In the past, agents were able to submit manuscripts to both Random House Canada and Doubleday Canada. (Knopf Canada has always acquired under the Random House Canada banner.) If Random or Doubleday both showed interest in a given title, they would come forward with separate offers and marketing plans. Now, however, only one division will be given the go-ahead to pursue a book. According to Jackie Kaiser, of Westwood Creative Artists, this could cut into the competitive advantage of having multiple bidders at the table. “It curtails the process of discovering what the best way of publishing the book is,” says Kaiser.
Agents may still submit to individual editors within the firm, but the decision will be made earlier on as to which division will put forward an offer. According to Random House of Canada president Brad Martin, that decision will be made by an internal committee consisting of Louise Dennys, the executive publisher of Knopf Canada, Doubleday publisher Maya Mavjee, and Martin himself, and it will be based on “who needs [the book], who wants it, and who can bring the best possible focus to it given the publishing schedule they have.”