Because we make little money, it is more pure. Since the driving force is art, not profit, we are free to put out what we want, profit be damned.
well, i wish i could say my motives were this pure but in all honesty - they're not. we love what we do, making books is satisfying and really does give you a sense of creative achievement (something that i'm surprised to have found at this stage of my life, when i'd effectively accepted that i totally lacked creativity).
we had two reasons for starting a small press: we wanted to play with book-art since we love the materiality of books, and we wanted to see published all the stuff we felt deserved to be. we didn't want to wait for someone else to do it. so that's what got us started. but i DO want to make money doing this. i would love to be free of having to work a shitty retail job for a living and just do this full time. (actually, i may in fact be doing this full time when my work visa runs out in early july, since my new work authorisation hasn't arrived and we have literally no idea when it will.) yes, it's an art but like all art it's also work, and like all work it's nice to get paid.
we sure as hell don't expect
to get paid, and we knew going into this that we would more likely lose money than make it. but that doesn't mean we aren't concerned with drawing some kind of income from what we do, that it's not something that factors in to how we (will) operate. having said that, it's also important that we don't compromise to make money - i.e. we won't publish stuff that we're not happy to publish just to turn a buck.
but bill genuinely is one of the few people out there truly concerned almost exclusively with creating the art. man, that guy practically refused money from me one time when i was trying to pay the full price of book i bought off him!
i could probably talk on this subject for a few more pages, but i'll shut up now except to say: thanks to everyone who supports small presses - we do appreciate it!