ABOUT LITTORAL PRESS
The Littoral Press was founded initially to publish my own prose and poetry and to publish other poets.
As someone who writes primarily about nature, but not exclusively, and feeling that poetry editors in general were not so keen on the subject matter I decided that I would publish nature poetry for other poets that I felt was of exceptional merit and deserved to be in the public domain.
Since then Littoral has broadened its scope and now publishes work of merit irrespective of subject matter but the most difficult and pressing problems arising from my determination to publish poetry collections for other poets concerns their funding and distribution. Over the years I have been published by small presses other than my own Littoral Press and although none of them asked for money to publish as such, they all rely to a certain extent on their authors buying copies of their collections at a discounted price. This is understandable. Not all of us have the infrastructure and funding that some of the more renowned small presses have, let alone the major imprints.
When I was younger and fitter I spent an inordinate amount of time looking for outlets for Littoral’s publications. Poetry doesn’t sell in general, other than the work of famous poets backed and promoted by larger organisations, dead poets, and poetry anthologies. I know this because of all the years I’ve spent working with bookshops. Poetry by relatively unknown writers can stay on the shelves for months - if not years! Collections are usually sold sale or return = SOR, and if they don’t get ‘lost’ or even stolen, they invariably end up so thumbed through and spoiled that they become unsaleable anyway! I decided therefore to try another approach. I would publish my poets on a cost plus basis. I would charge them the cost price for the books and a minimal amount of expenses to cover the costs incurred in producing their collections of poetry.
I have published some twenty five poetry collections for other poets thus far and all of them without exception have recovered their initial outlay and even made a small profit. Obviously they have to show their commitment by selling copies to friends and family - and even strangers! They can also give talks and readings and even - as in my case - take a stall at a local craft fair and sell directly to the public.
There are no contracts with the Littoral Press. Copyright belongs to each individual author to do with as they wish. Our only small disclaimer is that the Littoral Press does not necessarily hold the views as those expressed by its authors and cannot be held responsible for any libellous or slanderous material or any infringement of other peoples’ copyright.
Each poetry collection has an ISBN number and is therefore subject to Legal Deposit. This means that one copy is sent to each of the major universities to be archived: Oxford, Cambridge, Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh; and another copy is claimed by the British Library. Although we don’t distribute as such, all collections are featured on the Littoral Press website and I also have accounts with Nielsen Book Data, Gardener’s Books and Bertram’s Books - two of the major book distributers. As a consequence of this if I do get orders for any of my author’s collections, Littoral can supply them with an invoice and order form so as they can supply directly. When I receive payment I then pass that on to the poet at no extra cost to them whatsoever. You may have gathered by now that I don’t do any of this for money, I do it because of my belief in the importance of poetry.
In the age of digital printing and especially POD = ‘print on demand’, my authors can decide however many copies of their work they wish to purchase - obviously the more you buy the cheaper the unit price becomes. I would suggest a minimum of 25 copies, 50 would be better, but really and truly there is no point in buying too many to start with as all Littoral’s publications are stored on our printer’s computer and I can order extra copies over the phone at any time. Extra copies are at cost price and delivery charges only - I only charge expenses for the first imprint.
Littoral Press only publishes work it considers to be of the highest order as this ensures the good name of the press and emphasises the quality of the work written by the poets on its list. Sadly, as with all publishing ventures, far more rejections than acceptances can be expected in relation to the work submitted for consideration. I do my best to be prompt and efficient. Rejections and the reasons for refusal will be given within a few days or even less, acceptances within a month if at all possible.