And sorry. No newsletters for ages. Then two at once. I have committed the crime of the annoying buses and I apologise.
But! We have two important messages to pass on.
First, the good news. Our writer Paul Stanbridge has just been longlisted for a prestigious new prize, The Republic Of Consciousness Prize. This is thrilling news. Especially when it comes accompanied by a write-up like this one:
"A modern day Don Quixote channelling early Wittgenstein and late Heidegger, and the events of the Peasant’s Revolt, Forbidden Line take us on a picaresque journey through Essex and London in what must be the most exuberant and maximalist novel of ideas ever written in English. It really shouldn’t work, but it does so with a kind joy and comic panache that few writers possess. It’s an achievement to be admired, relished, and loved. Not only will there be PhDs written about this novel, there will be fan-fiction and meta-fiction, and I won’t be surprised if very soon there are clubs and secret societies dedicated to unravelling how the ‘hyperfine transition of hydrogen’ permits a chest of papers continually to appear after many determined destructions. This isn’t magical realism – it’s so much more mysterious and profound than that."
This is just what we like to hear. It's especially wonderful right now because we've been getting slightly nervous. Forbidden Line is glorious. But it's quite long and - superficially at least - quite challenging. One of the reasons we fell for it is that it's actually a rollicking good story and a cracking, fun read. Not to mention hilarious. But it's also bursting with ideas. And is uncompromisingly unusual. And at the end of this exhausting year, it's been quite tricky to persuade reviewers to take it on. This nomination is just the kind of thing that will help push the book over the line and hopefully persuade people to read it. And we're confident that when they read it, they'll love it, and then, we're away... We just need a few pieces of good luck to make sure the world realises what a special thing it has here. This is one of the first bits of that luck. So: whoopee!
Less happily, there's another reason we're especially anxious at this launch. Brexit is breaking us. Without going into too many commercial details, our print costs have almost tripled since we set up four years ago. Mainly, this is thanks to the beating that the pound has taken following Dumbkirk. We plan as carefully as we can so that we can keep going and keep producing top quality literature - but our margins are small. And a sudden rush of unexpected costs can be devestating. All of which is a long way of saying that we're having to hand round the begging bowl. If you were thinking of buying a Galley Beggar book, or, you know, going nuts in our store, now would be a really good time for us. We've had a good year thanks to our short story prize, thanks to the Arts Council, thanks to our precious Galley Buddies and thanks to our wonderful, beloved authors and their continuing successes. But we're suddenly a few thousand pounds worse off than we thought we would be - and anything we can do to make up for that shortfall will help us to continue to put out wonderful books like Forbidden Line. And Feeding Time. And Playthings. And The Weightless World. And Wrote For Luck. And Francis Plug: How To Be A Public Author. And Randall. And Everlasting Lane. And A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing. And The White Goddess: An Encounter. Not to mention the books we've got coming in the future.
PS If we make an extra £1000 by the end of this week, I promise to find Boris Johnson, moon him and roundly call out insults like it's the 16th Century.