Tuesday, December 8

had a good conversation with my roommate

while eating dinner tonight, my roommate was telling me about how, since she self-published her comic book the other day, she has gained 11 "fans," which she defined as people who requested copies of her book.

this makes me think about doing a free chapbook thing to give away/sell for really cheap to people i meet at readings and what not, or who care enough to write me via this website. the main reason for this is, i've pretty much finished my book and yet, even in the most fantastical and supersonically expedient scenario, would be unable to have it published and in somebody else's hands for another two or so years. i will almost be thirty by that time and, i fear, vaguely to supremely embarrassed of my efforts. i spend a lot of time (more than it is deserving, i realize) thinking about this, and stuff like this. it seems like having something for people to hold and read and think about now would be a good thing, something that would give me positive feelings of communicating with others, while also "laying foundations" for some kind of longer-term, sustainable occupation of my time -- a career. which would be sweet, which is to say, what i spend pretty much all my time trying to do at this point in my life.

so i want to do this, maybe. obviously there are all those stigmas with DIY self-publishing that, while no longer really present in other fields (i.e. punk and indie rock, comics, etc) remain for so-called "literature," which is what i think i'd hope my writing to considered as.

so DIY literature, how to go about it?

one route i know some people have gone is e-books. while i have read some pretty cool things online, and am happy i discovered them (i'm remembering reading tao lin's e-book "today the sky is blue and white..." back in 2005, when i was wasting away at my parent's house in south carolina, fresh out of college, depressed and completely aimless), i don't really enjoy reading things online (i do this out of convenience and/or poverty) and would prefer, if possible, for my others to experience my stuff the same way i would most like to experience someone else's stuff.

it's not just e-books. e-books seem kind of like 2005-8. what i hear a lot of people talking about constantly around here, meaning new york, is twitter. twitter novels, novels twittered, etc. it's not just other writers or bloggers or publishers, but like old people, people out of the loop, people who don't read or write but watch the news, people who don't even watch the news. honestly, i'll play along, but the thing seems pretty fleeting. what will people be talking about 2010? in 2011? in 2020? not twitter.

is there something that can work on a more local, intimate level? there is something nice about reading books that were obtained through directly dealing with the author. there's something "real" in that, i think. i am reminded of this author who drove to this guy's house to deliver the single copy he had of this book he had written. i thought he was fucking insane. but the idea behind it was pretty cool and, i think, in a lot of ways, right the fuck on. i don't know. there seems to be a pretty weird gap between writer and reader in the publishing world that i don't really understand. maybe i'm just not reading the "right" writers. i don't know. i could use the "it's getting late" excuse.

i think i will.

at any rate, i've been pounding on the keyboard enough today so i'm going to take a break on this. i will probably delete this later on, but for now, this remains.


ryan said...

brittany wallace

Mike Young said...

absolutely do it, make it, go for it

James said...

@ ryan, who is brittany wallace? i've been listening to belong's "october language" too lately. have you heard the EP they did before that? it's also great.

@mike, yeah, i think i might. you're one of the people who's been doing it. i'm guessing it's been worth it to you? would be cool to have some for readings, i think.

Mike Young said...

i started out doing it in the realm of punk rock, demo tape, etc. to me i have just never understood the stigma--well, i mean that sort of tongue-in-cheek. i am capable of understanding the stigma, sure. but i've proceeded as though i didn't understand the stigma. i feel like making your own chapbook goes hand in hand with promoting your friends whose work you love and helping spread in some way work that you're really excited about. i think these things together are how you have to do it. kick some dust up. and history supports overwhelmingly the validity of this model, i think.