I didn’t mean to publish another book this way, but here it is. A couple hours after I finish writing this, I’ll get on my bike and ride three-quarters of a mile south to Bubbly Creek Industries, home of Nero Ink. I will look at a final proof of the thing I made, then they’ll make plates and offset print it on an ancient machine in the basement. I plan on being there to see how these sausages are made.
I’d been sitting on a draft of this thing a couple months after sending it to a few publishers to gauge interest. I keep hoping someone else will put skin in the game and take on some of the load off my shoulders but it’s just not happening. Not at the speed and under the conditions that I could accept anyhow. So I return to doing everything myself.
I have endless reserves of patience in certain matters and next to none in others. The trouble with sitting on a completed book, waiting on someone else to make it real, is it prevents me from moving on to the next thing. It’s like an itch just out of reach. I could ignore it if I had better self-control but why suffer when I could scratch myself bloody?
After not hearing back from anyone, I put a couple pages into Affinity to see what the printed version might look like, then just kept going. After an indeterminate amount of time—that dream flow state that art-making gets you to if it’s working—the entire book was done.
The printer in Michigan I worked with for the previous five books got sold to some larger company so I’d already been looking around for an alternative when a friend at Pleasant House told me about the press his brother had started working at. It’s a union shop in my neighborhood started by a former anarchist kid. I showed up one afternoon and, after about fifteen minutes of talk and an informal tour of the facility, knew I’d have my new book made there.
One of the wrinkles with this one is I wanted full-color images inside. The book has thirty-plus collages. I tried converting them to gray scale but they lost a lot in the process. I had no idea what this would set me back. Matt set my mind at ease. It’s more expensive than my previous books but still in the range where I can charge $20 for it and make some money.
I should have the boxes of my books in my house in a matter of weeks. Then I’ll sit at my desk and sign and number each of the 500 copies. Then I have to think up what to do for promotion. If you have a store or podcast or something, please get in touch. I’m not going back into any version of the Musk/Zuck-O-Sphere, so I have to spread the word through others or in different ways.
In any case, I’m happy with the way this one turned out even though I didn’t see it coming.
How’s about a bookmark?