The Second Shelf

Created by A. N. Devers

The Second Shelf is a rare book business and a new quarterly print publication focused on increasing the visibility of writing by women and their contributions throughout history.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

A New Shop and News!
almost 5 years ago – Thu, May 09, 2019 at 12:15:15 PM

Dear The Second Shelf Supporters, 

Hello! I have owed you an email for some months. 

The last time I was in touch we mentioned we were sending out the majority of our merchandise perks, and were still in the throes of renovating our space to open the store. It was all very unexpected and exciting and it has meant I have been very busy learning to run and manage the brick and mortar shop that essentially fell from the sky. 

photo credit Jo Emmerson
photo credit Jo Emmerson

The shop is open! However, what that meant for me was pivoting to dealing with aspects of the store’s day-to-day admin, instead of a literary magazine and online bookstore. It also meant a significant amount of money had to found, far beyond the cost of the initial Kickstarter.

The magazine, The Second Shelf: Rare Books and Words By Women, which I had conceived of as a quarterly at the launch of this Kickstarter, cost more to produce and ship than was expected, but it is successful beyond our dreams. We have essentially sold out of our 2,000 copy print run. We now have a London distributor, and are working on getting the next issue out as soon as possible. 

However, I have needed to scale back its frequency and make it a bi-annual publication in order to have time and afford to do it and match the quality of Issue 1. The good news is the new issue is almost done, the pieces and books are in (tracking down all the books we wanted to highlight proved to be more difficult this time around) and design is in progress. There's lot to be excited for in it, and I will post more about it soon, but for now I will say we have an incredible portfolio of essays, art, and books by Angela Carter as its focus. I’m hoping we can ship it in June, and then we will get on with a bi-annual schedule that is focused on Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. Don't fret! Backers and subscribers will still get four issues, but over two years! This was a way to make The Second Shelf: Rare Books and Words By Women magazine something sustainable and also open a bookstore. Kickstarters who would like to order Issue 2 can do so here. 

Thank you again for your support. It has been magnificent and this store would not exist without you or the help of my dedicated part-time staff. The Second Shelf has been thrilled to send off all of your perks, totes and t-shirts. The only items still to come are the issues of the magazine, and the Ariana Reines poetry broadside, printed by Hurst Street Press. The broadside is done, and is beautiful, we only need to track down Ms. Reines to sign it before we can ship it off.

Many of our backers and our original Kickstarter supporters have stopped by the shop. We appreciate it! If you haven't yet, we are open Tuesday-Saturdays and now have events planned for summer. Come along to the shop at 14 Smiths Court, London W1D 7DW. 

photo credit Sarah Marr
photo credit Sarah Marr

We have almost completed our The Second Shelf website and online store and will send another note when it opens! We know you are waiting and we are very close to getting books for sale online. 

Everyone's support has been tremendous, thank you for helping to balance the bookshelves and collecting books by women! 

The Second Shelf: AN Devers Profile - Vulture

AN Devers and the Second Shelf Are Paving the Way to A More Feminist Literary Canon - Bitch Media

The Second Shelf - Toast

For You
over 5 years ago – Tue, Nov 06, 2018 at 11:01:47 AM

The Second Shelf has been honored to have your support through the beginning stages of our journal, business, and store. It's been a laborious journey, but your kindnesses has carried us through. Thank you for supporting women and writing in this way. 

Please expect your perks in your mailboxes any day now. We're excited for you to have them and hope you'll be pleased. It would make our day to see pictures of you wearing The Second Shelf totes and shirts. 

Again, many thanks and we look forward to meeting you all in person in our Soho store, which will open soon. We'll keep you updated. 

Warm wishes, 

The Second Shelf 

The Second Shelf and You!
over 5 years ago – Wed, Oct 03, 2018 at 08:57:33 AM

The Second Shelf is now in print and in the mail to backers!
The Second Shelf is now in print and in the mail to backers!

The Second Shelf: A Quarterly of Rare Books and Words By Women is hot off the press and have been shipped from our mail house. They are crossing the pond and starting to arrive. Digital downloads will be sent by the end of the week!

Backers totes, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and posters have been printed and after a few hurdles with shipping are now getting ready to mail out this week. 

