Salt's campaign funds eroded by bad autumn sales

<p>Independent publisher Salt has seen the funds raised through its Just One Book campaign &quot;wiped out&quot; after a tough August and September. </p><p>The company published its results for the year to end-March 2009 this morning, showing a loss of &pound;8,100. But publishing director Chris Hamilton-Emery, said it would be a &quot;struggle&quot; to get through the current financial year.</p><p>&quot;We raised close to &pound;30,000 from the Just One Book campaign, and all of that has been eroded in autumn sales - they were just awful,&quot; he said. &quot;The impact of just two months has wiped out all the money raised from the Just One Book campaign.&quot;</p><p>Despite a better October, Hamilton-Emery said sales had still come in &quot;under budget&quot;. He added: &quot;The cash reserves are gradually depleting, so we are back to where we were before - and we have two months of Q3 and all of Q4 to get through. It&#39;s going to be very tough. The outlook for trade sales is still fantastically bad.&quot;</p><p>As a result, a contract has not been renewed for one member of staff. &quot;We are not quite panicking, but are taking measure to reduce costs again,&quot; he said.</p><p>In the last financial year, the directors took &quot;a very substantial pay cut&quot;, and book production was altered to find a cheaper route, after funding from Arts Council England was not continued. However, Hamilton-Emery said he wanted to avoid cutting the frontlist, because &quot;I don&#39;t think that is the right response to the recession.&quot;</p><p>Salt&#39;s future is now largely pinned on its three key Christmas titles: <em>Short Circuit: A Guide to the Art of the Short Story, Contourlines</em> and <em>Shop Girl Diaries.</em> </p><p>&quot;This is where the gamble comes in, because we are hoping the Christmas highlights will sell,&quot; said Hamilton-Emery. &quot;If they work we are saved, and if they don&rsquo;t we are in trouble.&quot; </p>