Galley Beggar Press, which first published Eimear McBride’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winner A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, has introduced a new submission policy after being inundated by manuscripts.
The Norwich-based independent has seen submissions go from an average of one a day last year to sometimes 20 a day, Galley Beggar Press’ co-director Sam Jordison told The Bookseller.
The publisher’s profile has been raised by A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, which also won the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize, was shortlisted for the inaugural Folio Prize and is on the Desmond Elliot Prize shortlist.
Galley Beggar Press is now asking people who submit manuscripts to provide proof that they have read something it has published, an idea borrowed from independent publisher And Other Stories.
“The trouble is that people write in who don’t know anything about us, so we’ll get people sending in picture books, for example,” said Jordison.
“It is a waste of time for the person submitting, for our reader, for everyone. We wanted a simple way to filter things through.”
The new submission policy, which does not apply to submissions sent by agents, says proofs can include “discussion of our books, website receipts, photos, anything that shows you have some idea of where we are coming from and what kind of writers we hope to publish”.
“We want good books,” said Jordison. “If someone sent in a brilliant sci-fi novel, we’d publish it, but we are not going to do a standard romance, or children’s books.”
Up to now Galley Beggar Press has published two books a year, but hopes to increase this in the future, depending on the quality of submissions.
This winter it will publish four “pocket shorts”, ahead of the 2015 launch of its new short story range.
The four books released will be Edith Wharton’s The Eyes, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Bodysnatcher, P G Wodehouse’s Honeysuckle Cottage and A L Barker’s Lost Journey.
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