(November 1, 2021) Gail Picco made public today her decision to end her relationship with Hilborn-Civil Sector Press and says she will no longer be publishing under an imprint associated with the company. She plans to announce details of the launch of a new publishing company with a set of upcoming titles early in 2022.
Picco’s imprint with Hilborn-Civil Sector Press, the eponymously named Gail K. Picco Books, was announced with some fanfare in February 2020, and Picco said at the time she wanted to publish books with a social justice framework distinguished by their rigour and relevance. Today, after what she calls a series of ‘disappointing and frustrating’ decisions and interactions, Picco says she felt she had to make the break public because she “didn’t want any confusion as to my role with the company.” She cites the treatment of authors and what she called a ‘vast values gap’ on certain publishing decisions as contributing factors.
“The books I want to publish are books of quality that help people look at the world in a new way, see the potential that comes from an equitable stance, amplify the voices of people who may not feel heard and spark genuine informed debate in an environment that does not contraindicate those values,” she said.
“If those things cannot co-exist, what’s the purpose?”
Although the decision was made months ago, she said making it public now was one of the only ways she could clarify what she says is continuing confusion about her role. She also emphasized she admires many of the authors who have to date published with Hilborn-Civil Sector Press.
In the past year, two books have published under Gail K. Picco Books. The best-selling Collecting Courage: Joy Pain Freedom Love, edited by Nneka Allen, Camilla Pereira and Nicole Salmon, is an anthology of stories written by Black fundraisers about their experience in the philanthropic space, and has brought the lived experience of Black fundraisers into focus. American rights for Collecting Courage were picked up by Rootstock Publishing, and a US edition is on sale now.
The 100-Year PR Plan: A Guide for Advocates by Benjamin Miller was also published under Gail K. Picco Books. Geared towards an academic audience, James Tully, Professor emeritus, University of Victoria called the book, “a fascinating manifesto on how non-profit organizations can ‘be the change’. Based on Miller’s creative adaptation of the work of Quentin Skinner on conceptual change in the history of Western political thought … It is an original and must-read contribution to the literature on non-profit organizations …” Reviewer, Kathleen Adamson, said of the book, “Very rarely does an author take political theory and interpret it with such relevance and clarity.”
Hilborn-Civil Sector Press also published Picco’s 2017 book, Cap in Hand: How Charities are Failing the People of Canada and the World. She is currently editor in chief of The Charity Report.