Surprise first editions and mini-libraries are being selected and assembled over the next two weeks, and will ship by mid-October. If there is any reason, if the purchase was a gift, for example, you need yours to arrive sooner, please email [email protected] and we will do our best to prioritize your needs. Everyone has been patient and we appreciate it so much. 

The Second Shelf has also been pond hopping and setting up at The Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, and the Brooklyn Book Festival, and I spoke at the Cardiff Book Festival and the National Library of Scotland! All of this couldn't have happened without a lot of help from our friends, part-time staff, and supporters. Our biggest project is that we are opening a brick-and-mortar store in London, hopefully in mid-November.

Our website is still under development, primarily due to the unforeseen opportunity to open the shop, and our need to finalize details for the shop, in order to finish the website. It is coming along, though, and when it goes up we will have a bookstore online with over 600 books ready to browse. In the meantime, if you want to purchase something from the first issue of The Second Shelf, simply email us at [email protected]. Don't hesitate, as orders have started to come in! 

Thank you for all of you vocal support. We couldn't have done what we are doing without you and your enthusiasm has been a bright light guiding us through the choppy new business seas. 

To those asking how to help support our launch further, we offer our sincere appreciation. One thing that helps us keep going and growing that you can do, if you wish, is ask your library to subscribe. We can set up an account for them, as many can't do the Backerkit preorder. They can email us for more information at [email protected]. And if you need to direct them to more information about what we are up to, feel free to send them this profile that published last night in Vanity Fair. Thank you!

If you'd like to join The Second Shelf's mailing list to learn about future events, deals, and issues of our quarterly, sign-up here.

If you've decided you want more merchandise, or additional issues or subscriptions you have time! They are available here.

Truly yours,

A. N. Devers

Surveys and Add-ons: The Second Shelf
over 5 years ago – Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 12:27:20 AM

Dear Second Shelf Supporters, 

You should soon have a survey in your inbox! They are being sent now, but there is a test-run of a small percentage before all will arrive. Please fill that out for us so we can get you exactly what you want from us. We can't wait to see The Second Shelf's merchandise in the wild. 

If you want to add anything on to your order, know that this is a possibility! We're working with Backerkit to provide a way for you to add-on or even change your choice of merch. We added several new options for you. And anything you add on will help us cover the costs of printing the quarterly, and perhaps even open a brick and mortar store - a new development we are crossing our fingers might happen as early as October. Additional shirt, tote, and quarterly purchases will help make that far more likely as well. 

Thank you all for your backing in this multifaceted vision that all comes down to one focus: supporting women's words. 


The Second Shelf

A Summer Supporter Update
over 5 years ago – Tue, Jul 31, 2018 at 03:33:12 PM

Photo credit: Jo Emmerson from Allison Wright's VQR piece "Books We Should Have Known"
Photo credit: Jo Emmerson from Allison Wright's VQR piece "Books We Should Have Known"

Dear Second Shelf Supporters,

Happy Summer to you!

We had anticipated sending out our surveys a couple weeks ago, but are still hashing out details on production of The Second Shelf merchandise and have been held up on rather boring details of batches and quantities and affordability -- and we want to make sure those shirts, totes, and posters are as beautiful as possible before sending them to your mailboxes this fall. Please be on the look out to fill out a survey, coming to your inbox soon, so we can get your perks exactly right.

We've also been finalizing the design of the first issue of The Second Shelf: A Quarterly of Rare Books and Words By Women, getting back to our website design, attending events, and spreading the word about the need to feminize the bookshelves at Virginia Quarterly Review, The Paris Review, and Books and Papers Fairs, and just today at Lithub, and we are selling books, too. We had a booth at the Idler Festival, will be attending the Cardiff Book Festival, the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, the Brooklyn Book Festival, where we plan on selling the first issue of the quarterly. 

We are also pursing a potential retail space with absolutely no certainty much will come of it, but we believe it's worth investigating. We promise to keep you updated, as we'd love for you to visit. All perks are still on schedule to deliver in September - cross your fingers for us during this wild few weeks!

Warmest wishes,

Allison Devers, Proprietor 

Messages always welcome to [email protected]