Like Biblioasis here in Canada, the UK’s Galley Beggar Press had the eyes, insight, and cahones to publish Ducks, Newburyport and end up on the Booker shortlist. With that sort of success comes a lot of work for a small press. Remember back when Gaspereau could barely get books out when one of their titles ended up winning the Giller Prize? Well, Galley Beggar stepped up and printed the books to fulfill the orders from The Book People right before The Book People collapsed and now they’re on the hook for 40G (pounds!) in printing expenses. Poor bastards. Thankfully, the community is stepping up.
“[This] has turned what should have been the best year of our little company’s life into its worst – and something that might kill it. So we need your help. We hate to ask for charity,” wrote Millar in its appeal. “But at this point, we can’t see a way around.”
Less than an hour after the fundraiser launched, Galley Beggar had raised more than the £15,000 it initially asked for. It subsequently raised the goal to £40,000 with funds quickly exceeding £30,000. Fellow publishers, authors and booksellers are rallying behind the Norwich-based publisher, with donors including the National Centre for Writing and Arts Council England’s literature director Sarah Crown.
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Quick note to say that Gaspereau’s refusal to mass-produce their Giller-winning The Sentimentalist and, instead, stick to their handcrafted methods was partly to avoid the situation that swallowed up Galley Beggar.