Here we go again, raising money for the press. I hate begging for money, really, but in order to keep the organization and our program, 2Leaf Press moving forward to the next chapter, we really need your help. I really need your help. Our fundraiser is being held on FUNDLY. Any donation you can make would be greatly appreciated.
2Leaf Press held its first fundraiser in 2013. In the ensuing years, we haven’t had a fundraiser, in part because I was so bogged down fulfilling prior publishing commitments, coupled with an illness and subsequent surgery, it was impractical for me to undertake and manage a fundraiser.
Yet still in all, people marvel at the quality of our books and actually believe we have offices in midtown Manhattan with a small staff flurrying around doing tons of work. Nothing could be further from the truth. Since I have over 30 years of publishing and administrative experience under my belt, I manage the press, the organization, handle legal issues, accounting, layout, the design of both print editions and ebooks, marketing including social media, website design and web updates, blah, blah, blah. Interns and volunteer editors, translators, copy editors and designers are the true heroes here, because they have helped kept the press going. So we’re not operating out of some offices; our “personnel” is located in several states (and overseas) and we work with laptops, cloud storage, emails, texts and cell phones. And no one gets paid, including me; it’s all for the love of literature. In fact, if everyone got paid and we utilized all of the services available to most publishers, producing one book would actually cost well over $2,000 or more. I could and should write a book about publishing under these circumstances, of how to create a potential million dollar press on a shoe-string budget producing quality books, but I don’t think anyone would believe me.
When we embarked on this journey, 2Leaf Press focused primarily on poetry. One of the reasons why is because I had become known primarily for publishing poetry, a reputation that has been built on phati’tude Literary Magazine, phatLiterature, A LIterary TV Program and programming at the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center in New York. But the truth of the matter is, poetry doesn’t pay. At the very least, if a best-selling poetry title sells 500 copies, it’s a big deal, but not nearly enough to pay the press’ expenses. So in order for the press to move forward, we had to re-evaluate 2Leaf Press and figure out ways to create more saleable works that can cover both the press’ expenses and cover the cost of producing titles that don’t sell as well, but deserve to be published.
As a press that promotes multicultural poetry and fiction, it made sense for us to delve into nonfiction works. Actually, it was the politics of the day (namely Trump, LGBT issues, Islamophobia, Anti-Mexican sentiment, and Black Lives Matter), that prompted us to consider creating books that address these issues in a timely manner. My hearty discussions with Sean Frederick Forbes, Stephanie Agosto and Andrew P. Jackson (Sekou Molefi Baako) steered us towards the compilation of WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WHITE IN AMERICA? and the creation of 2LP EXPLORATIONS IN DIVERSITY. Our revised mission statement for 2Leaf Press will focus more on challenging the status quo with works that are dedicated to diversity and social justice (read more here). This doesn’t mean we will no longer publish poetry or fiction; it simply means that we will be more selective of those works since we will be publishing less of it, which is why we closed our open submissions. So with our revised mission statement, new book, and new series, 2Leaf Press is moving onto the next chapter of its existence.
This is where we can use your help. Before you blow me off, hear me out. Up to this point, the press has been sustained by whatever income we’ve earned with the help of our board members and friends. For all practical purposes, we are trying to make the press self-sustaining, which includes income and hopefully with the help of a couple of grants. Please realize that the purpose of this fundraiser is not to raise funds for me to jet off to some island (for some mysterious reason, people seem to think I am swimming in money, which is utterly ridiculous), rather it is to raise money to cover our expenses. Specifically we need funds for basic office services (fax, copying, ink, paper, software, telephone, website and domain charges), distribution expenses (Ingram), legal expenses (Ingram), legal expenses (Copyright filings), reviews (Kirkus and Midwest Book Review), promotional mailings (postcards), and having book copies on hand for reviewers and our contributors. Yeah, you are probably wondering, why not get someone to write grants for the organization. Great idea, but (1) it’s difficult to get someone to commit to doing this (trust me, I have tried) because they are not inclined to do it for free and we do not have funds to pay them; and (2) a lot of organizations do not fund publishing and those that still do are difficult to obtain funding from because they have a set group of folks they already fund. Why don’t I write the grants? I can write beautiful prose, but I simply do not have the skill set to write grants. Of course, if anyone out there is truly interested in researching and filing grant applications on our behalf, I would be eternally grateful for your help. In the meantime, we’ll keep searching for that special someone willing to invest their time and efforts to help us with our cause.
But I digress.
We have a fundraiser on FUNDLY to raise $25,000, a modest sum to help keep 2Leaf Press going. I am asking you to donate to our organization because it is a cause worth donating to. You can help us turn the page into the next chapter for 2 Leaf Press. Since the Intercultural Alliance of Artists & Scholars, Inc. (IAAS) is a nonprofit organization (we’re listed on GuideStar and our Tax ID. No. is 13-4116808), your donation is tax deductible. Give a gift of $20 and ask some of your friends to help out. Retweet our cause. Think of it this way: If 1,000 people donate 20 bucks, we can easily reach our goal. Do it for the love of literature. Help us uplift the voices of multicultural artists and writers who are brave enough to tackle social justice issues head on. Help a poet or novelist find their audience. Help us get to the next chapter of 2Leaf Press.
As always, your support is appreciated.
—Gabrielle David, Publisher
(PHOTO: Samuel LaHoz)