January 30, 2015 — by Microcosm
Here's how we're rolling with reality this week.
I have the (bad?) habit of just kind of flying through books of poetry. I know it's usually the style of writing that demands the most attention, with each word or line-break having a very deliberate and specific meaning, but I often approach it like a song and go for the overall emotional impact. That's what happened the other day when I sat down with If I Really Wanted to Feel Happy I’d Feel Happy Already by Jordan Castro...one pint of coffee and 160 pages of minimalist prose later, it was back on the bookshelf and I was slumped in my chair. The title is probably enough to know why. RIYL: All those other sad sacks (Mira Gonzalez, Spencer Madsen, Ellen Kennedy, Sam Pink, etc.). But you really can't go wrong with anything from Civil Coping Mechanisms.
But to be honest, I've spent most of my life lately catching up on Bob's Burgers. It's its own sort of poetry.
I've been reading Humor by Stanley Donwood. He's one of my favorite artists, he did the covers for all of the Radiohead albums (except Pablo Honey). This isn't an artbook though... this is a collection of his nightmares. Which is surprisingly entertaining. Some of it is pretty gruesome, but most of it is oddly funny.
Also, I've been skimming through How to Stay Alive in the Woods. It's pretty good, once you get passed the killing-small-animals part.
And of course the new Tape Op magazine...which is always great. Especially while listening to lots of Portishead.
I started using Facebook in earnest again last week, after months away. In part, this was for awesome reasons like creating pages for the Crate Digger book and Feminists Against Freeways. But from there things got out of hand and I was right back to the glazed-eyed clicking and scrolling that I've sworn off so many times. That ate up every moment that I'd normally give to pleasure reading. On Thursday I wasn't feeling well and intended to rest all day, but there was social media, gnawing at my brain. Today I'm using Self Control again and my brain is once more my own.
January 28, 2015 — by Elly
We have a few ways of answering that.
Want a big picture look at the state of the industry, Amazon, the Big 5, and where small fry like us can fit in (and thrive)? We've got you covered.
Or would you prefer brass tacks instructions that you can follow along at home? We have that, too.
We have it in book form: Joe co-authored Make A Zine, which tells you not just how to lay out your type-written treatises for photocopying and handing out at punk shows, but how to publish books with spines, from editorial nuts to distribution bolts.
I wrote a blog post a ways back about running a small zine production operation out of my living room and funding it on Kickstarter.
For people who want to take their book publishing enterprise even farther, Joe has an ongoing series, The Business of Publishing, over on my blog from way back in 2014 when we ran separate enterprises. Each post offers an in-depth guide to a new aspect of the industry, geared toward advanced beginners. If you put out a book through CreateSpace and are wondering why you aren't getting ahead, read this!
There's remarkably little candid information we've found out there about how to publish books in a way that makes economic sense. (Sorry, Smashwords. Sorry, Amazon. You are all sharks, you're out to screw over authors, readers, and other publishers, and you know it.)
One refreshing exception came this week from our friend Amelia Greenhall, who wrote this extraordinarily detailed and useful account of founding a financially successful quarterly journal. (A word of caution: She was able to raise her entire first-year operating budget up-front. If that's not in the cards for you, you may need to be a bit scrappier.)
Another great resource on some elements of the most important but undervalued work that publishers do can be found here. The head of our former distributor, IPG, kicked off an extraordinarily helpful series on "habits of successful independent publishers." (My favorite part: "They spend a lot of time in bookstores."
January 13, 2015 — by MicrocosmNo comments
January 12, 2015 — by Elly BlueNo comments
January 09, 2015 — by Elly BlueNo comments
January 07, 2015 — by Elly BlueNo comments