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Great moments in Canadian publishing

A little-known Canadian publisher has made news by announcing that it, ah, might be interested in publishing the confessional O.J. Simpson book that HarperCollins canned last fall. The company in question is the entertainment firm Barclay Road, based in Montreal but counting among its holdings a book imprint, Lifetime Books, that appears to be located in Hollywood.

In its press release, Barclay takes the high, er, road.

Although those at Barclay Road were disgusted by the initial information surrounding the book, representatives decided that in order to do justice in the name of free speech, giving the manuscript a read might just prove that the press did not have all the facts.

But in a followup story on Bloomberg.com, Barclay executive Steve Meyers offers a far more telling quote: “We are looking for the book to put us back in the marketplace.”

The Bloomberg story also quotes Simpson’s attorney as saying that a number of publishers are interested, without divulging any of their names.

Give Barclay credit for one thing – this has to be the cheapest publicity stunt ever. (“That’s right, we’re thinking about it. And it’s B-a-r-c….”) But it will also put to the test as never before the old “any publicity is good publicity” adage.