Do you support self-publishing?

No, the Open Fund for Individuals cannot support authors or other creators...

No, the Open Fund for Individuals cannot support authors or other creators for projects or activity that includes plans to:

  • self-publish trade books
  • promote self-published trade books via events, touring or other provision such as school workshops
  • undertake development of trade books ultimately intended for self-publication.

Publishers are considered to be organisations, and as such are not eligible to make an application to the Open Fund for Individuals. They should look at the information available on our website about other Funding Programmes currently accepting applications, including the Open Fund for Organisations.

What is self-publishing?

Self-publishing means that your book is published on your own initiative, and is not commissioned by a third party. You may manage the entire process as a one-person publishing company. You may work with a partner publisher or publishing service provider who asks you to contribute some or all of the costs of production of the book, from your own resources or from public or other funding. You may receive the stock to sell, or your partner may sell it on your behalf and share any profits with you.

What is a trade book?

A trade book is a book published for a consumer readership. Trade books are so named as these reach their market via the book trade – a supply chain including wholesalers, library suppliers, bricks-and-mortar bookshops, supermarkets, bookclubs, online traders and ‘non-traditional’ outlets such as gift shops, toy shops and heritage retailers. Trade books may be published in hardcover, paperback, ebook or audio formats and cover a wide selection of topics and genres.

How can I tell if my book is a trade book?

  • Is your book fiction, poetry, a picture book, graphic novel or other illustrated narrative, or creative non-fiction? If so, it is likely to be a trade book.
  • Is your book primarily for a public readership? If so, it is likely to be a trade book.
  • Is your book primarily intended for sale in bookshops and for loan in public or school libraries? If so, it is likely to be a trade book.

What sort of books are not trade books?

We understand that visual artists’ books may be intended to fulfil primary functions other than presentation of work to a general readership. The creation of the book may be part of the creative practice. It may function as a record of the project or work. Its audience may be specialist, for example the book might be intended for artist book fairs. It might be circulated with the aim of securing acquisition of work into collections, or it may promote the artist’s work and practice within specific professional networks.

If you are a visual artist seeking to create a book that is not a trade book, you may apply for support towards publishing costs.