With support for small publishers continuing to dwindle amid the uncertain economic climate, Archipelago Books has put out a call for donations to help it stay afloat. The award-winning New York City-based press, which specializes in literary translations, says shrinking finances have forced it to lay off staff and delay the release of upcoming titles.
“As a not-for-profit publisher,” wrote Archipelago spokesperson Jill Schoolman in an e-mail, “our budget is pieced together from book sales, foundation support, government grants, and from individual contributions—donors both large and small. We don’t need to tell you that the recession has had severe effects on each of these sources of revenue. These reductions in funding have had very real consequences for our publishing program.” She went on to say that in addition to cutting staff and postponing publication dates, the press had reduced its marketing and promotion budgets and implemented smaller print runs for some of its titles.
Founded in 2003, Archipelago Books has published classic and contemporary works translated into English from twenty-one languages. Their fall 2009 catalogue includes books from Governor General’s Award-winner Jacques Poulin and celebrated South African writer and activist Breyten Breytenbach. Archipelago has posted information for prospective donors and subscribers on their Web site.