Welcome to Barlow Books. We’re a new kind of hybrid publisher for a revolutionary time in the book business. We offer you the quality you’d expect from a traditional publisher, without the barriers that have prevented many great ideas from turning into books that sell in stores.
Barlow is a hybrid publisher. We offer many of the same services that a traditional publisher does. Say you have an important story to tell that comes from your professional or personal life experience, or an idea to share with your community or the world.
Our editors and writers, who all have deep experience in traditional publishing, will help you write a compelling book that your audience wants and needs to read. Our experts will help you find your target audience and make sure they know about your book and can buy it. We will get your book onto the shelves of stores, where a significant number of books are still bought.
We part ways from traditional publishing in one significant respect: Our authors pay up front for services, and in return they get 100% of the revenues from the sale of books. This means that authors enjoy the advantages of expert advice every step of the way, from mind to market, while retaining full control of the project.
At Barlow Books, we take a personal approach to every book, helping you achieve your mission and spread your words to the people who matter to you.
Why We are a Hybrid Publisher
We’re proud to say that Barlow is one of the first hybrid publishers in North America.
We choose authors who want high quality books and fit our mission, which is to enable big thinkers with something important to say to spread the news to a wide audience.
We deliver books that meet the standard of quality that major bookstores like Indigo and Barnes and Noble expect.
We have the sales and distribution deals to get books onto shelves in Canada and the U.S.
We offer authors the full range of distribution options — from limited distribution enabling books (print and ebooks) to be sold from online stores, to full distribution in physical and online bookstores.
We achieve respectable sales; some of our books have even outsold books published by traditional publishers.
We are like a traditional publisher, but as a hybrid publisher we charge authors upfront and give them 100% of the profits from the sale of books to customers in retail stores.
What We Do
Barlow Books offers traditional publishing services for authors who have something to say or a story that deserves to be told.
We create books that meet the highest publishing standards. Our books are edited and designed by professionals with deep experience in traditional publishing who produce books that meet the standards of quality required by stores like Indigo. This means your book will reflect the depth of your engagement in your business, health, or social mission.
We help you every step of the way—from mind to market. You might want to write a full-length book or a short book that your readers can enjoy in a one-hour sitting. Our team of experienced professionals will make the process engaging and memorable. They will guide you through each stage of the publishing process, helping you make informed decisions about your book while you maintain creative control.
We start with a plan. Our editors will help you structure and clarify your ideas and tailor your book to your target audience. They will work with you to create an outline, and then they can either guide you while you write your manuscript or write it for you, or a combination of both.
We create a custom book design. Our designers will create a custom cover and interior design specifically for your book, one that will work with your subject matter and content and resonate with your target audience.
We do the production. Our production team will handle all of the details, including photography, artwork, composition/layout, editing, proofreading, indexing, and various stages of review. Once approved, we will produce final book files that meet or exceed industry standards for print and/or ebooks.
We get your book printed. We work with high-quality printers to produce exceptional products. We can fulfill individual orders via print-on-demand or print offset for quantities greater than 100.
We position your book for maximum impact in physical stores. Self-published books have virtually no chance of making it onto the shelves of stores like Indigo. We’re different. Our sales and distribution partners make sure your books are on the right shelves in stores across Canada and the U.S. This means your book can be found and sold everywhere—in physical stores and on Amazon and Kobo.
We get you into traditional media and social media. If you want to sell your book and spread your message, people need to know about you and your book. Our experienced PR professionals will get you the best possible media coverage.
In traditional publishing models, the publishers have all the power. They choose the projects they want to publish. They take the risk to invest in a book, and if the book makes money, they get most of the revenues.
At Barlow Books, we've created a new publishing model. As author, you pay upfront for your book, and you get 100% of the revenues from sales. You also have far more control over every aspect of the publishing process than you would at a traditional publisher. This means that the content, design, printing, and marketing will be tailored specifically for your needs and your goals. You keep control of your project, but our experienced industry professionals will make sure your book meets the standards of editing and design required by top stores like Indigo. If you are willing to invest and collaborate with our team, the door is open to publishing your book.
