About Valley Press
Valley Press is an independent publishing house based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK, providing a home for new fiction, non-fiction and poetry since 2009. We are proud members of the Northern Fiction Alliance and Inpress Books.
Our core beliefs, revolving around inclusivity, fairness, transparency and sustainability, are as follows:
Great publishing is for everyone and anyone. We strive to be as inclusive as possible, holding at least one free-to-enter submissions window each year, and selecting at least half of our new titles from that process. Our choice of titles aims to reflect the widest possible range of human experience, in the hope of attracting a readership to match.
Great publishing gives back. Valley Press has pledged that 50p from every book sold through our website in 2023 will be donated to good causes, split equally between organisations fighting climate change and UK child poverty. (Many of our pre-2023 titles include their own charity pledge along similar lines, and you can expect more of the same in 2024.)
Great publishing saves the world. Procuring thick stacks of paper and moving them around is not the most ecologically responsible pursuit, so we ensure Valley Press is a "carbon positive" company, taking more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than we put in. (Details of how we calculate and offset our carbon will be shared in a forthcoming blog post.)
Great publishing isn't done in secret. We will share details of our challenges, triumphs, and everything in between – freely acknowledging that being a small, self-funded publishing house in 2023 isn't always the easiest pursuit. If you have any questions about Valley Press, just ask; we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our contact page here.
Great publishing pays authors. Historically, our authors have received an average royalty equal to 7% of the cover price of their book, in line with the industry standard. For new titles signed in autumn 2023, authors will earn 8%, rising to 10% when 1,000 copies have been sold across all formats, and 12% above 5,000.
If you'd like to support Valley Press and the goals outlined above, but don't have the budget/reading time to regularly buy new books (those bedside tables do fill up fast!), please consider taking out a paid subscription to this blog. It costs just £3.50 a month – even less if you subscribe annually – and makes a real difference to what we can achieve. (You'll also have access to exclusive posts, including fascinating “behind-the-scenes” content, publishing “how-tos”, and new writing from our authors.)
About Jamie McGarry
Jamie McGarry is the founder and Director of Valley Press. He has been passionate about publishing since the age of six, long before he knew what to call the process of arranging people's words in print between two covers. This interest continued throughout his youth, with Jamie often presenting his school projects in paperback format with a snazzy design, and running several school newspapers – the first of which was shut down for inciting unrest amongst his eight-year-old classmates.
Jamie started using the name "Valley Press" in late 2008 after purchasing his first ISBNs, named for the road he lived on at the time (Valley Road, in Scarborough, below the famous Valley Bridge). Initially, the goal of the press was simply to bulk out Jamie's CV, as a 20-year-old English Literature undergraduate dreaming of getting involved professionally in the world of books. By 2011, it had developed into a full-time job, as Jamie had realised that doing so was the only route to working in publishing without leaving his beloved home on the Yorkshire coast.
Between 2009 and 2022, Jamie oversaw the publication of more than 200 original publications of fiction, non-fiction and poetry at Valley Press, occasionally troubling some literary awards, if not the bestseller lists. He is particularly proud of providing more than 100 paid internship opportunities during those years, and employing several dozen young publishers who have gone on to do great things in the industry.
In spring 2022, with every role at the press competently filled – and suffering from what a fellow Northern publisher deemed "war weariness" – Jamie stepped away from publishing, intending to move to the education sector and inspire a new generation to follow in his footsteps. However, before he could really get started, the staff moved on to bigger and better things – and at the end of 2022 Jamie had to choose between selling up, giving up, or returning to run VP again full-time, by himself.
He chose the latter, and hasn't looked back since, falling in love again with the process of publishing, and formally "renewing his vows" with the business by starting this Substack in July 2023. What happens next is yet to be written – watch this space!