AN OPEN POLICY, EXPANDED—last updated - November 2020
This scaffold, or structure, or set of ideals is not a perfect document and forever in flux.
Good Press is a volunteer run*, informally organised shop and event space dedicated to the promotion, distribution** and production*** of independently or self-published printed matter, with a focus on visual arts and writing, occasionally music or artist objects. We operate an open submission**** policy and will only refuse to stock something if it falls outside the focus of the space, or it is discriminatory or harmful*****
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* volunteer run
Good Press is managed by a shifting group of artists, designers, writers, musicians and part-time workers in the labour market. Many of us are both or more of those things. All of us have a care and connection to publishing and facilitation. Sometimes we are exhausted or slow, sometimes we are excited and very fast. Good Press does not receive any form of public or private funding (however has made use of free space from other hosts in the past, and council subsidised rent in the present) it is therefore not accountable to any external organisation, corporate pressure or state doctrine. It is accountable to the community that sustains it by sending their books to stock, buying books, attending events, and being in conversation.
** promotion, distribution
Good Press is primarily a shop. It sells books, zines, pamphlets, periodicals, comics, records, tapes and more. All of the items you find in-store and on-line are either self-published or produced by an independent small press, gallery, group or organisation. The majority of our stock comes to us through open submission, with 65% of each sale going to the artist or maker, and 35% going to fund the space, its rent, bills, maintenance, coffee and snacks for the group.
Good Press is also a space, we host events like book launches, performances, screenings and reading groups with publishing at their heart. As with stocking books (which you will hear more about soon) this is on an open submission basis. We provide the space for your event or group free of charge, all you need to do is promote it (or not if the occasion needs to be closed to a wider public), and bring along any refreshments or other forms of hospitality. We have lots of stools and a handful of backed chairs, we also have a toilet on site. For more details regarding access please see later in this document.
Our commitment to maintaining an open submission policy means that at Good Press you will find projects which may not be given space in shops or galleries where the drive for profit dictates what is ‘marketable’ or ‘sellable’. In this way, a scope of material and practice lives side by side. Sometimes it has been referred to as ‘the only place I can put my shitty zines’. Sometimes, a ‘living archive’ of self-published printed matter from around the world. Through this, we hope to build a participatory mechanism in opposition to capitalism & the inequitable pursuit of profit.
Through an open submission policy with equitable representation (every publication is treated the same, is given the same space and the same promotion) Good Press is committed to the value, vitality and power of people independently representing themselves and their communities through the publications they create. As a community centred space, we hope to cultivate a positive exchange of ideas and practices. Find within these walls support, knowledge sharing, convivial co-learning and a place to discuss ideas beyond the bounds of institutional structures.We hope that this system offers an entry point and opening in the social and participatory spirit of DIY practice. Inclusivity and accessibility are engrained within the anti-hierarchical approach of open submission.
We hope that by selling publications which might otherwise have a limited audience, and paying the maker for those publications fairly, that their practice is sustained, and practices not yet known develop and grow. By proxy of a system which does not privilege the tastes of a small group of individuals who choose what publications are offered, those who use the space might encounter practices they did not assume to and find kinship in unthought places. This is what Good Press has done since October 2011, and will continue to do in the future.
Over the years we have added to the body of stock some titles which we seek through distributors. As a group, we determine what we order based on the currents of interest that run through the publications submitted. Often, the proceeds from sales of these titles sway heavier in Good Press’s favour. Usually 40% to GP. We hope these publications offer a complimenting ground of critical theory and discussion on art, music, graphic design, politics and publishing in dialogue with the wider body of material. This however is not a closed circuit. We welcome suggestions, wish lists, even demands. Let us know what you hope to see. We have set up a public document to enable this feedback system which you can see here. Also, email us!
*** & production
Good Press itself does not currently produce publications or projects. It focuses primarily on maintaining the aims outlined above as a means of supporting production. As such, we will always respond to any questions or queries about how to make a publication, and can provide advice and assistance with anything from sourcing an appropriate printer, to providing technical help and know-how, or simply fielding ideas while they’re still in motion. However. Good Press the book shop is inextricably linked to Sunday’s Print Service. Sunday’s has a Risograph printer, as well as various book making and finishing equipment. In 2019 Sunday’s opened its open-access member’s studio - enabling people to produce their own print and publishing projects for a low cost and with technical support and advice where needed. (please note: due to COVID-19 the members studio is currently closed). It is working towards other ways it can widen access to print through peer learning and communal resources. Sunday’s also runs technical residencies and supports printing and publishing projects. As a print service, Sunday’s carries out commercial print jobs to fund said residencies and projects, as well as keeping the cost of access and materials as low as possible for its members. The print service offers a 15% discount on all printing for activist information and campaigns, union materials and student projects.
