Ross Bradshaw is the presiding genius, driving force, chief cook and bottle washer behind the Nottingham-based independent publishers Five Leaves Press and, in a better-organised society, his image would appear on the twenty pound note, honouring his role in the country's cultural life. In case you're looking for love, he's compiled the following checklist of engaging disincentives:
33 Reasons not to date a small press publisher
Note: this list refers to the traditional male small press publisher. In the case of the new generation of female small press publishers, delete preliminary point and change He to She .
He will have a beard
1 He will be broke.
2 He will not want to go on holiday.
3 When he goes on holiday he will visit every bookshop within fifty miles.
4 He will already have a partner, better off than himself.
5 He will talk non-stop about how terrible Waterstones is
6 Apart from when complaining about Amazon
7 Or moaning about the Arts Council.
8 He will have friends who are poets.
9 He might be a poet.
10 At launch parties everyone will ignore you unless you are a writer.
11 He will start work at 6.30am.
12 His idea of fun is a book launch 200 miles away.
13 His idea of nice wine is Kwiksave BOGOFF, left over from a book launch.
14 He will not own a car, can't drive and disapproves of cars.
15 He will ask for lifts in your car, without knowing he is doing it.
16 His office will be very untidy, spilling over with unsaleable books.
17 It will not be clean.
18 On principle he will only publish books that lose money.
19 He believes in the creative economy while contributing nothing to it.
20 He resents successful small presses.
21 He will not have a pension plan.
22 Other than you are his pension plan.
23 He will never retire.
24 His share of the phone bill will be 80%, but he will pay only 50%.
25 He will have authors staying who have travelled 250 miles to read for twenty minutes to an
audience of seventeen.
26 You will have seen the same seventeen people at every reading for thirty years.
27 50% of his income will go on buying books.
28 He will talk to you at length about the book he is editing.
29 He will ignore your advice when you suggest changes or wonder who would buy such a book.
30 He knows the names of every book reviewer in the UK. None of them know his name.
31 He anxiously scans the review pages of the Guardian every Saturday even though his last book
review in any broadsheet was in 1992.
32 He will give you a copy of his own published novel, which did not get the attention it deserved.
33 He mutters.
So there you are. Quite a catch. Please form an orderly queue.