Publishing a book can be a powerful way to spread the news about your mission. It can help you win speaking engagements or consulting contracts. Yes, you will also earn revenues from the sale of your book, but keep in mind that that the revenues you earn from writing a book may only be a small part of the true value you will gain from the effort. In a 2006 survey of 200 U.S. business book writers, most of them said writing a book strengthened their brand, differentiated them from competitors, and helped them win more clients, charge higher fees, and sign more speaking engagements.
Barlow Books will help you get noticed. Our books are sold in retailers throughout North America, including Indigo, Costco, Loblaws, Walmart, Amazon, as well as independent bookstores and libraries. Our connections and marketing and distribution strategies work to promote your book, make your book visible to your target audience, create a social media presence, raise awareness about your product, and sell and distribute your book online and in bookstores.
Who We Are
Based in Toronto, Canada, Barlow Books is a virtual team of top freelance experts in editorial, design, production, and marketing who have significant experience working with major publishing houses. Although we operate as individual entities, together we form a unique micro-network to help authors achieve the highest possible quality and craftsmanship for their books. Our authors are from across Canada, the U.S., and Europe.
Editor and Publisher
Sarah Barlow Scott
Before founding Barlow Books, Sarah Barlow Scott was a journalist for three decades. She was a political reporter at The Montreal Gazette during a tumultuous time when Quebec was deciding whether to separate from Canada. Following that, she wrote for most of Canada’s national magazines. She won two silver medals at the National Magazine Awards, plus a dozen other writing awards in Canada and the United States.
Sarah has also helped leading thinkers write groundbreaking books for major publishers. She worked with Internet guru Don Tapscott on his book Grown Up Digital, which won favourable reviews from The Economist and The New York Times. She also helped Dr. Peter Singer and Dr. Abdallah Daar write their inspiring book on global health, The Grandest Challenge. Sarah’s deep experience as a journalist drives her work as a book publisher. Her extensive national network of major media figures can help authors publicize their books, their mission, and their brand.
Don Tapscott, who Sarah worked with on his book Grown Up Digital, described the collaboration this way:
From the beginning, I wanted this book to be completely accessible to any reader of non-fiction, not just the cognoscenti. I believe I have achieved this, and much of the credit goes to the brilliant writer and editor Sarah Scott. In the last six months, she and I became a two-person team, refining the core concepts, restructuring and reworking the material, and cutting the manuscript in half. We had a thoroughly enjoyable and enormously productive collaboration.
author of Grown Up Digital
Editors and Writers
Robert (Bob) Brehl
An award-winning journalist formerly at the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail, Brehl now operates his own consulting, communications, and writing firm called abc2 communications inc. He is the co-author of bestselling books Relentless: The True Story of the Man Behind Rogers Communications; Right Hand Man: How Phil Lind Guided the Genius of Ted Rogers, Canada’s Foremost Entrepreneur; and Hurricane Hazel: A Life with Purpose (about Mississauga’s Hazel McCallion, who was the longest-serving mayor of a major city in Canadian history). Brehl has also authored other books, including the bestseller The Best of Milt Dunnell, the legendary Canadian sports columnist from St. Marys, Ontario.
Montreal-based writer Lisa Fitterman has worked for newspapers across Canada as a reporter, editor, and columnist and for national and international magazines. In the last couple of years, Lisa has travelled from Mumbai to Moscow to cover a wide variety of stories, from profiles of women in the Russian opposition to the new waves of immigration and increasing racism in countries such as Sweden and France. She has just written a cover story for The Walrus magazine on the corruption scandal in Quebec. She has also written two books for children and has worked on documentaries about the power of first love and the role that junk science played in the execution of a Texas father who was found guilty of killing his children.
