Frequently Asked Questions

Who are you? What’s all this about?

My name is Andrew Rickard. I am a translator and used to be an in-house book editor. I founded The Obolus Press to share the works of lesser-known artists and authors. You can learn more about me here, read more about the origin of the press here, and find contact details here. If you are looking for something in particular, search here.

How much does shipping cost? Do you accept returns?

Shipping rates are here. If a print book has gone missing or been damaged in transit we will — at our discretion — send you another copy or issue a refund, but we are a small operation and we are not able to accept returns (especially not bulk returns from bookstores). Contact us to initiate a refund. No refunds on e-books.

What are your e-books like? how can I download one?

Obolus PDF e-books do not contain encrypted digital rights management (DRM); you are free to read them on whatever device you please, and you may copy, print, and search in them. You will receive a download link by e-mail after your purchase. Read more about our e-books here.

Is this web site secure?

Yes. All payments are securely processed by PayPal or Stripe. Your credit card number and security code are never revealed to The Obolus Press or stored on our website.

Why aren’t your books on amazon?

It is unwise to build your house on another man’s land. At one time Obolus Press titles were sold on Amazon via Ingram’s Lightning Source, but after they increased their minimum discount from 20% to 40%… Forget it. And why would one wish to do business with Amazon after reading things like this and this?

Do you offer a trade discount to other booksellers?

Yes. See here for wholesale rates.

Do you receive government grants?

The Obolus Press operates outside of the literary establishment; it has never applied for, nor received, a government or arts council grant. This artistic endeavour relies entirely on the sale of books — to beautiful people of discerning taste and profound erudition.

What is an obolus?

An obolus is a little silver coin. In ancient Greece it was commonly placed under the tongues of the dead so that they could pay Charon to be ferried across the river Styx to the underworld. The word is still used in French (verser son obole) and in German (seinen Obolus entrichten): if you pay an obolus you are making a modest contribution towards something. The publisher hopes to render a small service to literature by bringing the works of defunct French and German authors to English readers.

Why are your prices in US dollars?

The press is located in Canada but its books are often printed in or shipped from the United States, so prices are set in the same currency to limit foreign exchange risk.

Do you accept submissions?

The Obolus Press only works with authors who have been dead since 1971 (and whose works have therefore entered the public domain in Canada). If you can draw breath, you’ll have to submit your work elsewhere.