Happy Birthday Boulder Books!
As Boulder Books celebrates its twentieth birthday this month, we look back on the company’s beginnings while looking forward to an even brighter future.
Boulder Publications was started by former journalist Gavin Will in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s. At the time of the company’s creation, in 2002, he was uncertain whether it would be publishing books, magazines, newspapers, or a combination of media. Since then the company has become well-established as a leading Newfoundland and Labrador-based book publisher.
A former journalist, Gavin had worked on the Encyclopedia of Newfoundland for the now defunct Harry Cuff Publishing in the early 1990s. The main reference text for the Encyclopedia was D.W. Prowse’s History of Newfoundland–still considered one of the best colonial era history books to be written. The book was out of print and cost $600 to purchase a used edition.
In order to make this important book available to the general public we started Boulder in order to reprint the History of Newfoundland. The project was a success and we sensed there was an appetite for the history of the Newfoundland and Labrador. People wanted to learn more about this wonderful place.
Boulder moved on to other projects: editing and rewriting a new edition of Oldest City by noted historian Paul O’Neill; republishing Dying Hard by Professor Elliot Leyton; and reprinting Newfoundland and Its Untrodden Ways by John G. Millais.
In 2004 Boulder published its first newly created work, with Nursery Rhymes of Newfoundland & Labrador by Robin McGrath. Also that year Boulder released Whales and Dolphins of Newfoundland & Labrador by Wayne Ledwell, the first in our signature series of nature guides and gardening titles. Hiking and nature guides, along with gardening books for the Atlantic Region, have become central to Boulder’s success, largely due to the contributions of author Todd Boland whose ninth book with our company, Gardening for Acidic Soils, is scheduled for release this spring.
Boulder’s focus on quality and design resulted in winning the best Atlantic-published book award in 2010, with Birds of Newfoundland by Ian Warkentin and Sandy Newton. Embracing innovation has been a hallmark of our company, as demonstrated with Perished: the 1914 Sealing Disaster, and Newfoundland in the First World War, both by Jenny Higgins—and which feature pullouts of reproductions of archival documents.
The company has undergone significant changes since 2018, starting with creation of the Saltwater Knits series by Shirley Scott and Christine LeGrow, which to date has sold over 50,000 copies. Boulder’s role in promoting Newfoundland and Labrador’s heritage with this series resulted in winning the 2021 Atlantic Canada Craft Award for Excellence in Product Design, the first time in 24 years a publisher received this distinction.
In 2019, we changed our name to Boulder Books and are focused on maintaining our core business while building the company’s literary fiction and non-fiction list.
Special thanks to our authors, staff, librarians, retailers, printing companies, media and especially our loyal readers—without whom Boulder’s success would not be possible.
In celebrating twenty years Boulder is announcing an exciting lineup of books for 2022:
Literary fiction and non-fiction:
- Cold Edge of Heaven, by Whit Fraser
- The Crooked Knife, by Jan Morrison
- The Reincarnation of Winston Churchill, by Bill Rowe
- Hard Aground: the Pollux and Truxton Disaster, by Bett Fitzpatrick
- Food, Culture, Place: Stories, Traditions, and Recipes of Newfoundland, by Lori McCarthy and Marsha Tulk
- Hidden Newfoundland, by Scott Osmond
- Gardening for Acidic Soils: Working with nature to create a beautiful landscape, by Todd Boland and Jamie Ellison
- The Quilted Stash: Twelve projects inspired by Newfoundland & Labrador, by Ralph Jarvis and Corey Follett
- Saltwater Socks(4th in the Saltwater Knitting series), by Christine LeGrow and Shirley Anne Scott
- Jellies in the Bellies, by Carol McDougall
- Puffling and the Egg, by Erika McCann and Gerry Daly