Friday, June 12, 2009

Save Our Small Publishers Campaign

The following came to me by way of Adele Ward (AKA Jilly Kidd) from the Written Word Group in Second Life:


Buy just one book and keep our invaluable small presses afloat.

Publishers are among the first to be hit in a recession and small publishers are at risk at the moment. We need our small publishers because they're the ones who invest in non-mainstream forms including poetry and debut novels. They work on a tight budget, sometimes getting into debt, to give these writers a chance. Novelists get the opportunity to be picked up by larger publishers thanks to these risk takers.

In the UK we're trying to keep our small publishers going and this can be international. Salt Publishing was at serious risk and had a widely publicized campaign asking people to buy just one book. This helped them raise the finance they needed to keep going thanks to a fantastic response. My own publisher, Bluechrome, has said that if each writer who submitted a manuscript actually bought just one book to see what they publish this would be enough to stay afloat.

We give publishers free space on the Written Word area as part of this SOS Publishers campaign, which I'm also organizing on other websites including Facebook.


Buying a book from a publisher you want to submit your manuscript to is essential and it's necessary research so that you can see you're submitting to a publisher who takes your kind of writing. If we all took the trouble to buy a book from a small publisher this would also make a massive difference - if we don't buy these books then small publishers will fail during the recession and there won't be enough outlets for new writers.

Buying just one book each could show that the internet can keep publishers successful during a recession and this would increase the outlets for new writers. Publishers could keep accepting more new work. At the moment they are having to cut back.

As a poet I need to read as much poetry as possible, and as a fiction writer I'm constantly reading the work of debut novelists. I'll be increasing the number of books I buy to help the SOS Publishers cause. I use Facebook to contact poets direct to ask them for signed copies of their books, and this supports the poets as well as the small publishers. It's also building up a very special set of collectable books for me, so I suggest this as a great way to help during the recession. It also forges links with the writers and builds your contacts list. I find it very inspiring.

I'm not going to put forward my publisher alone, but want to suggest buying a book from any small publisher or direct from the author. There's a list of all the small poetry publishers in the UK on the Poetry Library website (and if you have similar links for your own countries let me know):

If you join the British Poetry group on Facebook you'll see this discussion on their discussion board with writers and publishers joining in, so you'll get more ideas there and perhaps find some authors who you'd want to ask for signed copies.

We have some small publishers, including Bluechrome, Cinnamon Press, and Snowbooks, at the Written Word on Cookie Island. Bluechrome has a buy-one-get-one-free offer as part of this campaign and Cinnamon Press encourages buyers to support small publishers with a fantastic range of wonderful poetry and fiction. Snowbooks has very good advice on submitting manuscripts - so pop over and follow the links to their websites.

The best place for books at a good price with free international delivery is the Book Depository or use this Book Depository Muse Harbor link to help us fund our area.

You'll find some larger publishers on our area too with guidance on how to submit manuscripts online.

Publishers at Muse Harbor

Written Word at Cookie Island

Keep writing but don't forget to buy a book to keep our publishers going. I'm broke and I'm doing it! Poetry books keep their value for years and can be sold secondhand on Amazon. I'm lucky enough to have a publisher, and if we all buy a book then more aspiring writers will get into print.

Adele Ward AKA Jilly Kidd

No comments: