May 25, 2009
Gaspereau Press & Quality Books
The Afterward is reporting the very distressing news that Gaspereau Press, independent printers & publishers based in Nova Scotia, is significantly reducing their staff and delaying several publications. In these tense economic times this is barely a blip on the publishing-job-cut radar – two and a half jobs eliminated, three books delayed – but for a press of Gaspereau’s size this is significant. With only about a dozen new books offered annually and a future release schedule undecided one can’t help but feel a bit grim about their future.
I adore Gaspereau Press. They are among only a few publishers left in the country who print their own books and the results are artisanal. The mission statement on their website – which I encourage you to read – describes their standards but let me add that their books have a tactile quality that is totally unique, marrying letterpress text with handmade papers and inventive presentations. Furthermore, unlike other publisher-presses like The Porcupine’s Quill, Gaspereau offers their printing services and standards to the commercial public. If you need a well-bound, professional and beautiful book printed – say, a catalogue, a journal, or a self-published work – they are one of only two Canadian (along with Coach House Books) options that I am aware of. That does not a healthy local fine press ecosystem make.
There’s not much left to be said except to implore you to visit their website and take a good look at their product, and next time you need to procure a well-crafted gift for someone, consider throwing some business their way. I would hate for this latest news to be a herald of the end.