Towpath Community Press of Wigan & Leigh
Seven years ago Towpath Community Co-operative Press started out with a £300 grant from the local authority, and our first book, a collection of personal poetry, was produced entirely by hand, which included stitching the book together. We have since progressed to professional printing and binding by a local printer.
Our principle is that our productions cost members nothing, but the proceeds go towards the next book until production cost is met, after which any surplus is split 50-50. We have just completed our eighteenth title, two more are ready to go to the printers and we have eleven in the pipeline.
We only accept work from local people since we expect them to attend our fortnightly meetings and to take a full part in the process, which includes reading others’ manuscripts, editing, proofreading etc. We also have an arrangement with the local college school of illustration for authors who wants help with designing their cover or for illustrations.
We have placed a limit of 40,000 words on any one production, for practical and cost reasons. Occasionally we are able to apply for additional funding, but we have to battle for it because the granting authorities don’t appear to like to support projects by individuals (although we have had some help from ACE North West in the recent past).