Jennifer Glossop has worked in publishing for more than forty years, starting as an editor for McClelland & Stewart, then continuing as a freelancer for many major publishers and some smaller houses. Among the fiction writers she has worked with are Margaret Atwood, Gail Bowen, Sylvia Fraser, Beth Follett, Hiromi Goto, David Homel, Maureen Jennings, Larissa Lai, Shani Mootoo, Fred Stenson, and Tim Wynne-Jones. Non-fiction writers include Peter Edwards, Peter Gzowski, Anne Kingston, David Suzuki, and Kim Vicente. Books she has edited have won the Governor General's Award and the Crime Writers of Canada Award, and have been nominated for the Books in Canada First Novel Award and for the Giller Prize. In addition, she has taught at Ryerson and Simon Fraser Universities and the Banff Centre and has written a number of non-fiction children's books.
David Hayes is an award-winning journalist and author. In addition to three non-fiction books of his own, he is an in-demand ghostwriter for projects of various kinds. His articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in major publications, among them Toronto Life, The New York Times Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Reader’s Digest, The Guardian, and Report on Business magazine. He is a member of the faculty of the University of King’s College’s Creative Non-fiction MFA program and teaches Advanced Feature Writing at Toronto’s Ryerson University. He often gives workshops on feature writing and book proposals, as well as researching, reporting, and interviewing techniques.
Douglas Hunter is a writer and artist who lives in Port McNicoll, Ontario. He is the author or co-author of more than 20 books with leading publishers in Canada and the United States. He has been a winner of and finalist for the National Business Book Award, and a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award (non-fiction). He holds a PhD in history from York University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo. You can learn more at douglashunter.ca.
A Toronto-based freelance editor, Geri Savits-Fine has been copy editing and fact-checking for 30 years. She has worked in magazines, book publishing, and with corporations on an eclectic array of topics including business, nutrition, psychology, the environment, education, and film. She enjoys many long-term relationships with those in the publishing and corporate worlds. Editing to Geri is not just about words on a page—it’s the adventure of new projects, working with people, and learning.
Freelance editor and ghostwriter Jonathan Schmidt began his publishing career as an editorial assistant in New York with Alfred A. Knopf in 1989. He was an editor at Pantheon Books, Disney Press, and St. Martin’s Press/Tor Books. He has acquired and edited hundreds of books in a variety of genres and formats—fiction and non-fiction—in the adult, juvenile, young adult, and middle-grade markets. In 2003, he moved to Toronto to become managing editor and then executive editor at Key Porter Books, where he specialized in non-fiction (politics, business, biography, and culture). As a freelance editor, Jonathan worked on Rock then Roll: The Secrets of Culture-Driven Leadership by ING Direct CEO Arkadi Kuhlmann.
Writers Jonathan has worked with include young adult authors Jane Yolen and Orson Scott Card; politicians Jack Layton, Elizabeth May, Terence Young, and Julian Fantino; business writers Gordon Pitts, Steve Maich, and Lianne George; sports columnist Bruce Dowbiggin; and CEOs Seymour Schulich, Dick Haskayne, and Arkadi Kuhlmann.
Titles Jonathan edited have won numerous awards, including shortlist nominees for both the Governor General’s Award and Giller Prize, winner of the National Business Book Award, the Maclean’s Best 20 Books of the Year Award, the Edna Staebler Award, and many others.
He lives in Toronto.
Emil Sher has been writing professionally since graduating with an M.A. in Creative Writing (Concordia). He writes in a variety of genres for the young and once-were-young, including fiction, essays, stage plays, screenplays, and animation. Emil worked as a story editor at CBC Radio, where he also edited several novels for broadcast, including winning titles for Canada Reads. His essays have been widely anthologized and his plays have been broadcast and staged around the world and translated into Hebrew, Italian, and Slovak. Amongst Emil’s upcoming crop of fiction for children are two board books, a picture book, and a middle-grade novel. He has been honoured with the 2014 K.M. Hunter Artist Award in Literature, a Canadian Screenwriting Award, and a Gold Medal at the New York Festivals. Emil has adapted two acclaimed works for the stage: Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levine, and Ian Brown’s The Boy in the Moon, which premieres this fall.
