Quill and Quire

VP Sales, Rights & Business Development

House of Anansi Press and Groundwood Books Published: September 13, 2023
Job Type
Date Posted
Application Deadline
Salary Range
Commensurate with experience, but no lower than $75,000


House of Anansi Press and Groundwood Books is seeking a candidate to fill the position of VP Sales, Rights & Business Development.

We pride ourselves on the range of voices represented in our publishing list and seek to reflect that diversity in our staff. We recognize that an inclusive workplace is essential to promoting excellence and allowing all staff to reach their greatest potential. We will ensure that every job applicant is treated fairly in respect to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical ability, neurodiversity, religious belief, educational background, geographical location, marital status, and parental status. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations throughout the application process and while working at Anansi and Groundwood.

Role Summary

The VP Sales, Rights & Business Development will develop and lead the company’s overall strategy for revenue generation in the areas of sales, rights & licensing, and business development. Managing an in-house team of 7+ people, this role is responsible for general planning, budget management, revenue projection, new revenue opportunities, and sales and rights activities for both House of Anansi Press and Groundwood Books. The VP Sales, Rights & Business Development reports to the President and works closely with the other senior managers.


  • Creates and oversees annual sales and rights budgets, and revises forecasts periodically through the year, providing progress updates and insights to the senior management team.
  • Refines, manages, and leads efforts to grow overall sales and rights revenues by monitoring and evaluating the outcomes and impact of departmental plans and objectives, and recommending changes to the plans as needed.
  • Identifies and actively pursues new revenue opportunities at the title, genre, and list level, as well at the customer/vendor/partner and channel level.
  • Champions and supports evolving approaches, processes, and systems to improve the way we do things –– particularly in the areas of sales and rights efforts/results, customer/partner insights, and revenue analysis.
  • Facilitates communication and collaboration among all departments on sales and rights matters; anticipates and problem-solves related issues; ensures a cohesive approach across the departments that streamlines workflow and optimizes efforts.
  • Oversees the Sales team in managing large national accounts, working with outside sales reps, outreach to independent bookstores in Canada and the US, and organization of direct-to-consumer events.
  • With assistance from the Sales Director and Sales Associate, acts as a key contact for our US distributor, including monitoring sales and backorders.
  • Oversees the Rights team in activities such as submissions strategies, timely marketing campaigns, frontlist and backlist revenue opportunities as well as contract renewals.
  • With assistance of the Rights team, acts as a key contact in exploiting subsidiary rights, negotiating and finalizing contracts in consultation with President and respective Publishers.
  • Manages, mentors, and supports the members of the Sales and Rights departments in covering their respective territories and managing their accounts and relationships.
  • Participates in the managing and direction of the company as a member of the senior management team.
  • Writes portions of annual grant applications and related reports.
  • Maintains awareness of the adult and children’s trade markets both domestically and internationally and attends select trade shows, international rights fairs, direct-to-consumer events, industry events, and launches, nurturing relationships with key stakeholders as an ambassador of House of Anansi and Groundwood Books.

Note: Some activities will take place on weekends and outside of typical business hours. We encourage taking lieu time to balance such instances.

Skills and Experience

  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in sales or rights & licensing in book publishing or a related field.
  • Knowledge of both Canadian, US, and international adult and children’s trade and institutional book markets. Knowledge of academic markets also an asset.
  • Ability to build a budget and set sales targets.
  • Strong sales reporting and data analysis skills, including comfort working with Excel.
  • Proven relationship-builder with a high level of emotional intelligence to manage a large team and work collaboratively with authors, agents, customers, and staff across all departments.
  • Adaptable presentation skills (you will encounter one-on-one meetings, presentations to large groups, online, in person, one-hour presentations, four-minute presentations).
  • Superlative written and verbal communication skills.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and interpersonal skills.
  • A mindset that champions evolving ways to do things better and encourages and supports others to do the same.
  • Comfort with identifying issues and facilitating solutions and resolutions.

Who We Are

House of Anansi Press is Canada’s leading independent publisher. We specialize in finding, developing, and publishing writers of literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama, as well as works in translation. Groundwood Books was founded in 1978 with a mandate to publish children’s books of the highest possible quality for all ages, which has grown to include fiction, picture books, graphic novels, and nonfiction.

We publish very good books, and we also like to think that our physical/virtual office is a very good place to work! We are a collaborative, collegial team who are passionate about our creators and the stories we publish, although we also value work-life balance, having fun, and celebrating all things books. We have a lunch club with rotating themes, enjoy ‘Summer Friday’ work hours during the warmer months, and love book launches almost as much as we love books.

Compensation and Location

The salary for this full-time position will be commensurate with experience and will be no lower than $75,000. A benefits package and RRSP matching plan is accessible after a three-month probationary period.

We are interested in hearing from applicants who are available to join us at least 3 days a week in our Toronto office, with the remaining days being a flexible/hybrid/remote option.


Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume via this link by September 27, 2023. We thank all applicants for their interest and regret that we are unable to acknowledge receipt of applications. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.