Don’t come to our party! Not yet, anyway…

And first: thank you. A few weeks ago, crushed near flat under the weight of a post-Brexit print bill we launched a special appeal. You, our dear readers, to bought so many books it almost made up for the current shortfall. Financially and pschologically, it made all the difference in the world. Once again, you have saved our bacon and we live to fight another day/month/year/eternity. I’m more grateful than I know how to say for the generosity people showed us.
But I’ve also been feeling sheepish ever since, because I pledged that if we took a £1000 before the end of the week in question I’d show my bum to Boris Johnson and roundly berate him for his crimes, medieval style. The money arrived right away. But the blonde bafoon is yet to be mooned. Partly this is due to cowardice. Partly, it's thanks to the all-consuming otherwise busy-ness of my life. Partly, I blame it on the logistical problems involved in getting hold of our foreign secretary. Since Boris's current occupation seems to be jetting around the world and insulting our erstwhile friends and allies, he blights the capital city even less often than I do. I am yet to be in London at the same time as him. But I’ll get him one day. And it will be worth the wait…
Talking of waiting, if you're thinking of coming to our party tonight, don't. We've had to cancel. The streets of London, apparently, are flowing with vomit. Almost 40 people have had to duck out thanks to norovirus, babysitter problems and general end of term issues. This is sad on the one hand, because it means we won't get to see our friends as soon as we'd hoped and we won't get to press Paul Stanbridge's amazing book into eager hands quite yet. But the good news is that the lovely people at The Horse Hospital have let us rebook for 26th January. So please come then. We'll be celebrating the fact that it's no longer 2016, celebrating our new novel, and also running a showcase of good things to come and good things we've already been lucky enough to publish. (So far we've got Preti Taneja, Alex Pheby, Gonzalo Garcia, and Francis Plug lined up. If he isn't still banned. And he gets back through customs. But that's another story...)
Oh and while you're booking dates into your diary, we're doing a night at the Cervantes institute called 'Don Quixote Rides Again' on 1 February. It would be lovely to see you there. This promises to be a fine evening featuring a reading from Paul Stanbridge, and more readings from a new play about Don Quixote by Dermot Murphy. There will also be chat - and I'll have the honour of chairing. It promises to be a fine celebration of European culture and a reaffirmation of our shared friendship and heritage. So this is a night that makes us especially proud. 
Talking of proud:
We’ve been working on this book, in various ways, since 2013. And it’s glorious. It’s already picking up wonderful notices. No less than Giles Foden (yes, the author of the The Last King Of Scotland) has said:
“Everyone needs to sit up and take notice of this, which is Don Quixote on acid. It leaves the doughy train of contemporary realist fiction following way behind.” 
One of the UK's finest literary critics, the quite brilliant David Collard says:
“What grips at once is Stanbridge's beautiful, stately, eccentric and richly rewarding prose. He never lets up, never falters… It's breathtaking, magisterial, uniquely demented and hilarious - a lavish comic masterpiece.”
And the mighty Alex Pheby says:
“Forbidden Line is a work of enormous scope and ambition from a writer who combines style, wit… and a rare sense of the ridiculousness of the human condition. Incomparable.” 
If you've read Playthings. you'll know that's praise.
Just as pleasingly, we've also been getting a lot of feedback from Galley Buddies and others who have already bought and read the book. These discerning readers have variously called it "sublime", "bonkers", "fucking phenomenal" and said "I couldn't stop reading it."
We're looking forward to some of the broadsheet reviews that we know are on their way, and scheduled for the New Year. And we hope you are enjoying it in the meantime. And hey! If you’re yet to have the pleasure, it’s in our shop. Where we’ve also just started stocking these bad boys:
Those are the mass market paperbacks. They cost £9.99 instead of £13. They're beautiful too. If not quite so limited edition lovely. If we sell enough copies, maybe we'll do a run of these too:
Oh yeah! 
Paul’s book came out too late to make the end of year lists, but we’re happy to say that Feeding Time continued to make 2016 more endurable. It received glowing mentions in The Observer ("rollicking, dark and riotous"), The Irish Times ("glorious"), and we also enjoyed the recent review in the Spectator ("intensely refeshing"). Adam’s also been jazzing up his website recently. Click here if you want to see a torrent of praise for Feeding Time. Sometimes I just go to that page for fun. And to remind me all over again how much I love that book.
Anyway! Recently, I was talking about the Galley Beggar ethos and got all carried away with myself. I started banging on  about how our ideal isn’t to publish in yearly cycles and that we don’t measure success so much in annual sales as in the ongoing battle with eternity.  In my grandiloquent moments, I like to hope that we’re publishing books for the great forever. That generations of school children are yet to  sweat over Playthings, giggle at The Weightless World and marvel at Randall. Well, somehow all that slipped out of my mouth in public and I started to feel a little embarrassed and big for my britches. But in my secret heart I meant it just the same. What’s more, I’m happy to say that so far our books are lasting well. A nice bit of reinforcement for this idea has just arrived in the form of a special drink-themed prize-listing for Francis Plug. It’s a couple of years since Francis was cruelly denied the Booker he deserves, but he’s still making people happy and still getting recognition. And we all know that drinks vouchers are just what Francis needs…
2016, right? 
Almost over. 
As a publisher it’s my duty to remind you that our shop is open, that we’ll be diligently packing until Christmas and that our survival depends on direct sales. This is our big time of year. Every sale makes a huge difference to us and our writers.
As a human being I feel better about saying that we’re going to send £2 from every order over £15 to the charity Stop Hate . Our aim is to spread love and literature. But this year, we also feel that part of our duty is to stop a few other things too. 
What else? Oh yes. Sorry if you’re waiting on an order of Literary London. We’ve been slow in picking them up - but they’re arriving here tomorrow morning and we promise to get them to you before Christmas. And thank you if you’re one of the people who bought my silly I-Spy books. They’ve brought me a lot of pleasure this year. They helped me vent some Brexit rage. And now they seem to be doing pretty well in the shops. It’s looking like there’s going to be a new range next year - and so they go on, subsidising hardcore literary fiction. And that’s good news because we’ve got some wonderful books on the way in 2017, by writers who make us proud. Lucky us. (More on them soon.)
Finally, I’m sure you’ve all read the stories about the appalling conditions in Amazon’s Scottish warehouse, and their less than humane policies on sick pay. I’m sure you also noticed that one of the first big CEOs to congratulate Donald Trump on his recent election ‘win’ was Jeff Bezos. Normally I’d want to make a joke about how unsurprising all this is, the banality of evil, and about the sheer lack of imagination of the cruel people who seem to be trying to destroy our civilisation. But it’s been a long year, and I’m tired. Instead (since I've just been writing about it for The Guardian) let’s enjoy the ultimate moment of resistance in the Western canon. This, of course, is the moment when Bertie Wooster puts Roderick Spode (the appalling fascist bully and leader of the Blackshorts organisation) firmly into his place:
“The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you're someone. You hear them shouting "Heil, Spode!" and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: "Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?”
This is how we’re going to win. We’re going to treat these blights on humanity with the contempt they deserve. We’re going to laugh them off the stage. We’re going to stop their outrages against common decency. And we’re damn well going to hold the line. Bring on the New Year. We’ll make it better. 
Happy Christmas!

