Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saving Salt Publishing: Just One Book

A note from Chris Emery, publisher of Salt in Britain:

As many of you will know, Jen and I have been struggling to keep Salt moving since June last year when the economic downturn began to affect our press. Our three year funding ends this year: we've £4,000 due from Arts Council England in a final payment, but cannot 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 has left us with a budget deficit of over £55,000. It's proving to be a very big hole and we're having to take some drastic measures to save our business.

Here's how you can help us to save Salt and all our work with hundreds of authors around the world. 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 and help us keep going.

2. Share this note on your 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

Chris Emery
Salt Publishing

Here's the internet site:

A day later:

Salt campaigns for survival
22.05.09 Catherine Neilan in the UK

Poetry press Salt has launched a viral marketing campaign in a bid to stave off closure, in the wake of the publisher’s "financial difficulties". The publisher has asked for customers to "buy just one Salt book". Director Chris Hamilton-Emery said the first day of his company’s 'Just One Book’ campaign had "swept the web", leading to more than 400 orders within 24 hours.

He said: "The response has been astonishing and heart-warming. Since June last year our family business has faced severe financial difficulties - the recession hit us hard. We're almost at the end, it's terrifically sad. Nine years of our lives has gone into developing this literary business."

Salt's campaign began on Facebook and has now extended to include a "cheeky" video based on the WWF's 'Adopt a Polar Bear’ advertisements seen frequently on children's television. "We knew there was terrific support for Salt and our authors, but it's all been amazing," said Hamilton-Emery. "These new customers, hundreds of them around the world from Canada to Australia, Japan to the UK, are saving our business one book at a time."

The publisher, which was set up after Oxford University Press closed its poetry list 10 years ago, had been funded by the Arts Council England until the last financial year. During the last year of ACE support, the company had increased turnover by 70%.

But, in the wake of the recession, Salt experienced "a shortfall of £55,000". Hamilton-Emery said: "It's a very big hole, and the Arts Council, who have been terrifically supportive, can no longer help us. They've done everything they can. We're on our own now."

Salt Publishing Chris Hamilton-Emery Catherine Neilan

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