About our work

Since Snapshot Press was founded in 1997, it has been something of a rarity in the poetry world, especially in haiku and tanka circles. As a matter of principle, the press is what is traditionally known in the publishing world as a “commercial press”. This does not mean that the press operates for commercial gain, but rather that it is wholly responsible for all the costs of publication of every book it publishes. Unlike with “vanity presses” – which are the exact opposite of “commercial presses”, and often operate under the guise of “equity” or “subsidy” ventures – our authors are not required to make any financial contribution whatsoever to being published, and are paid royalties (or copies in advance in lieu of future royalties) on every copy of their book that is sold. Unlike with vanity presses, it is wholly in our interest to be highly selective about what we publish, and to ensure that our books are very much worth reading, and buying. Essentially, we care passionately about publishing – about books, poetry, poets, and readers – and about how we publish. We care passionately about how haiku, tanka, and other short poems are perceived in wider circles, and about nurturing audiences for poets beyond their peers.

Accordingly, we take great care over every single aspect of every book we publish, from editing to design to typography to production, which inevitably takes time. A lot of time. The press does not do things quickly. Along with our principled approach to publishing, this means we can publish far fewer titles than other haiku presses. Each and every publication carries a significant risk to our sustainability, not least as the press receives no grants or other external funding, so we have to believe in each title, completely. We care about the quality of every single book we publish and do not “print on demand”, or bow to the demands of the conglomerates. We care as much about our readers as the poets we publish: without them the press would not exist. And while not “commercial” in a business sense, we believe that our publishing principles matter, and that the quality of the books, poems, and poets we publish entirely justifies our approach.

The press has operated, and grown, on a hand-to-mouth basis since it was founded, albeit sustained at significant personal cost in terms of time, and finances whenever possible. Developments in recent years have threatened this delicate sustainability, and the coronavirus pandemic has pushed it to its limits. As a matter of principle, we are fully committed to publishing all outstanding and future titles we have committed to, and will do so come what may. Beyond that, from a financial perspective, things are now significantly less certain. Some might argue that any venture should remain commercially viable, adapting through thick and thin, but poetry and principles are far more important than commercial success. We refuse to compromise on either.

So, if you value what the press does, and would like it to be here in the future, please do let us know. Please do join our mailing list, if you have not already done so, and take advantage of our occasional special offers. Please do enjoy and download our free eChapbooks. Please do enjoy and share The Haiku Calendar. Please do buy our print books – we believe they are more than worth it! – and, if you are a poet, enter our contests. Please do make gifts of our publications (and we are told they make wonderful gifts). Every single purchase and every single entry makes a difference in enabling us to continue publishing, and is much appreciated.

Thank you.

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If you would like to help support the press with a donation, however big or small, we would be both extremely grateful and humbled by your support.

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Your kind donation will help to ensure that the work of the press can continue. Thank you!