January 27, 2013

We Want To Do Books

Dave Simmer and I want to expand on the magazine (Thrice Fiction) and begin to move into the realm of books. We've found the guy we want to publish, an expatriate Irishman named James Claffey.

If you've looked in on Thrice you've no doubt seen him in two of our six issues. For me, he is a logical continuation of the phenomenon of the Irish writer with that particular, peculiar Celtic mind, who improves on the English language as he goes along, that the world of literature always seems to call up. Claffey brings a modern vibe to that legacy. His work is lyrical, tightly executed, and incredibly engaging. Hard to stop reading once you start.

I've spoken with James and told him that after I sort through the stories we're going to use in issue #7 (which will be published in March), we'll have time to sit down and work out what he wants to do. It should be a blast. As far as I'm concerned we'll just go with his instinct and work from that starting point.

It looks more and more like we settle on online publishing, pay-per-print, under the Thrice banner. From book design to promotion. Our inaugural title.

I say "settle" because it's probably the only way to do it, but it's not how I would have liked it to be done.

Of course I would prefer physical books in independent bookstores, setting up readings for the author, and carrying an inventory. But I recognize that more and more in this day and age it is very difficult to do.

It isn't as if I haven't been trying and, in fact, I have one more brain to pick this coming weekend when I sit down with an old friend and talk about what she knows relative to book distribution. It's what she does.

 I found a printing operation that is an IWW compliant collective - a prerequisite for me, being a member of the OBU. That even makes the initial physical printing more manageable, money wise. In fact, if we were to form our publishing house as a collective (or co-op) there are organizations that can provide funding and guidance. Not to mention that start-up funding website, whatchamacallit. This would lessen the up front investment that neither Dave or I could probably tackle, going the more traditional route.

The problem is that, and Dave has been very patient as I sort through what he's already sorted through once before, competing with the mammoth that is the online prerogative makes fighting the old school fight that much more difficult. And, to be honest, we can still arrange for promotions and readings and such. After all, it is being done.

I'm finding this all out for myself. As I mentioned, as Dave's already well versed in the whole story. So anyway the last bit of research comes next weekend when I have that run-through with my friend.

Whatever happens, we're doing it. One way or another. And no matter how we get it done - I couldn't be more excited. I'm hoping you all (those of you that are left) follow along. We count downloads of the magazine into the thousands (though we're sure the counts we're getting are not as accurate as we'd like), and Thrice touches several continents through the web. The base is established, as far as I'm concerned. All that's left to do is the work.