After a 35-year journalism career with several of the world’s leading media organizations, Bernard is now a self-employed writer, editor, coach, and media consultant. As a journalist, he worked for the Financial Times, The New York Times, The Economist, and U.S. News & World Report, among others. He was joint managing editor of Canada’s Financial Post from 1988 to 1990, and deputy editor of South Africa’s Business Day from 1998 to 2001.
He is now on the faculty of the Fellowship in Global Journalism at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. Several hundred public and investor-relations professionals, lawyers, civil servants, business executives, and others have attended Bernard’s popular Write It Right plain-language workshops.
Award-winning journalist and author Judith Timson is one of Canada’s most experienced and popular journalists. Her deft, witty writing on social issues, politics, business, and lifestyle has appeared in most of Canada’s leading magazines and newspapers, including Chatelaine,Toronto Life, Maclean’s, and The Globe and Mail, where she wrote a column for almost a decade. She is now a weekly columnist in the Toronto Star. Her many awards include a Southam Fellowship, the Fiona Mee Award for Literary Journalism, and multiple National Magazine Awards. Her book, Family Matters, a collection of essays about modern family life, was published by HarperCollins in 1996.
You can follow her on Twitter.
Jonathan Webb has been a journalist, novelist, editor, and publisher. After completing his studies (B.A., Queen’s University, M.A. University of Toronto), he joined the staff of Canadian Review magazine (Ottawa), and then moved to London, England, where he worked a sub-editor at Woman’s Own magazine. Back in Canada, Webb accepted a position as editor at Key Porter Books in Toronto. He subsequently moved to McClelland & Stewart, where he was managing editor and eventually associate publisher. Since leaving M&S, he has filled a one-year contract position as a senior editor at Penguin Group Canada, and otherwise continued to freelance as a writer, ghost writer, and editor specializing in non-fiction. Webb’s novel, Pluck, was co-winner of the Seal First Novel Award. He edited the anthology, Mordecai Richler Was Here: Selected Writings. He is the author of three children’s books, What’s a Zoo Do?, Journey to Mars, and Canada’s Wars, as well as an adult true-crime book, Stolen: To Catch an Art Thief.
Production & Design
Paul Hodgson / Trajectory
A masterful storyteller with visuals and text, Paul’s design imprint has shaped the image of global brands as diverse as Four Seasons Hotels and the international aid NGO, Right to Play. As creative lead at Spencer Francey Peters (later, CundariSFP), he earned design maven stature through his work for places like Raleigh, NC, and cultural icons like the Royal Ontario Museum.
As a founder and creative director of Trajectory, Hodgson’s creative range has stretched even further to include groundbreaking design assignments for Scotiabank; University of Victoria; AGO; Canada’s National Youth Orchestra; Toronto Hydro; and the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games.
His passion for print is evident in the over 100 book designs he’s generated. Among these are cover designs for Life of Pi, The English Patient, and Barney’s Version, as well as series designs for Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, and Timothy Findley.
Trained at Lancaster and Hornsey Colleges of Art in England, Paul completed his education at OCAD University, where he now teaches.
Peter Drummond / PSD+G Strategy Group
PSD+G Strategy Group is a boutique advisory firm specializing in business and brand strategy. We have deep experience and proven results across a wide range of industries for both consumers, B2B, and not-for-profits.
PSD+G partners with Barlow Books to steward authors in clearly defining and articulating their personal brand. Through a strategy workshop process, we help define an author’s purpose, resulting in a clear point of difference and value proposition. This not only helps with their upcoming book, but also, more importantly, lays the foundation for future initiatives and brand-building efforts.
