A publisher recently rejected my proposal to reprint my first and only photo book, and it hurt. Even though I thought I had equipped myself with the necessary relativist attitude before approaching the man, when the “no” call came it found me as soft bellied as ever. Other than turning to meditation, sports, heavy drinking or other remedies for the disappointment, I have recently discovered the bliss of being my own publisher – actually seeing my name in print - without any red tape or excessive cost. This is essentially what some companies are offering, and I am presently hooked on Blurb, to name one. Make no mistake about it, the risk of becoming addicted is serious.
Like many other habits, this one can be as innocent or bad as you make it. Depending on the frequency with which you indulge, and your attitude. Right from the start I had been aware of this, and decided that in no way this new hobby was going to distract me from trying to reach real publishers, and get real books on the real market. Tempting as it may be to go one’s way without the need to have social intercourse with the ever unreliable and unpredictable “others”, so prone to let us down and be unappreciative of our talents, it is still necessary to reach out and understand that we are not alone, no man is an island and blah blah blah, as a far better alternative to any kind of avataric “second life” the web might seem to provide us with. In true there is only one life, and each minute is precious.
So this is my Blurb plan: I will enjoy the free software to design dummy books that may serve me well to organize my thoughts and churn out presentable copies, very few copies, of my work in progress. These I can give away to potential clients, if I can afford to, and show to publishers as a presentation tool, sort of 3D power point slides with a plus, of a concept. Possibly this could also be a healthy way of getting some ideas out of my system and onto the paper, so as to free my thoughts for other things. The bound volumes fit nicely on a shelf and hold much less space than the assorted shoe boxes and plastic crates that make up my archive at the moment, slowly invading the whole studio . Also they are a lot easier to show and carry around. Allow me, if you will, to make them available to the public on the internet, at a minimal price, so that the flimsiest of chances of actually selling some may sustain me morally on the way to hopefully far richer publishing deals.