inspire: The Art Part of My Heart, winner of the 2019 National Indie Excellence Award in the lifestyle category: “Inspire wouldn’t be what it is without the help of these two amazing women: Rachelle and Carol. They made my book shine!” 

Why “Front Matter”?

Front matter refers to the first pages of a book (title page, copyright page, etc.). It’s important yet often ignored. Front Matter Press wants to shine a light on what is essential but sometimes overlooked: women’s voices.

Who’s behind Front Matter Press?

Front Matter Press is a team of top-tier editorial, design, marketing, and print production professionals, headed up by two women, co-publishers Rachelle Kanefsky and Carol Watterson. Rachelle and Carol’s professional roots are in the ever-changing Canadian publishing landscape, where they’ve worked for 25+ years in some of Canada’s most esteemed publishing houses. They believe that the printed book is here to stay, but they’re also excited about the opportunities that eBooks and audiobooks offer authors to find new audiences for their work.

What is Front Matter Press’s publishing model?

Front Matter Press is a small, independent publisher. Under their imprint, authors invest in their projects up front but are involved in the creative process every step of the way, or as much as they want to be. Authors retain creative ownership of their work and control all rights to it, get their books to market faster, receive bookstore placement through an expansive distribution network, and keep the lion’s share of profits from sales.  

Where are Front Matter Press books sold?

Front Matter Press books are sold in every market channel across North America, including national accounts, such as Chapters/Indigo, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores, online retailers, libraries, wholesalers, gift stores, and specialty markets. They are distributed to these established trade channels through Canadian distributor Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

How much does it cost to work with Front Matter Press?

Front Matter Press does not utilize a “one size fits all” publishing package, because they know that every book, and every author, is different. As a result, they build a customized, comprehensive quote to fit each author’s specific publishing strategy and needs.

Who is a Front Matter Press author?

Front Matter Press authors have a thought-provoking narrative to share, from the studio, the boardroom, the kitchen, the garden – the place where their greatest passions lie. They’re leaders and changemakers in their fields, have captive audiences and/or robust platforms, and are motivated to get the word out about themselves and their books. A Front Matter Press author is interested in expanding their brand and enhancing their credibility with a book that will engage their target audience.  

Why should authors publish with Front Matter Press?

The Front Matter Press team has excellent instincts and knows what it takes to make a bestseller. Their books will fulfill authors’ personal visions and will not only meet, but exceed, industry standards. And, authors will be part of a publishing partnership. Front Matter Press will manage every aspect of a project, but they’re also committed to collaboration. 

What are Front Matter Press’s submission guidelines? 

Authors should email a brief synopsis of their book, an excerpt (with table of contents, if available), and a bio to frontmatterpress@gmail.com. Front Matter Press is currently accepting submissions in the food and drink, lifestyle, business, health and wellness, biography and memoir, cultural and social, and self-help categories.

What happens after authors submit their work for consideration?

All submissions are vetted thoroughly and thoughtfully to ensure that you and your book are a good fit for a publishing partnership with Front Matter Press. If you are, they’ll set up a meeting so that you can learn more about them, and they can learn more about your book and your publishing goals. They’ll listen to your ideas, then create and execute a plan with you to produce the best version of your book. 

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.