Good Press, Sunday’s and their space-mate Lunchtime Gallery make a free, monthly physical mail-out called The Paper and these are included in all online orders and instore purchases while stocks last. It is compiled entirely from open submission material. Please send us your poems, photographs, recipes, dreams, outrage, evidence, and calls to firstname.lastname@example.org
**** open submission
Our open submission policy is thus:
If you would like to submit your publication, please drop into the shop with some copies if you’re in town (please note: due to COVID-19 we understand this is a little more difficult so…), or send us an e-mail with details such as author, sale price, a description of the book or zine, alongside photographs or a PDF if you can.
Normally we can hold 3-5 copies of each title and all we ask is that you check in after a few months, at which point we can let you know how sales are going and pass on any money you are owed.
All publications are held on a payment upon sale basis. We take a 35% commission on all retail prices. To see why, please read the prior section promotion, distribution.
Our open submission policy is not one which means that you send us details and that we will then judge whether or not it is ‘good enough’. We will literally stock anything, honestly.
To maintain our open submission policy and to keep its focus on independent publishing projects and ensure a distribution of access - that there is always space for those who may not find space elsewhere - we do have to maintain some limits. We will not stock your publication if it is:
a) a magazine funded by adverts and with mass circulation - however some journals, occasional periodicals and recurring group publications with limited distribution can be found amongst our shelves.
b) a publication which could otherwise be purchased at a larger scale retailer eg. mainstream paperbacks, academic texts, celebrity (auto)biographies (but we do like a good fanzine ta), puzzlebooks, you know what we mean.
c) a one-off artist book which falls into the remit of an “artwork”. Our focus is toward manufactured (whether by hand or by robot) publications in small, large or open runs which are costed accessibly.or d) …..
*****it is discriminatory or harmful.
Good Press is completely against racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, ableism and classism. We will not stock any material or support any practice which actively spreads, or seeks to uphold systems of violence, hatred and oppression. We stand in solidarity with the demand for change across not only the realms of cultural production, but in daily living life. We support the decentering of whiteness in our institutions, and the decolonisation of education and culture. As a space which is currently maintained by white people, we acknowledge and commit to addressing the systemic injustices that pervade access to the arts - and understand that this demand includes ourselves, our practices and the ways we build community. We acknowledge the often unchecked privilege that seeps through DIY activities, and through our work we hope to contribute to the dismantling of these. We will make mistakes, but we will always listen and (un/re) learn. Good Press, and the group of people who maintain it are accountable to you.
ways to be in touch with Good Press
for conversation, sending us stock and other requests:
0141 237 6130
tell us what you’d like to see stocked:
contribute to The Paper:
in lieu of an event calendar, share your favourite streams, platforms,
Good Press is located at 32 St Andrew’s St in Glasgow city centre, just off Saltmarket and round the corner from Glasgow Green. There is on street parking directly in front of the shop. There is a small step at entry, approximately 10cm high, and we have a ramp that can be installed for access to wheelchair users. When you enter Good Press, you will find on your left a book shop, with free standing bookshelves. On your right you will find Lunchtime Gallery (please note: due to COVID-19 the gallery is closed, and for now you will find Good Presslians occupying that space to greet you at entry, and otherwise getting on with administrative work.) The bookshop reaches about 2/3s back into the space, behind which you find the area designated to Sunday’s Print Service. Sometimes there is somebody working away and printing in here, sometimes it is quiet. At the very rear we have a small kitchen area and a gender neutral toilet. The toilet is roomy, but not fully disabled access. Unfortunately it would not accommodate a wheelchair. (please note: due to COVID-19 we are unable to allow access to the toilet.) We have stools, backed chairs and cushions available to use when browsing books, or needing a rest. There is often music playing to keep us entertained while we work away, but let us know if this is too loud or you prefer something calmer.
At the time of writing, we are fully personed and don’t require any more voluntary labour to keep the wheels turning. We always appreciate hearing from folks who’d like to get involved, and so please do e-mail us if you’re interested. There may be ways to work together we have not yet imagined.