 As usual, I'm also going to use the end of the newsletter for a few more adverts, where you can safely ignore them, or kindly indulge me, depending on your fancy:

Firstly, please be our friend! Become a Galley Buddy. It's a good deal for us, and a great deal for you. Our subscription service helps us ensure that we can support our writers and takes away some of the fear of pushing against literary boundaries. It also helps you ensure you get beautiful limited edition, collectible books by fine writers on tap.


Secondly, please join The Singles Club so we can pay writers to write. Here's the blurb:

We have a fantastic subscription system set up for our Singles Club so that you now only have to make one payment to get hold of 12 stories. But how to go through the ins and outs of paypal payment systems without boring the dirtbox off you, I don't know. Probably the best thing to do is to head over to the relevant page on our site, where I've tried to give a brief, but to the point explanation, and to take it from there. The important things to know are that:

(1) Subscribing saves you the trouble of going to the site every month to get your fix of superb ebook literature – we'll just email you the files every month.

(2) Subscribing (so long as enough people do it) will enable us to start giving our authors money up front on for each story. Yes! We are going to pay people to write short stories. It's like the golden days of the 1920s. Only they'll be in electronic book format instead of Strand magazine… Anyway! You get the idea. This is a mighty fine way to keep authors doing what they do best – entertaining you.

(3) It costs £12 a year, or £1 a month, or less than a meal in Pizza Express. (Unless you have a voucher.)

Thirdly, donate to Galley Beggar Press and earn yet more of our gratitude, click here.

Fourthly, Elly and me wrote a book called Literary London. A lot of people have said very nice things about it, and it's available in our store.

Fifthly: You've got to watch Flawed Is Beautiful. It's a documentary about These Animal Men and S*M*A*S*H. In a better parallel universe, they became the biggest bands in the world. I love TAM. But I'm pretty sure that even if I didn't, I'd have enjoyed this story of not quite making it, friendship, loss and bouncing around with guitars. It's a blast of joy. Treat yourself. 

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