Someone should letterpress this... (1 Viewer)


You big wood type. Maybe a few colors. As a broadside people could frame. In their writing room, for instance. I'm just saying...
I was printing today (Charles Plymell's book). Would have been easy to set some wood type and hand roll some of these. Maybe next week,....

Who wrote the quote?
That says it all, hosh. The small presses publish work the big publishers don't have the love or guts to publish.
It's just business, I get that. But the art has gone out of so much of the publishing biz that small presses, to me, are all that's left. When bookstores carry a Snookie book over any of the Menebrokers, or the Krechs, or Draimes, or Pymells -- well, you know things are wrong at a fundamental level.

So, viva la small presses!
Viva small press nobodies!
Viva art!
Before Borders cracked off and fell in the ocean, their staff always referred to books as "product." Not to the public, but amongst themselves. That's all they were to them, product. Of course, that's not what killed their company, a lack of love for books. It was Amazon underselling them, mostly likely. But still, it feels like justice. Not that Amazon has any more love for books than Borders did. They probably refer to books as product themselves.

Can you imagine a good small press editor, say someone like Bill Roberts, saying to himself "Sure, it's crap, but I'll make a killing on this turd of a book!" What he does say is "Sure, I'll lose money on this one and the next ten, but they are too good not to publish."
The small presses publish work the big publishers don't have the love or guts to publish.

I don't think it's a matter of love or guts as much as it is just trying stay in business and make a living. The small press editors can publish whatever they want precisely because they are small - most of them don't rely on publishing books to pay their mortgage. If you're investing the kind of money it takes to do print runs in the tens of thousands, you won't have a job for very long if you are basing your choices on any other factor besides what will sell the most books.

Don't get me wrong, I love the small press and try to support it as much as I can. But big publishers have their place, too. I think any resentment towards what big publishers decide to print is misplaced. If anything, direct it toward the general public that drives the demand.
marina del rey: yes, they are just trying to make a buck, but they are so bad at it, choosing all the wrong crap. Look at most book that make it really big, that become classics that sell forever, and they were almost all rejected by 50 or 100 commercial publishers. Why? Because the big publishers have no clarity of vision. They don't love books. They just grab what they think will be easy money. And most of the time they are wrong and their picks don't sell any better than a good book would. I think big publishing has changed completely since, say, the first half of the 20th century. Back then, editors and publishers were bookmen (and women). They published what they believed in. They had high standards and aspirations. And, they wanted to make money, too. But now it's just corporate fools with no taste. And, yes, the public buys a lot of the junk they put out, but they also don't buy it. I don't resent big publishers. I just don't have any respect or need for them.
If you think books are holy artistic relics I can see why making a business of selling them might be distasteful. But there is not a "small press" writer who would decline big-publisher mass sales money. Anyone who claims they would is either a liar or an idiot.

Books are no different than movies, records or television shows. They are entertainment. Most people in the world favor the same kind of non-challenging entertainment, because their lives are challenging enough. For those of us who are always looking for more, there is less popular entertainment; small press, independent films and music.

The small press isn't small for lack of ambition, it's small because the audience is small.

People active in this forum are fringe types, so it makes sense that the prevailing attitude would be anti-popular, but we have to be realistic. The fact is technology is quickly making corporate book and music publishing obsolete, so it's going to be a very different playing field. It already is. So there are fewer excuses for lack of success for those outside the mainstream.
I agree 100% that the world is changing. It's getting easier and easier to find/support/buy things directly from the people who make them. Etsy. deviantart. I suppose even Hell, you can find an artist you like on Tumblr. and if you like their stuff, potentially buy something straight from them. That is very awesome.
The big publishers do publish some good books too which you can learn something from, such as history books, art books, books about music, movies, and many other subjects. They also publish some good literature and re-print many of the "classics". That said, they publish a lot of crap too! :D
Small press is the only place you'll find work from new poets. The larger presses will only print poetry with a strong record of sales and so even some established poets have to find their outlet through the small press.

For limited run presses like Bill's you are putting your own money on the line with the rewards being many but none of them financial. A friend has put thousands into a new book he's binding and even if he sells the lot he'll still barely cover the costs and that's not even taking into account the (probably) hundreds of hours producing them.

This is where you have to be careful though, there is small press and then there is small press. Some small presses turn over millions and are responsible for the dirge you find on highstreet bookshelves. I like the snappy slogans but I don't necessarily believe they're wholly accurate, but if they help generate an audience for presses like mine then I'm all for it :)

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