Hub Editions is one of a huge number of Small Presses, each of which has its own line, its own methods of working and production and its own way of financing itself. Some small publishers will take anything that comes their way and charge the earth—they trade on writers’ often sadly misplaced belief in themselves; this is the so-called Vanity Press and it is to be avoided at any price.
The Cost to You
Hub Editions is what is called ‘Subsidy Press’ which should be carefully distinguished from Vanity Press: you pay for your book to be produced, just as though I were building a house for you, but I will refuse to publish what I don’t think is worth publishing. In addition, I guarantee to charge for each book somewhat less than you think you will be able to sell it for; the cover price can always be made to exceed what you paid for the book. Given reliable outlets and selling prowess you should, as many of my authors have found, be able at least to break even on a publication. Some of the people I’ve done work for do regular readings of their work to audiences in pubs or local bookshops who will purchase books after the event; others have a circle of friends, colleagues and acquaintances who will buy books; others make deliberate attempts to advertise their work.
A Guarantee that Distinguishes Hub Editions from the Vanity Press
What you can be certain of is that if I decide to publish your work it will be what I regard as exciting, well-written, challenging, fresh and distinctively different in some way or another. I only publish what grabs me thus. My background is, amongst other things, firmly in the teaching of Eng Lit and my enthusiasm is for serious poetry that could be called post-Eliot/Pound, though I would put older writers like Walt Whitman in this category—‘modern’ in the old sense. I refuse to contemplate ‘poetry’ in the Hegarty/Ayres mould though I do have a very soft spot for Spike Milligan. This is some indication of the style of poetry I will read and possibly publish. Prose would have to be experimental—post-Joyce/Woolf/Johnson (BS). Radical leftist political/ anarchistic tracts I can deal with. Non-aligned Spirituality too. If in doubt, try me with, say, ten representative pages.
Hub Editions has published more haiku than anybody else, possibly, in the world. Be warned, however, that I am a purist and would probably furiously bin ‘funny’ haiku (= ‘witty’ thoughts), spam, and epigrammatic three-liners without even acknowledging receipt. On the other hand I have published volumes of slightly deviant haiku.
All the books I produce are hand-made to a high standard: they are perfect-bound, with a card cover & dust jacket. I can design an individual dust jacket free of charge because I enjoy doing so.
I prefer to receive text on a guaranteed bug-free disc preferably in very plain rtf with no hidden menu commands. If this is not possible then high quality scannable hard copy will do.
The whole process of producing the finished product, including the cover design, is discussed with the author and several mockups will usually be sent backwards and forwards until the author is satisfied with the result. I will make editorial comments and suggest changes which will only be made with agreement, though I have been known to dig my heels in.
No Hassle Tolerated
I do not want to be overwhelmed with work. I have freed myself from wage-slavery and can therefore afford to pick and choose what I do. I do not tolerate what I define as ‘hassle’ of any kind and will work at my own pace though I am prepared to meet authors’ deadlines when I can see that there’s a good reason for them. If you’re in doubt about what constitutes ‘hassle’ you could try asking.
I usually send parcels of finished books in the UK by the GPO Guaranteed Next Day Delivery Service which I find to be very reliable @ around £40 a consignment depending on size. On fine spring, summer or autumn days on the mainland I can be persuaded to make personal motorbike delivery for the cost of however many fillups of petrol it might take to get to you and back. One fillup (about £20) represents about 100 miles from Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire, depending on wind-resistance, hill-frequency, etc.
For more than ten years Hub Editions was the major publisher of James Kirkup’s haiku and tanka and other poems…
A full list of other titles is currently out of print…
Amongst other titles is a continuing series with the general title ‘ROOM’: ROOMS ONE, TWO, THREE and FOUR are already published and ROOM FIVE is nearly ready for publication (March 2012). For several years I had been contemplating producing a guide to the writings of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky & Maurice Nicoll; their writing on 4th Way studies is both compendious and sprawling; as it turns out, several people have had a go at publishing what could be called ‘Gurdjieff Made Simple’ books; but all the time I’ve been accumulating notes towards a guide, I’ve had Gurdjieff on my shoulder more and more loudly saying that followers of the 4th Way have to be made to work hard—NOTHING SHOULD BE GIVEN IN A READY-MADE FORM. I have both wanted to produce the guide and have held off because I felt myself falling into the trap of producing a mechanical guide to how to stop being a machine. Rather than jettison the thinking I’ve done, I have tipped much of what I have written into the ROOM books: they can be described as a kind of ‘farrago’ or ramble round my library using 4th Way studies both incidentally and practically.
One reader of ROOM TWO wrote: ‘It is really a most intriguing book, nothing quite like anything I have ever read before. I find myself needing to dip into it…’