Everyone has been hit in some way by the downturn, with the arts suffering a predictable squeeze as Government and business belts tighten all over the place. According to Jane Holland, the UK has lost or is going to lose several poetry presses. It's a dire time for poetry -- indeed, for literature in general -- in these islands.
Salt, publisher of my collection and very many fine books, is facing a financial crisis. Chris and Jen have been struggling to keep Salt moving since June last year when the economic downturn began to affect the press. Their three-year funding ends this year: £4,000 is due from Arts Council England in a final payment, but they can't apply through Grants for the Arts for further funding for Salt's operations. Spring sales were down nearly 80% on the previous year, and despite April's much improved trading, the past twelve months have left Salt with a budget deficit of over £55,000.
It's proving to be a very big hole and they're having to take some drastic measures to save our business. Earlier today, it seemed that all the books scheduled for publication this year would have to been shelved, but Chris and Jen, in their seemingly infinite determination and ingenuity, have found a way to rescue this front list. It still involves considerable scaling back.
Salt is far from out of the woods, if that's not a mixed metaphor. But we can all help it to survive. Chris tells us how below ...
JUST ONE BOOK
1. Please buy just one book, right now.
We don't mind from where, you can buy it from us or from Amazon, your local shop
or megastore, online or offline. If you buy just one book now, you'll help to save Salt. Timing is absolutely everything here. We need cash now to stay afloat. If you love literature, help keep it alive. All it takes is just one book sale. Go to our online store (UK and International or USA) and help us keep going.
2. Share this note on your Facebook and MySpace profile.
Tell your friends. If we can spread the word about our cash crisis, we can hopefully find more sales and save our literary publishing. Remember it's just one book, that's all it takes to save us. Please do it now.
With my best wishes to everyone,