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Gaspereau Press reduces staff and books published

Nova Scotian publisher says changes necessary to "continue to produce the highest quality literary publications."

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One of the most unique publishers in Canada, and a local treasure, Gaspereau Press, announced today that they're reducing staff and the number of books planned for their upcoming season. Gaspereau treats each book like a art piece, or an object, with letter-pressed covers, smyth-sewn and bound. I can't imagine it's a lucrative business, but certainly a beloved and welcome one for book lovers.

Here's an open letter from co-owners, Gary Dunfield and Andrew Steeves:

On Tuesday 19 May, we announced to our staff that Gaspereau Press would soon be unable to meet its financial commitments if it continued to operate at its present size. In order to bring expenses in line with revenues, it was necessary to reduce the size of our workforce immediately — something that we found extremely difficult to do given the nature of our company and our personal relationships with our employees.

As a result, two full-time positions have been eliminated: an editorial position (Kate Kennedy) and a bindery position (Freda Bezanson). It was also necessary to reduce the marketing & promotions position (Emily Leeson) to a part-time position. A temporary editorial position (Amanda Jernigan) was also ended in advance of its intended completion date. While this news has been difficult for all involved, we will continue to do our best to ensure that the transition will be smooth and equitable for those who will be leaving the company, and that those who remain will be able to adjust to the redistribution of responsibilities. We are grateful for their dedication to the ideals of the press and their hard work on its behalf during their time with us.

As well as reducing staff, Gaspereau Press will also be reducing its publishing program by roughly one-third, from publishing twelve books annually to a projected eight books annually. To this end, three of the six books planned for release this autumn will be delayed and some promotional plans have been curtailed.

It is important to emphasize that these changes are designed to ensure that Gaspereau Press will continue to produce the highest quality literary publications for Canadian readers while operating on a scale that is both fiscally responsible and sustainable. Our success in this, however, depends largely on the continued support of our staff, and on the support of the many fine writers and astute readers who share the aesthetic vision and cultural ideals which underpin the work of the press.

Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Gary Dunfield & Andrew Steeves

Gaspereau Press, Printers & Publishers

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