THE TIMGLASET WAY
Timglaset Editions is a small press which publishes full length books and shorter ones. It is fuelled by love for visual & concrete poetry and driven by a DIY ethos. I started making my first music fanzine when I was 16 and have basically never stopped doing unpaid work for the love of the arts since then.
What does this mean?
It means that I have never made a cent from Timglaset and I never will. It is not one of my objectives. Since starting the press seven years ago I have invested approximately 3000 € of my own money in the press. The last two years the press has made a modest profit. Every cent of the profits has been invested in publishing more books and going to more book fairs.
It also means that authors don’t get paid, except in free copies of their books (normally 10 copies from the first printrun). Some books have covered their production costs and then some. Those books have helped pay for the books that didn’t cover their production costs. If you find this unfair or unprofessional we probably shouldn’t work together. The anthology ‘Judith’ is by far the bestselling Timglaset book with 650 copies sold to date. Other books have sold 20-30 copies, or even less.
Authors own all rights to their own work. When Timglaset has published an edition agreed upon with the author, the author is free to take the work elsewhere and publish a second edition with a different press (or self-publish). I will even be happy to give away the InDesign files and pdf:s necessary to print a second edition somewhere else. I don’t claim any ownership of work I haven’t made myself. I see myself as someone who facilitates, and offers a platform for, publishing.
Books are usually not kept in print indefinitely and I don’t do print on demand. After the first, or the second, printrun, I try to make an agreement with the author to publish a free pdf of the book online, in order to keep the work in circulation. The author is of course free to refuse this.
I don’t write contracts, and I don’t pay royalties. In my opinion contracts fuel mistrust, rather than the opposite, and paying royalties necessitates a level of administration which will take time from responding to manuscripts and designing and selling books. If that doesn’t suit your idea of professionalism, then we shouldn't work together.
The books that Timglaset publishes are generally printed by a small local print house on a state-of-the-art digital press. Timglaset books do not have a fixed shape or standardised design. Design and format choices are made with the best of the work in mind. I make big books, small books, colourful books and black and white books. I have made books on transparent paper, I have made boxes with cards and broadsheets. I have made handbound books and perfect bound books. We, I the publisher and you the author, discuss these issues and agree upon a solution which brings out the best in the work, while still being within reasonable financial limitations. I generally do the design work but I will never make anything without the author’s consent. Books should be accessible to buyers but I will never use sub standard paper or agree to bad design choices.
As a general rule I don’t take submissions. The first four years I spent far too much time looking at submissions that often didn’t fit the profile of the press, and answering politely to all of them. Now I rely on recommendations from a few trusted friends, and what I find myself on my excursions in the world of experimental, conceptual and visual poetry.
I do try to respond to all emails but sometimes you’ll have to wait and sometimes I still forget. Then please nudge me. I don’t do it because I’m arrogant.
Social media, like it or not, are key to the Timglaset way. It’s how I can afford to market the books. It does help if the author is also active on social media and helps market their work. I also publish an irregular email newsletter which reaches close to one thousand recipients, many of them libraries and collectors. I attend as many small press and artists’ book bookfairs as finance and time constraints allow. In 2022 I had stalls at five fairs. I have made a couple of launch events and helped facilitate exhibitions of authors’ work, but those are extracurricular activities and not something an author should expect.
I run Timglaset as a sole proprietorship, which means I’m not eligible by law to publish financial statements annually. I am however absolutely prepared to share them with anyone who would wish to see them. (They are in Swedish though.) Running Timglaset as a sole proprietorship means that I am personally responsible for all losses. If the losses become higher than I can handle, Timglaset goes out of business. This seems to me the most honest way to run a press built upon passion and personal commitment.
Since Timglaset is a one man band it is subject to my own limitations as a person. I suffer infrequent periods of fatigue, when even replying to a simple email becomes a burden, and thinking about or designing a book is almost impossible. Some authors have in different ways suffered the consequences of this, for which I am deeply sorry.
Finally, Timglaset Editions, is just a small cog in a big machinery. It doesn’t have competitors, meaning I’m just as happy to see a self-published book by an author I love, or a book lovingly published by another press. This document outlines my view of publishing, which may or may not be to your liking, but I encourage other views and other modes of working with publishing.