Forced to reduce staff and delay books because of the distressed economy, Brooklyn-based Archipelago Books, a small prize-winning nonprofit press specializing in literary translations, is reaching out to its supporters and the general reading public for donations to help it survive.

Founded in 2003 with a mandate to publish translations of classic and foreign contemporary literature, Archipelago Books is about to publish its 50th literary translation. However, Jill Schoolman, a spokesperson for the small nonprofit press, said that nonprofit publishers like Archipelago Books were facing dire financial shortfalls due to the economy. Schoolman said that nonprofit presses typically piece together their budgets from “book sales, foundation support, government grants and from individual contributions. We don’t need to tell you that the recession has had severe effects on each of these sources of revenue.” In addition to reducing staff and delaying books, Archipelago Books has also had to reduce print runs and been forced to slash its marketing and promotion.

The press has set up a webpage listing a variety of types of donations and the house also has a subscription service that gives subscribers a discount on new books.

Among the prize-winning titles published by Archipelago Books are Tranquility, a Hungarian novel by Attila Bartis, which was named one of the best translated books of 2009 by Three Percent, the international translation resource center; and Small Lives, a collection of short fiction by Pierre Michon, which won the 2009 French-American Foundation Translation Prize.