Online Editions

From 1997-2002 the Coach House embarked on an ambitious and unprecedented project: to put the contents of our frontlist books online for free. Led by the then Coach House Web Editor and web developer extraordinaire Damian Lopes, we amassed an impressive collection of over 70 unique online books, representing every title we published over that span.

These editions represent a radical, forward-thinking project; many of the biggest successes of the digital age have their roots in the online gift economy: Google, Yahoo, MySpace, YouTube and the entire Open Source programming movement all give away their core products for free and make their money on residuals. The Coach House online book project was a brave foray in developing a similar model for literary publishing.

The project was based on the premise that these online books wouldn't hurt sales, but would rather generate and buoy interest in Coach House Books and our more tangible offerings. The jury is still out on its overall commercial impact (given that its benefits are largely unmeasurable), but the project's artistic and cultural success is undeniable. It still generates an enormous amount of web traffic.

So what happened? Why did the Coach House stop producing online books? It's mostly due to the changing realities of the publishing industry. Funding for the nascent world of digital publishing dried up, and the project dried up with it. The project became financially unfeasible, especially in a time when the entire Canadian publishing industry was in a state of economic crisis.

Nevertheless, Coach House Books is still committed to online publishing, and is currently digitizing a third of its list into PDF and ePUB formats. Some of those titles are already available for sale in PDF format on our ebooks page. For more information on our current digitization projects, please visit our digital projects page. And please also enjoy this archive of remarkable texts.

The Archive

DISCLAIMER: These books were developed a while ago (a veritable eternity in web time), and are presented as-is. Some of the links may not work, and some of the effects were designed for browsers that nobody uses anymore, so please be understanding.

abc book of extinctions

absolute statement

aleph unit

articles of faith

at issue





camera woman



code x


dreamlife of letters




electronic pies



fit to print

ghosts of jay millar

gingko kitchen


great canadian sonnet


head paintings

hier hort

history of america

house of white rooms

inkblot record


invisible world is in decline


lenny bruce is dead

letter drop

lillian lectures

lines of embarkation

lip service


mad boys


matinee light

mood embosser

more tender ocean

necessity of poetry

new motor queen city



nomans land

not egypt



on the ropes

outside the hat

piccolo mondo


power lawn


raising eyebrows

running unconscious

sensory deprivation

small love poem

smell it

spiral agitator

tell it slant

this is me since yesterday

transformational unit

translating apollinaire 106



unit of four

unrehearsed beauty

words of wisdom

young man