I wish it wasn't.
But it is.
I've been getting quite a few emails lately from customers in Canada and while I sympathize... there just isn't anything I can do to lower the cost of shipping. I don't think calling up and haggling my local post office, UPS, or FedEx would help either... no matter how many free comics I try to throw their way!
If we could send books cheaper while making sure they'd still arrive, let alone arrive in good shape, we absolutely would. Due to USPS customs guidelines, anything that isn't a "document" is considered a package.
If something is shipped in a stay-flat, easy fold mailer, gemini mailer, etc. it is also considered a package. Even then, the price on shipping isn't that much less and as soon as 4 or more books are ordered, the shipment is declared a package because of the dimensions involved.
The best solution would be for Canadian comic shops to start ordering less frequently but in larger amounts. This way they'd qualify for better shipping rates due to the weight of the package being high enough that sending the package through UPS or FedEx would be economical. I'm talking about 50+ issues at a time in order to get rates that are 50% or so less than they would be through USPS for that same amount.
But unfortunately, no Canadian shops are ordering from us. Even when we went through Diamond, most shops, let alone shops in Canada, did not order copies for the shelf. They ordered for the pull list customers -- we even had some stores that had 5 or 6 customers pulling all of our issues month after month, and shops STILL would not order anything extra for the shelves to get other customers interested and ordering. Diamond had its problems, but retailers putting a cap on how we could grow our customer base in their stores (and help make them more money too!) didn't help either. For many retailers, if we didn't specifically send customers their way, they wouldn't sell any of our books. That sales method completely removes the "discovery" factor of distributing product to a retailer. It's basically direct mail order but with a middle man being sent the books, instead of having them go straight to the customer.
But I digress...
If you're a customer in Canada, please know that I wish we could do more about the cost of shipping, but unfortunately it's completely out of our hands. If you end up ordering once or twice a year (50 or more issues) I'll absolutely pass on that discounted shipping rate to you and refund any overages once the order comes through. That's the best I could do given the circumstances involved.