AN OPEN POLICY, EXPANDED—last updated - January 2023
This scaffold, or structure, or set of ideals is not a perfect document and forever in flux.
Good Press Ltd is a workers cooperative* bookshop, printers, event and exhibition space dedicated to the promotion, distribution** and production*** of independently or self-published printed matter. We focus on visual arts, writing, design, sound and 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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* a workers cooperative
Good Press Ltd is a collectively managed and commonly owned workers cooperative. This means it is owned and run by the people who work here. We all have an equal say in what the business does and an equitable share in the revenue generated from the business. Good Press Ltd is Good Press (bookshop); Lunchtime (gallery and events); Sunday’s (print service and member’s studio.)
Between 2011 and 2021 Good Press was run by a shifting group of volunteers. In October 2021 we formed a workers cooperative. Good Press is currently managed by five directors who are a 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 at this time 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) and 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.
All directors and non-member staff are paid equally by the hour, at the time of writing this is Living Wage. At the end of each accounting year our surplus is allocated towards the maintenance of a reserve fund of £10,000 (which would cover three months of operating costs, the replacement of vital machinery, or the replacement of stock in the event of a leak or flood.) After the reserve has met £10,000, any further surplus is divided, with 50% going toward a development fund and the other 50% being distributed as bonuses among staff. Any unclaimed monies relating to sale of consignment stock is donated to social, cooperative, community or charitable projects (rather than contributing to cash flow.)
** 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, wages, maintenance, and project work. Good Press is also a space, we host events like book launches, performances, screenings and reading groups with publishing at their heart.
Lunchtime is an exhibitions, events and publishing project that is housed within Good Press Ltd’s premises. Lunchtime focuses on promoting artistic activity by mainly Scottish artists, recent graduates and artists whose practices are currently underseen both in Glasgow and further afield. Lunchtime provides space, time, curatorial and administrative support to projects and artists. The exhibitions and events are generally programmed in-house but proposals are welcome by email.
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 centered 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 encouraged to 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.
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, 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. Speak to us! 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 limitations on space, we are not currently taking on new studio members.) 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 20% discount on all printing for activist information and campaigns, union materials and student projects.
Lunchtime produces publications, prints and pamphlets by mainly Glasgow based artists and writers that are designed and printed by Sunday’s and distributed through Good Press. The publications are produced as part of, or in response to, an exhibition or event that has taken place at Lunchtime.
Good Press, Sunday’s and 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 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. We will then email back with a response and a form for you to fill out as a receipt of what you have brought in or are sending and to gather further information about the publication.
Normally we can hold 2-4 copies of each title. 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. We issue quarterly sales reports in January, April, July and October. You will be asked for an invoice, or if you would like store credit.
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 and titles will be accepted at our discretion. We will not stock your publication if it is:
a) a magazine - whether this be funded by adverts and with mass circulation, or smaller scale and quickly recurring. However some journals, critical readers, occasional periodicals and serial group publications with limited distribution can be found amongst our shelves.
b) mainstream paperbacks, textbooks, 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 Ltd 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. The current directorship are all white people and 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 Ltd and its directors are accountable to you.
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 unassisted access to wheelchair users. When you enter Good Press, you will find a book shop, with free standing bookshelves which reaches about 2/3s back into the space. Above the bookshelves you will find artworks on the wall, this is Lunchtime Gallery. Behind the counter you find the area designated to Sunday’s Print Service. Sometimes there is somebody working away and printing in here which is noisy, sometimes when we are not printing 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. We have stools, backed chairs and cushions available to use when browsing books, or needing a rest. Please ask if you require a seat. 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.