Sarah Miniaci has over a decade of experience in book marketing and publicity. Specializing in both fiction and non-fiction promotion, she has designed and executed book launch campaigns for publishers and authors across North America and the UK, including a range of New York Times and Globe & Mail bestsellers. Based in Toronto, she attended the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and George Brown College, and currently sits on the board of Diaspora Dialogues, Canada's premier literary mentorship program. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Jennifer Murray has over 25 years of experience in strategic marketing and communications in the cultural industries. In 2006, Jennifer founded Porch Light Consulting, a consulting company that provides marketing services to the cultural sector. Recent clients include the Canada Council for the Arts, WorkInCulture, National Reading Campaign, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Jennifer teaches marketing at Humber College’s Book Publishing Program. Previously, she was director of marketing at Penguin Canada and vice president of marketing at Kids Can Press.
Cathy brings a fresh, energetic take to her work as a speaker coach. Her background includes twenty years of radio and television broadcasting, theatre and post-secondary teaching experience. She has graduate degrees in broadcast journalism and voice & speech coaching. She’s trained in the theatre department of York University, the Stratford Festival, Second City, and in New York CIty. She coaches a wide range of keynote speakers, TED speakers, business professionals, authors, and others who simply wish to improve their public speaking skills. Cathy was the voice and performance coach of the TEDxToronto conference for six years, a role she developed for the conference. She teaches public speaking courses at Humber College and the University of Toronto.
I am about to launch my first book, Breakdown at the end of February; working on giving birth to my “baby” with Sarah and her team of professionals has been a wonderful experience. I knew from the moment I first sat down with Sarah that the book was in the right hands. She helped me improve the narrative, asked the probing questions and brought a remarkable enthusiasm to the project.
I come from the world of professional service and I’ve learned to recognize excellence. Every member of the team, from edit through to PR and marketing, have been outstanding and show at every turn that they really care about the project.
“Working with Sarah Scott and her team at Barlow Books has been an exciting and seamless process. I have felt supported, listened to, and challenged to write the best book possible. I know I made the right decision by hiring Barlow Books to help me bring my book to life.”
My experience with Sarah Scott and Barlow Books was nothing short of incredible. Right from the beginning, from discussing the concept of my second book all the way through every step to launch and sales, Barlow made my journey simple. Sarah provided guidance and leadership when needed, but was also extremely open to my thoughts, concerns, and worries. The team of people who support Barlow are not only incredibly good, but some of the nicest people I could hope to find on this intimate journey of writing my book.
Thank you, Sarah. I am looking forward to book number three.
As a doctor, I know and understand the language of medicine, how to navigate the system and the nuances involved. I advocate for my patient in many ways, both obvious ones such as negotiating MRI times and in not so obvious ones, consulting and collaborating.
As a writer and first time author, I was actually surprised by the world of publishing. I didn’t understand how to navigate or collaborate or interpret this brave new world. I needed a guide and lucky for me, Sarah Scott from Barlow Books was there. She has been my coach, my interpreter, and my teacher in this new dimension. With the team of editors and salespeople, photographers and managers, she has guided me to the finish, publishing my book. I am grateful and have learned so much in this process. Thank you, Sarah.
I am very grateful to Barlow Books for helping me craft and publish my first book, True Family Wealth: Love, Money and an Inspired Life. It has received fabulous reviews and recently the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada listed the book as their top pick for fall reads. This is a great endorsement for Barlow Books and its team of editors, designers and distributors.
Without Sarah Scott and Barlow Books, the Debt-Free Lifestyle would have remained a manuscript sitting on the corner of my desk. Sarah and her team have taken my book from a very rough first draft to a product being sold in bookstores that I am proud to put my name on. Sarah’s guidance, sound advice, and relationships with book buyers were all crucial to this process.
I have worked with Sarah for about 8 years. She did a superb job editing my previous book, with Peter Singer, called The Grandest Challenge: Taking Life-Saving Science from Lab to Village.
For the past two years, I have come to know her enormous strengths as CEO of Barlow Books. Barlow is publishing my new book, Garment of Destiny. Throughout this period, Sarah has been a wonderful guide, upholding the highest publishing standards. She has gathered around her a hugely talented team. I would recommend her without hesitation to anyone considering writing a book.
