The Reality Street Supporter Scheme has been operating for - I can't believe this! - twelve years now. It started with a casual exchange on the British Poetry discussion list in 1998 about what people could do to support small presses publishing innovative writing. I said I would welcome donations of £50 (I think it was) in return for which I would give the donors free copies of all the press's output for three years and acknowledge their help publicly in the back of the books. To my amazement, half a dozen people immediately signed up - and the scheme has been growing ever since.

It has provided the underpinning to the press's survival. In combination with print-on-demand, which began to kick in around five years later, it was the means whereby I could wean the press off depending on capricious and anyway inadequate grants and see it survive and thrive unaided. More importantly still, it has been a measure of active moral support from readers and an ongoing source of confirmation that what I am doing as a publisher is of value.

Last year (the scheme has been formalised as an annual one now), we had the highest level of support on record, with 85 signed-up Supporters, who each received copies of the four titles we published during the year.

The scheme is international. Sixty Supporters were based in the UK, 13 in the USA, two in Canada, two in Ireland, one each in Australia and New Zealand, and the remaining six in continental Europe (France, Belgium, Germany).

The majority of Supporters have already renewed for this year and we have been joined by a few new ones too. As of today, 62 have signed up for the five books we are publishing in 2011, and the subscriptions are coming in daily. This means we will soon reach the point where the press is viable for another year, and I can breathe more easily.

The first two books of the 2011 programme are in production and will go to press shortly. They are Plants, a first collection by James Davies, and Occasionals, Carol Watts' second book for Reality Street. You can join the Reality Street Supporter Scheme at any time during the year and receive these books plus the next three - but if you want to ensure your name is listed as a Supporter in the back of these two titles, then you have until the end of this week (1st April) to become a Supporter. See here for more details. And here for more about the books.