Writers' How-to Series

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The Writers' How-to series offers professional guides on a variety of topics for writers. 

  • The Directory of Canadian Publishers is a searchable online database available as a one-year subscription. 
  • Publications offer information and advice on the business of writing and are available for purchase in PDF format online. Print versions are available by special order. * Please contact the office at info@writersunion.ca or 416-703-8982 to order. Please note: Print publications are subject to an additional charge of $2.00 per publication to cover costs associated with printing, shipping, and handling. *Paper copies are not currently available as staff work from home.


Cover image showing a hand writing and a laptop on a desk.

This searchable online database lists Canadian publishers who currently accept unsolicited manuscripts. Listings include informaton about genres, categories, and any specific submission instructions. The Directory also includes a helpful introduction with quick tips on finding a publisher, submitting a manuscript, and negotiating a contract.

Click the Buy Now button to purchase a one-year subscription to the Directory of Canadian Publishers for $10.00.

Once your order is processed, we will send you details on how to access the Directory through our website. Please allow 2 business days for your order to be processed. 



Select the publications you would like to purchase below using the Add to Cart button. Your cart will open in a new window, where you can review your selections before purchasing. When finished with payment, be sure to click the "return to Writers' Union" button. Your username and password will then be emailed to you for access to download your publications. 

Purchase the whole set of Writers' How-to publications

Download every publication in the series for information and advice on all of the topics below. 

$90.00 – Add to Cart

Latest Publications

Thinking About Your Archives? It's Never Too Late to Consider the Future of Your Past (2021)
By Sarah Hillier

This guide to literary archives covers basic archival principles and what’s important to keep, how to maintain and organize your files, digital considerations, selecting the right archival repository, how to negotiate the donation or sale of your archives, and more. 

Preview the Table of Contents.

$9.99 – Add to Cart

Cover of Everything You Never Wanted to Know about Taxes by Joel Fishbane

Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Taxes (2019)
By Joel Fishbane

A practical tax guide for those in the business of writing that covers types of income and expenses, details about the GST, and incorporation. This publication contains information useful to all writers, whether you file your own taxes or have them filed by a professional. 

Cover of The Last Chapter: Estate and Legacy Planning for Writers by Susan Goldberg

The Last Chapter: Estate and Legacy Planning for Writers (2019)
By Susan Goldberg

This publication covers wills and powers of attorney, literary estates and appointing a literary executor, and how to plan your literary archive. It includes comments from Shauna Singh Baldwin, Brian Brett, Terry Fallis, Lawrence Hill, Robert J. Sawyer, Susan Swan, and others.

Preview the Table of Contents.

$9.99 – Add to Cart

How to Self-Publish (2017)
By Eve Silver

This in-depth guide covers the how and why of self-publishing, from editing and design to distribution and marketing. It includes information suitable for authors with both unpublished and previously published materials. 

Preview the Table of Contents.

$9.99 – Add to Cart

Sell Your Book: An Author's Guide to Publicity and Promotion (2017)
By Suzanne Alyssa Andrew

This publication provides ideas for publicity and promotional activities that work, including a blueprint for your own personal book marketing plan. It features tips from authors Claire Cameron, Chris Chambers, Farzana Doctor, Christine Fisher Guy, Maria Meindl, Lana Pesch, and Russell Smith, with industry advice from Dundurn Press’s Margaret Bryant, Quill & Quire’s Sue Carter, and McNally Robinson’s Chris Harrow. 

Contracts Self-Help Package 

If you have been offered a contract by a publisher, or anticipate such an offer in the near future, help is available. This package helps writers evaluate and negotiate contracts offered by publishers. The Model Trade Book Contract is an example of an equitable publishing agreement between an author and publisher. Help Yourself to a Better Contract (written for the Union by legal-counsel Marian Hebb) is a guide to the negotiation process, including a checklist of favourable contract provisions.

$15.00 – Add to Cart

Cover of Model Trade Book Contract

Model Trade Book Contract (2021)

This comprehensive model contract provides reasonable minimum terms for trade book contracts and is a useful comparative tool for evaluating your publisher's contract.

Help Yourself to a Better Contract (2006)
By Marian Hebb

Checklist of favourable book contract provisions with advice on what to ask and what to watch for. Designed to aid writers in book contract negotiations with their publishers.

Please be aware of the following: The Contract Self-Help Package usually answers most writers' questions about publishing contracts, and the Union encourages writers to evaluate and negotiate their own contract. A publisher's contract (like other personal contracts) is not written in stone — it is a document to be negotiated. The publisher should provide sixty days in which you may consider the contract offer and seek advice. If you wish to use any of the Union's Contract Services, you should contact the Union as soon as possible after receiving a publishing offer.

Other Publications

Anthology Rates and Contracts (2006)

This document provides notes on contributions to anthologies, suggests minimum rates, and provides a suggested anthology contract.

$7.00 – Add to Cart

Author & Editor (1983) 
By Rick Archbold, Doug Gibson, Dennis Lee, John Pearce, Jan Walter

A booklet describing the relationship between author and editor, including a list of dos and don'ts for both parties.

$7.00 – Add to Cart

Author & Literary Agent (2007)

Guidelines and responsibilities governing the relationship between the author and the literary agent.

$7.00 – Add to Cart

From Page to Screen (1999) 

A reference guide regarding options, film, and TV contracts for original literary works, including information on minimum and maximum rates paid.

$7.00 – Add to Cart

Ghostwriting (1995)
By Marian Hebb

This publication includes various details to consider when negotiating a ghost writing agreement, including a sample contract.

$7.00 – Add to Cart

Glossary of Publishing Terms (2003)

An aid to authors when dealing with the book publishing industry — usually during contract negotiations. Intended as a user-friendly, alphabetical reference guide to terms commonly used within the industry.

$7.00 – Add to Cart

Writers' Guide to Grants (2001) 

An informative list of grants available to Canadian writers; includes information about writing samples, types of juries and how they judge, and application procedures.

$7.00 – Add to Cart