First of all a big THANK YOU for getting us to - what is currently - 623 subscribers! I never thought we would get so many in such a short space of time! It has been truly lovely getting to know writers, artists and readers in the community, discover new zines/magazines, support indie writers/presses and spread the love.
So as promised I said we were going to become a micro-press when we hit 500 subscribers and I am certainly working towards that goal!
Let us start with the nitty-gritty planning: I have been in contact with several printers, whom have said they can print what I will need (quality paperback books, either perfectbound or staplebound depending on size) and we are currently discussing quotes. This has been the main delay in getting the press going, as the first few printers I contacted either didn't respond or recommended other printers, as they believed they couldn't meet the specifications of the type of work we were hoping to produce. Now we have had a few printing companies approach us and the future is looking bright!
The books will be sold on Etsy, with possible expansion to Amazon. Etsy I find quite a reasonable site that does a lot to get creative work out there. Certainly for the foreseeable future the books would be only available to purchase online (in paperback), but once we had a few books in stock I would be looking into attending cons and small publisher events to try to spread the good word. The authors would also have copies, as well as any artists who are also involved. The idea behind this move into an pressdom is to not only support indie writers but indie artists too. We will only be using the work of fellow creatives, thus giving the money to those who can use it to continue their own good creative work.
Now as Selcouth Station is a one-woman show, I have been thinking very carefully about what I can manage financially and timewise, as I do work part-time and I am hoping to go up to full-time this year. So the main questions are: Haley - where are these books going to come from and how are you going to fund this press?
I will be launching a FREE TO ENTER competition once we have a printer and the quotes roughly confirmed. Writers can send either a short story between 2000-5000 words (I will allow a cheeky 10% either way) or a chapbook of poetry between 20-30 pages. The original idea of printing single short stories came from viewing Nightjar Press' work, who printed my friend Leone Ross' beautiful The Woman Who Lived in A Restaurant . Now the reason we are only doing short stories and chapbooks - at least to start with - is simply down to time and costs. Besides, I adore short stories and believe they should be showcased for what they are: condensed unique works of art.
There will be three winners of the competition and these stories/chapbooks will be published with us. Now in terms of funding: I want this whole project to be community based, so we will be running a Kickstarter campaign for the printing (after I have received concrete price estimations from the printers) and money towards shipping. I want to point out that I will receive NONE of the money, any money that remains - after campaign ends and the printing/shipping have been completed - will go towards future books and future shipping.
Now of course you ask: will the writers get paid? This is a difficult one. The artists certainly will as we are paying for their service - and this will be included in the Kickstarter targets - but the writers are a trickier topic. There is no way Selcouth Station will ever be able to afford Royalty Fees and such other financial scenarios. What I hope to do is give the writer 20% of the print run and they will keep the money they make selling those themselves. If they require more, then they will get copies at a reduced rate (but this may not be needed if there is money left over, I want to try and avoid writers having to pay for their own work wherever possible, sadly I cannot afford a whole print run myself). Writers will have to settle for copies and seeing their work in print.
I am hoping to launch the competition on December 1st once everyone has recovered from National Novel Writing Month. The printing/kickstarting would most likely take place Feb-March 2018, simply because in January everyone is recovering from Christmas! Also this allows time for editing, re-drafting, cover design and liaising with writers.
There will be competition guidelines of course, tips and tricks for getting one of those top spots. I will be sending out posters to UK Universities with a creative writing department, as I want to encourage new writers as well as established indie writers.
If you have any further questions or think I have not covered everything, shoot me an email on contact@selcouthstation[dot]com.