In the age of instant communications, webinars, and social media, writing a book is probably one of the slowest and most difficult ways of getting your ideas across. But what an experience! Sarah and her team were superb at guiding and crafting the final product (of which I’m very proud). Many of us have books in us, just waiting to be written. It’s an incredible growth process to bring them out into the light of day.
Sarah is very capable of bringing people together who have a variety of skills to complement hers. There are excellent editors, fact checkers, and design people. The print and publication side is superb. You end up with a very professional and polished product, which I value.
It has been a real pleasure, having published with Barlow Books, to have the guidance, support, and commitment of Sarah Scott and her team. Before the book even saw the light of day, I felt totally supported, and this support continued long after my book was published. Sarah and her team continue to work with you, promoting the book, monitoring how well it is doing, and pushing to increase sales. I would publish with them again without hesitation.
Writing a first book is a big enough challenge. Trying to publish it in Canada 13,000 km and 12 hours time difference away from our home in Malaysia was even tougher. Barlow Books, and Sarah in particular, cleared the path for us. Her sound advice, her stable of excellent editors, designers, and project managers, delivered us a book we are immensely proud of. I don’t think we could have done it without Sarah, and I have no doubt that even if we could have, it wouldn’t have turned out so well.
The great team at Barlow Books, led by publisher Sarah Scott, helped me to publish my book, Lessons Learned on Bay Street. It was a real success. In the spring of 2021, my book was the top-selling business biography in Canada. That’s a tribute to Barlow’s editorial, design, and production teams. Barlow’s distribution into stores across Canada helped to make this book a winner. Business leaders who want to contribute their stories to the history of Canada can rely on Barlow Books for top-quality work.
“Professionalism is the word that comes to mind when I think about my dealings with Sarah Scott and her team at Barlow Books. From copy editing, production, and more, I couldn’t be happier with how my book Right Hand Man turned out.”
“Barlow Books has reinvented publishing. They enable you as the author to tell your story, guided by their expertise, industry knowledge, and creative resources. We ended up with the book we were passionate to make, and it couldn’t have happened anywhere else. I am grateful.”
Barlow Books was so important in making my book, Kakuma Girls, a success. From the very first day, they supported my efforts and believed in what I am trying to achieve for refugee girls.
The team at Barlow Books did an outstanding job of stepping me through the book publishing process with professionalism and expertise. I would not hesitate to work with them again on my next book.
From the first meeting to publication day, the Barlow team efficiently steered my book to market. They made a complex process understandable and enjoyable. I recommend their publication model to authors of non-fiction books without reservation.
I highly recommend Barlow Books to anyone who is looking for a first-class publishing house and a high-quality end product … The publisher, Sarah Scott, is the consummate professional, and will help you with creative and effective suggestions and advice for your whole publishing journey. Sarah and her team are all tier-one professionals, from editors to production. They will make your experience a memorable one, and you will be thrilled with the result.
We looked around, but Barlow was the only publisher that was able to help us. They helped us every step of the way. They found an excellent writer for us, who very quickly understood the industry, did the research, and so on. Barlow Books found us an editor, who is a former top-notch international financial journalist. They also gave us complete control from start to finish. We had the final say on everything, from the text to the cover design to the interior layout of the book, and the photographs. Right down to the weight of the paper. That was important to us. We were able, with Barlow’s help, to design a book that is high quality.
I chose Barlow Books to do the book because I wanted the opportunity to be involved in the process myself. Barlow brings something unique to publishing. You’re able to be involved in as much or as little of your project as you want. They bring the best editors, the best marketers, and the best distributors to you.
Since our first call, Barlow Books has been an absolute pleasure to work with. Communication is always strong, deadlines are always met (if not early), and the professionalism is excellent. Writing my first book with Barlow was an enjoyable experience and it is only a matter of time before we work together again.