The Welsh Books Council is a national body, funded by the Welsh Government, which provides a focus for the publishing industry in Wales. It provides a number of specialist services (in the fields of editing, design, marketing and distribution) with a view to improving standards of book production and publication in both Welsh and English. It also distributes grants to publishers. The Books Council actively promotes reading and literacy in Wales.
The Welsh Books Council is a unique, national organisation with no direct comparisons. It has grown organically, responding to the particular needs of Wales. It combines many of the roles of several organisations in the UK: the Reading Agency, Book Trust, trade organisations supporting publishers and booksellers, and aspects of the grant-awarding work of Arts Councils.
The Books Council has a staff of around 48, most of whom work in a number of specialist Departments which provide services to the book trade. The largest Department is the Distribution Centre which provides a wholesale distribution service to publishers and booksellers. Unlike the rest of the Council's work, this Centre, which has an annual turnover of £5 million gross (£3.3 million net), is self-supporting and does not receive any subsidy from the public purse. The Books Council also has a Publishing Grants Department, which is responsible for distributing grants towards the cost of publishing books, magazines and related material in both English and Welsh.
The Welsh Government recently announced additional funding of £200,000 per annum over three years (2008/09–2010/11) to support the Welsh-language press. The new online news and current affairs service, Golwg 360, was established with this funding.
The Welsh Books Council's headquarters are at Castell Brychan, Aberystwyth. The Distribution Centre is situated in the Glanyrafon Enterprise Park, on the outskirts of the town.