Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Updike dead

Not that I've read anything by him outside of a few New Yorker stories, but he lived on north of Boston, pretty close to where I grew up.

Fun quote I found in his obit in the Boston Globe:

"I'm more or less a shady type improvising his way from book to book and trying to get up in the morning without a toothache."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Issue 181 complete

With the constant updating we do around here, it's not the easiest figuring out when an issue has been arranged and fully moved into the archive. The daily updates we do is more of an under-construction sort of thing, but it's every other Sunday when the most recent completed issue is locked down. If anybody ever wanted to, like, talk about some of the work we've run, this would be a good place.

181 in cement.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Letter to the editor

I'm curious what your thoughts are regarding publishing these days. Must one merge with the consumer model? Or can one subvert/supplant/circumvent it?

One mustn't merge with the consumer model if they don't mind doing it just to do it, but if the idea is to make money, merging with the consumer model is a better idea, although even that's not a sure shot. There have probably been more than five thousand failed publishers for every successful one.

I don't necessarily know what the consumer model is, but in my head, these are the non-supplantable angles that need to be considered:

1. Lots of cash is needed to get more printed books for each dollar spent.

2. Creative marketing can only go so far. More cash is needed for advertising.

3. Print coverage (newspapers, magazines) goes further than web coverage, but each is important, and there needs to be many layers.

4. Your writer should be out on the road all the time. Readings sell the most books. The more different locations, the better.

5. A publisher also needs somebody who can do sales... getting your book into bookstores is important. This is very important, but a waste of time unless steps 1-4 are successful.

6. Ideally, this sequence will have to be repeated several times successfully. A strong and relevant backlist is also important. It's possible steps 1-5 would be happening simultaneously, but with several different books. Which is why I think a successful publisher will be a team of at least three people.

7. All of which will be for naught if you have a shitty project. No bookstore is going to carry something with an amateur terrible design. No reviewer will pay attention to something that hasn't been well edited.

The only angle I can think of right now to circumvent some of these steps would be to design eBooks directly for portable reading devices like the Amazon Kindle. Cutting printed books and shipping out of the equation would be very helpful. But somebody doing this needs to hope that those devices take off (and I honestly can't tell if that's going to work or not), and I'd imagine they'll also need to still spend an awful lot to market their books and get enough people to read them. Seems like just as shitty a bet as starting a traditional publishing venture.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

AWP Chicago

Anybody going to this thing? I'd like to met some heads, and I'd love to save a few bucks and crash on a couch somewhere...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

how many more times... I going to end up in a crowded bar with a girl who doesn't mind crying in public?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Feels good to be a gangster

Thanks to Renaissancejones for the mental cue.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quote to consider

"I dumbed down for my audience to double my dollas
They criticize me for all yet they all yell holla"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

--Ed.'s Best of 2008

Hey gang, happy '09. Here's a last little look back at 2008. Looking through the last year's, yeah, we ran some really good stuff. Thanks to all the writers and editors and readers. New stuff coming on Monday.

Twelfth by Zach Plague
Modesty by Kenneth Calhoun
Cheney Don't Dance by Peggy Newland
Harvest by Jared Smith
Duckass II by Mike Boyle
Turtle Soup by Woodie Stephenson
Having Won the Lottery, James Becomes an Epicurean by Kevin Wilson
No Eating by Russell Zerbo
The Consciousness of Infestation by Marc Gulezian

Creme in Crematorium by Nick Demske
2 Poems by Steven Breyak
I'm an Inexperienced Hiker by Andrew Ratner
Grizzly Adams by Brenton Rossow
The Problem with Any Sort of Change by Drew Kalbach
Leftovers by Damien Harpel
Considering by Rachel Toliver
Cap and Gown by Chad Forbregd
I Wrote an Ode by Matt Summers