Sunday, March 04, 2007
I twiddled a series of poems into a chapbook at lulu.com yesterday. mostly just to see how the process goes. I ordered a copy to look at, and if it feels okay, I'll offer to readership. I own a number of books produced by Lulu, so I'm not concerned about print quality, I'm tuned more to the work itself. self-publish brings up several issues, some of which are bugaboos. the 1st is the matter of editorial judgment. we all know that our critical eye mayn't always see clearly when regarding our own work. Lulu (I haven't explored the other self-publish players) is free, insofar as you can set up all the books you want. tempting to stick everything into print. anyone wishing to see the printed product, however, including you, must place the nickel down. it's a bit spendy ordering a single book, so to scale the thing more comfortably, you may want to buy in quantity. Lulu and its pards are valid resources, tho. so I want to see if what I thunk was a book is so when I get it in my hands. the 2nd issue about diy is the need for imprimatur, that it somehow lacks coolness to publish your own work. especially in publish or die land. that attitude strikes me as loathsome. it seems like an artist had ought to control the means of production. working with Lulu is not the same as printing it out yourself, poking thru the cover stocks, sewing the cover and what not, but you do enter deeper into the process of production. Beth and I framed a few of our own pictures (that we did, I mean) last year. that's akin to publishing. the further step, requiring knowledge and wherewithal, would be to do the framing ourselves. those works have been placed into the world by the act of framing them. they're on the wall. you have work you think deserves being seen, and so do I. why wait for an editor to select what you have submitted? I like typesetting, using different fonts to make a good visual impression. because I knew a leedle (not a lot) about computers and word processors some years ago at work, someone asked me to help him with a project of his. he knew negative zero about computers but had all these arty ideas of how to format his work. much of what he wanted couldn't be accomplished within the strictures of the word processor's functionality then. I think something crucial sits within that disconnection he had from how things happened. I mean, I can hum a great bass line but I never learned the rather important skill of fingering the bass. the kid in the basement labouriously going blum blum blum has it all over me. Beth says art is creative problem solving. bringing forth work for others to see or hear is yet another problem to solve. a huge problem for me has been putting my work in front of people. only in the last few years have I efforted that aspect of the writer's drama. writing is more than just getting the words down. writing includes its presentation.