Congratulations on your recent win at the Saboteur Awards Festival 2021! How did you feel when you found out that you’d been shortlisted this year?
The obvious grins of delight and a little surprise considering the quality of the others listed. We were thrilled and honoured that our people had felt so strongly that they had voted, the recognition that others felt so motivated to vote for you. Also determined to repay that Barmy Army of Indigo Dreamers by getting extra support for the next stage! Being Innovative after all these years in publishing is quite a boost….we are forever young, although thoughts of tattoos are probably out for now!
Do you feel the pandemic has impacted your work at all; made it harder, or perhaps even easier, to reach people and to promote what you’re doing?
Made it harder – at one point with bookshops shut, stock held at our distributors behind closed doors, printers on shorter hours, worries about postal service and banking etc. – we worried we might have to postpone trading ourselves. That was exacerbated when a wholesaler failed and a huge stock of books were returned to our distributor. This meant we’d been working hard for about three months with all profit consumed by that deficit. We kept going by a financial gift from a loyal follower that tided us over for a short while on cash-flow, enough to get other measures in place to keep going. We’ll never forget that person. Dawn also works for NHS and was seconded elsewhere some of the time, leaving Ronnie both worried for her safety with the pandemic and trying to look after almost everything single-handed. This was compounded on a 200% increase in submissions with people having more time to write. It’s been a huge challenge.
Are you working on anything at the moment that you might be able to tell us a little about?
We are working on about a dozen collections to be published before the end of the year. We’ll also be working on the second anthology for the League Against Cruel Sports – Ronnie is their Poet in Residence and is creating history while raising money with anthologies and poetry competitions!
Of course, one of the real shortfalls of not being able to run a live awards show is that people miss out on the opportunity to share an acceptance speech. While you’ve got the platform to, is there anything you’d like to share with readers about your win?
The reason the two of us are publishers isn’t to make loads of money, to promote a career or to gain reputations. We publish poetry because we love poetry and we feel passionate about good work getting a chance to be seen, read and heard; getting its chance in the spotlight because of its merit, not because of who the writer is, or what they’ve done before, but because it’s quality and it deserves a chance. We reinforce the established, take risks to publish new poets we think deserve this opportunity. We were acknowledged for this aspect by being the first joint winners of The Ted Slade Award for Service to Poetry. We’re very proud of that. We also make the entire process enjoyable. Pleasure, not pressure. We work with a brilliant community of writers at IDP: authors, poets, subscribers, supporters and encouragers who share that vision. Some of the ‘IDP Barmy Army’ have never written anything in their lives but just love what they read and want to support independent publishing. Incredibly, they have also decided they wanted to vote for us in droves – some feeling so motivated that they have set up internet accounts just to do it! This is their award really – they make IDP what it is, and why we keep on doing what we do. We thank you all.
You can keep up with the Indigo Dreams team, and their work, by following them on Twitter: @IndigoDreamsPub. For now, though, a huge congratulations again to Indigo Dreams for winning Most Innovative Publisher 2021!
Our next spotlight will be released on Sunday, June 27th, so stay tuned.