A Day in the Life: Inside the Canadian Publishing Industry

Have you ever wondered about all the people working behind the scenes to bring your favourite books to life? “A Day in the Life: Inside the Canadian Publishing Industry” is a video series highlighting different roles across the independent Canadian publishing sector. Learn about the real people who are editing,  marketing, coding, selling, and designing the books on your shelf—from Intern to Publisher. 


Leigh Nash

Publisher, Invisible Publishing

Leigh Nash is currently publisher at Invisible Publishing and soon-to-be-publisher at House of Anansi. In addition to teaching book publishing in York University’s Professional Writing Department, her past experience includes work for Coach House Books and other freelance publishing clients. She has served on numerous boards and committees, has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, and is the author of one poetry collection, Goodbye, Ukulele.

Associate Publisher

Naseem Hrab

Associate Publisher, Creative, Kids Can Press

Naseem Hrab has worked in children’s publishing for over fifteen years. She’s the Associate Publisher, Creative at Kids Can Press, an author and a former librarian.

Acquisition Editor

Khadija Coxon

Acquisition Editor, McGill-Queen’s University Press

Khadija Coxon is an editor at McGill-Queen’s University Press, where she acquires scholarly books in philosophy, sociology, social studies of science, food studies, animal studies, and gender studies.

Managing Editor

Kelsey Attard

Managing Editor, Freehand Books 

Kelsey Attard is the managing editor of Freehand Books, and loves to read. She has a Master of Publishing degree from Simon Fraser University and has worked for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta. She is currently on the boards of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta and the Literary Press Group.

Digital & Art Director

Jessica Albert

Digital & Art Director, ECW Press

Jessica Albert is the digital and art director at ECW Press where she works on ebooks, accessibility, audiobooks, book covers, and metadata. When not playing fetch with her Golden Retriever, Jessica has been working to overhaul the digital production and metadata systems at ECW to apply accessibility standards to their ebooks and hands-on, dynamic control over their communication through metadata. In 2021, Jessica helped ECW become the second Global Certified Accessible publisher in Canada through Benetech and much of her time is spent thinking about how to make reading more accessible to everyone.

Advertising & Promotions Manager

Gerilee McBride

Advertising & Promotions Manager, UBC Press

Gerilee McBride is the Advertising and Promotions manager at UBC Press, where she creates promotional materials, designs book covers, and develops and maintains the Press’ visual identity. She has fifteen years’ experience as a publication designer and production manager, spanning different parts of the industry, including association work, and trade, custom, and academic publishing. Her best days are spent riding her bike under a blue sky and warm sun.

Metadata Specialist

Matthew Chan

Integrated Solutions Manager, House of Anansi Press

Matthew Chan (Integrated Solutions Manager) is a former financial services and legal services professional with a longstanding love of books. He started at House of Anansi as an assistant ebook developer but has since moved on to many roles from workflow planning and production scheduling to metadata curation and development of houseofanansi.com. His job is to make data useful to the people who bring books to life. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and York University. Current interests include front end web design and data science.

Sales Manager

Synora Van Drine

Sales Manager, Portage & Main Press

Synora Van Drine is Sales Manager at Portage & Main Press. Before making her way to Toronto, she worked in a number of major markets around the world, including Mumbai, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and London. Her previous roles include journalist, public relations consultant, and marketing specialist.

Marketing Manager

Anumeha Gokhale

Marketing, Sales, & Distribution Manager, Fernwood Publishing

Raised in India, Anumeha Gokhale is a migrant settler living in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. Anumeha currently works as Marketing, Sales and Distribution Manager at Fernwood Publishing. She completed her Master of Publishing from Simon Fraser University in 2019, and she also has a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Commerce. Bringing over 15 years of work experience, including in retail, export, academia, and publishing, Anumeha has worked in Canadian publishing from coast to coast including Arsenal Pulp Press (Vancouver) and Lancaster House Publishing (Toronto). 

Rights & Licensing Director

Gayna Theophilus,

Sales & Rights Director, Acquiring Editor, Annick Press

Gayna Theophilus is Sales & Rights Director, Acquiring Editor at Annick Press in Toronto and an Associate Producer of award-winning film Peppergrass (2021). She holds an MA in World Literatures in English and has always been passionate about amplifying voices from historically excluded communities.


Kate Watson

Atlantic Publicist, Nimbus Publishing

Kate Watson is the Atlantic Publicist with Nimbus Publishing. Before taking on that role, she spent years as a freelance writer and journalist, and also as coordinator the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award. One of the most important jobs she has as publicist is helping authors understand the important role they play in marketing their new book.


Rahaf Khalil

Former Intern, ECW Press

Rahaf Khalil has a BA and MA in English literature as well as a post-graduate certificate in publishing. She is currently a Production Editor at JMIR publications and works as a freelance copywriter. Her life-long love of books has led her to pursue a career in publishing and she is passionate about publishing’s ability to introduce us to unique voices and perspectives. She hopes to find ways to contribute to the industry and foster a love of words and art in others. On her spare time, she enjoys reading poetry, listening to neo-soul and jazz rap, and eating spicy food.

Disclaimer: the comments of interviewees are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective employers or of the Association of Canadian Publishers.

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ACP contributes to the development and maintenance of vibrant, competitive book publishing companies in order to support and strengthen the contribution that Canadian books make to Canada’s cultural, economic, and educational landscape.