Founded in 1984, Orca Book Publishers is an independently owned Canadian children's book publisher. With over 730 titles in print and more than 65 new titles a year, Orca publishes award-winning, best-selling books in a number of genres.
Orca Book Publishers has seen steady growth over the last few years and continues to produce high-quality books while developing new and exciting projects. Title output has grown with new nonfiction projects and a series of adult novels for struggling readers—Rapid Reads. The staff at Orca is passionate and dedicated to continually improving both the quality of the books published and their commercial and critical success. All editorial, production, marketing and distribution is done in-house and Orca has a well-deserved reputation as an efficient and successful publishing company.
The main warehouse and editorial offices are located in Victoria, British Columbia. From a warehouse near Bellingham, Washington, Orca distributes its own titles and those of a number of other Canadian publishers into the United States. Learn more about these publishers on our Distributed Titles page.
Orca prides itself on publishing Canadian authors and bringing them to a wider market. The international recognition garnered has shown that Canadian authors can compete on a world stage while writing for, and about, Canadians.
Authors published by Orca Book Publishers include many bestselling names, including Norah McClintock, Eric Walters, John Wilson, Andrea Spalding, Sigmund Brouwer and many more. While publishing established authors, Orca remains committed to publishing new writing. Approximately 20 percent of the list comes from first-time authors and/or illustrators and unsolicited submissions are accepted. Orca has been instrumental in establishing the careers of a number of authors and illustrators who have gained international prominence.
The list of books published includes: baby board books; hardcover, high-quality picturebooks; early chapter books in the Orca Echoes and Orca Young Readers series; novels for the reluctant reader in the Orca Currents, Orca Sports and Orca Soundings series; standalone juvenile fiction and teen novels; nonfiction; and short adult fiction and nonfiction with the Rapid Reads series under the Raven Books imprint. A number of titles are also published in French and Spanish, and our translation activities continue to grow.
As the publishing industry evolves and changes, Orca is committed to bringing our stories and authors to as wide an audience as possible. In the digital age, book publishing is continually changing. All Orca titles are now available in multiple digital formats for reading on a variety of devices. Orca titles are available electronically through Amazon, Overdrive, Sony, the Apple Store and in many other places, including the Orca website. Collections of titles are also available on a subscription basis through various services including the Tumble Readables online database and through Big Timber Media and the Canadian Electronic Library. Always looking for new directions, Orca is working with several app developers to bring our picturebooks and board books to the digital realm.
Many Orca titles are now produced in audio format and are available on the Go Reader audio device from Book Buddy as well as from other sources. Launched in 2011, a new middle-school Language Arts program, Text2Reader, is proving popular with teachers looking for new classroom resources. Available on an annual subscription, this affordable, accessible program marks a new direction for Orca as the educational market grows in importance.
Our digital partners include:
Orca in the Marketplace
Solidly Canadian, Orca also markets around the world with almost 65 percent of sales outside the country. The United States is one of our most important and developing markets and continues to grow. Always active in the trade bookstore market, sales to schools and libraries now make up a growing segment of the business. The series novels for struggling readers continue to set the standard for those facing literacy issues. Along with the books, Orca is active in producing resource material to accompany the books, both as teachers' guides and student material and as complementary websites and online material. A new website resource, www.reachingreluctantreaders.com, is being developed as a destination for educators looking for resources on this important topic.
Foreign rights to many titles have been sold all over the world, including to Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, Korea, Japan, Latvia and many other countries. World rights (excluding North America) to many titles are available and are represented by Amy Tompkins of Transatlantic Literary Agency.
Orca in the Community
Orca Book Publishers is a long-time member of the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia and the Association of Canadian Publishers and is committed to the ideal that a healthy BC- and Canadian-owned and controlled book publishing industry is essential to the educational, social, cultural and economic life of the province and country. Orca is also a member of the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association, the Canadian Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Association and the Educational Book and Media Association.
Orca Book Publishers also supports emerging writers by sponsoring two scholarships in the English Department at Victoria's Camosun College. Our focus on literacy is also evident in our support of the Victoria Read Society and as a National Learner Champion and sponsor of the Peter Gzowski Invitational Golf Tournaments and Events for Literacy. Orca also supports many smaller literacy initiatives.
||Long committed to publishing books with an environmental theme—from the Orca classic Siwiti—A Whale's Story and In the Company of Whales by whale researcher and wild salmon activist Alexandra Morton to the recent The Salmon Bears—Giants of the Great Bear Rainforest by Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read, and Nowhere Else on Earth—Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest by Caitlyn Vernon—Orca continues that commitment with responsible publishing practices. Virtually all books are printed in Canada on Forest Stewardship Certified paper and every effort is made to reduce, reuse and recycle. Orca is part of an innovative program through the GreenStart Small Business Pilot Program with the Capital Regional District in Victoria. Office waste has been drastically reduced and the staff continues to find new ways to save energy and help protect the environment.
Orca in the Future—Reaching More Readers
Always looking ahead, Orca Book Publishers is continually changing and growing, finding ways to make our content available as widely as possible. With a changing industry and rapidly shifting world, we see opportunity and potential wherever we look. Moving beyond the printed page, the audience for the quality fiction and nonfiction we publish continues to grow and expand as the means to reach readers multiply and as reading and literacy are more important now than ever before.
Andrew Wooldridge, Publisher
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided
by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and
the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts
Council and the
Book Publishing Tax Credit.