Why we have a donation button
Galley Beggar Press is a business dedicated to art. Our most important aim is to produce and share superb literature. We’ve had a lot of success since 2012 – and a lot of luck. We’ve been able to put out some wonderful books. Books that we feel are important not just for now, but forever. We’ve won acclaim and prizes. We are always fortunate in having some of the best authors writing in English on our roster. We wouldn’t change it for the world. But the truth is that we have never been able to pay ourselves either. We earn our living through writing and teaching and in other ways. The other truth is that the costs of running a small press are very high – and we also wouldn’t have been able to get this far without some wonderful generosity. In the past we have received many small donations – and a few larger ones – all of which have made a tremendous difference. They’ve helped pay print bills. They've helped us feel good about what we’re doing and about human nature. They’ve helped us help writers.
So if you are able to donate, we will always be grateful. And we’ll always try to earn that show of faith by putting out the best books, and promoting the best writers, there are.
A little more background
Publishing is a great, exciting and rewarding business, but it’s also tough. While 50,000 prizes and 1-million dollar movie tie-ins are the things that make the headlines, the reality for most writers and books is somewhat different. Most writers make less than £600 a year from their writing. And on the books front, and on average, in 2015 the average literary title sold just 264* copies (down from 1153 in 2001). With the production of any given book costing thousands of pounds (factoring in printing, design, etc) and countless man hours – it’s no surprise that there’s a knock-on effect on creativity. Even the big publishers suffer with figures like this (and let’s not even get started on the high discounts – 60% and rising – of some chain booksellers, as well as the returns system). And what this means, increasingly, is that choices become conservative. Why choose a piece of art – of serious literary fiction – which is likely to turn a loss, when you can choose something else, something commercial, which will keep your company afloat?
Big companies still publish some excellent work, and they publish a good deal of it – but there’s only so many slots for the outlier, the oddity, and the kind of fiction that might make a difference.
Which is where the indies come in. Publishers like Salt, Fitzcarraldo, And Other Stories, Comma, Bluemoose – and Galley Beggar Press – operate more like indie record labels from the 90s. We exist to take those risks. We also exist as passion projects. To love what we do.
But we sometimes need help.
By subscribing to us, or donating, you will be making a world of difference. Thank you.
*Thanks to our superb subscribers, we always do better than that. But still, the risks are real.