Eloise Millar of Galley Beggar Press on publishing awards

Publishing awards

It seems to be Awards season at the minute with the Independent Publishing Awards (IPA) just finished and the Bookseller Industry Awards just around the corner. We all know the acclaim that comes from winning an award but what about the process of applying for these awards?

In this interview Emily Cook asks Eloise Millar of Galley Beggar Press for some insight after being recently shortlisted for the IPA Newcomer of the Year award.

1. Firstly, congratulations for being shortlisted for the IPA Newcomer of the Year Award! What was your initial reaction on receiving the news?

Thank you! Only one initial reaction – which was absolute delight.

We’re extremely proud of our authors; they are at the heart of Galley Beggar and of course, a publisher will only ever be as good as the writing they put out there – but it’s also true that there’s so much going on behind the scenes. Sam and I work extremely hard, as does our administration assistant (Imogen – otherwise known as The Saint), our amazing submissions reader (Simone, who sometimes deals with up to 100 submissions a week – 200 after Eimear’s Bailey’s victory), and the numerous other people who we couldn’t do without (and put in effort well beyond the call of duty): our designers and illustrators (the Maddison Brothers, Joshua Bingley, Neil Gower), our typesetter (Alex Billington), our distributors (Turnaround)…

2. What was the process of applying for the Independent Publishing Awards like? Do you think that this process was beneficial in itself?

I must admit, at the time it was like, “Oh Jesus, 1500 words? Well that’s another XXX hours of our time down the drain…” But actually it turned out that the process was a pleasure in itself. It made me very proud of all the things that we have achieved, as well as re-clarifying what it actually is that Galley Beggar Press is about.

It also raised questions; you get to look at – for example – your future development ideas, or the way you’re expanding, and both (i) have a good think about why you’re heading in that direction; and (ii) have a kind of half-time reassessment, taking a look at whether they are actually working, or there’s something you’re missing (or are lagging behind on).

It’s a huge morale booster for Sam and I; there’s nothing like feeling appreciated to make you want to get out there and do even more for your authors. And, as I said above – it’s also a wonderful thing for all of the other people involved in our press. They deserve a huge round of applause – a continual one, in fact! – and it felt, in the shortlisting, that they got a little bit of that.

3. How has being shortlisted for the awards affected Galley Beggar Press?

Sam and I get the thrill of managing our own company, so we’re just fine – but none of these other people get much in the way of recognition for their work, despite being absolutely amazing. Being shortlisted as a publisher felt like there was a bit of redress in this – it felt like someone had noticed the fantastic things they’ve been doing.

Thanks to Emily for asking the questions, and to Eloise of Galley Beggar Press for taking part.




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