The town of Jardín, Colombia.

Interview on our Mentoring – Coaching program with Christy Doucet

By Elina Taillon Date: January 24, 2023

The Livres Canada Books Mentoring – Coaching program provides guidance and support for publishers wishing to break into new export markets. On completion of the Mentoring – Coaching program, publishers may apply for the Funding Support component in order to implement new export strategies.

This year’s program focuses on the Colombian market and includes an informational webinar and a one-on-one session with consultant Luis Fernando Páez. We interviewed Christy Doucet, Senior Programs and Events Manager, for an inside look at the program.

What advantages does the Mentoring – Coaching program offer over independent research into markets?

Simply put, the program provides free, tailored advice from an expert consultant in the target market, who has reviewed your catalogue and can provide you with the strategy and contacts you can use immediately to start or continue your approach to expanding into new markets. There is no need to wait for the next major book fair to build your network.

What’s exciting about the Colombian market?

Colombia is one of the strongest emerging markets and the third largest market in the Latin American region. Colombian readers and publishers are very interested in books on the Canadian reconciliation process and works by Indigenous authors. Colombian book buyers are also interested in books in Spanish, English, and French, which opens a number of opportunities for Canadian publishers. The Bogotá International Book Fair (FILBo), which boasted 517,000 professional and public visitors last year, is also an excellent publishing event. We recently published a market guide on Colombia which dives into further details about this growing market.

How long is the program application process?

The application process involves three forms including contact details, export sales, and a series of five questions regarding your objectives in the program and the Colombian market, and any previous contact with Colombian publishers. Applicants who have applied to the FRMAP program can save time and omit the second form on export sales. The process takes approximately 15 minutes. Anyone interested in the Colombian market is encouraged to apply.

How long does Mentoring - Coaching take to complete?

The program doesn’t involve a large time commitment. Our expert consultant, Luis Fernando Páez, will present an overview of the Colombian market, individually review each participant’s catalogue, and undertake individual one-on-one sessions providing targeted advice and strategy for entering the market, complete with recommended contacts, which takes approximately an hour.

How has the program benefitted past participants?

Past participants have especially benefitted from hearing which titles of their list will be best to pitch, and the specific contacts who would be the most interested in them. Feedback such as a book having a great theme and very good approach, yet the number of pages is considered too high for the age group, is helpful in selecting titles for the market. Past participants shared having received good feedback and ideas to take in their approach, saving time and effort.

Do you have a favourite inspiring anecdote about the program?

A past participant commented how helpful our US expert consultant was, who “went beyond the bounds of duty and had a conversation with our distributor and offered us very sage advice. Thank you for connecting us all.”

What advice would you give to publishers who have no plans to export or are unsure if the Mentoring – Coaching program is right for them?

Exporting provides plenty of benefits and opportunities and can be profitable for businesses of all sizes. On average, sales grow faster, and businesses earn more than in non-exporting firms. Exporting also mitigates risk by easing out fluctuations in the Canadian book market and diversifies market opportunities. It provides access to more customers, businesses, and opportunities to sell products more widely and over longer periods of time. If the domestic market seems saturated for your titles, you can introduce them to new markets. The Mentoring – Coaching program helps you understand if your titles will be in demand, how to find foreign buyers, and where to start.

Many participants can also apply what they have learned with funding from the Mentoring – Funding Support program, which grants $3,000 to implement a targeted marketing strategy.

If you decide to start exporting, you’ll be in good company.


Register for the Mentoring – Coaching program today by completing the short application forms and sending them to Emilia Morgan, Programs and Events Officer, by email.