touchable books

when i typed the header, I keep hearing susan sarandon singing “toucha toucha toucha touch me” in the background. ….over the last few days i have been talking about my new ‘project’ to the local librarians who know me. I was caught off guard because i hadn’t actually planned beyond producing the books, i figured the marketing would take care of itself. Where i started with 3 or 4 target books, my list of titles that i WANT to produce has swollen to about 15,  and that’s books i have collected the materials for…and then there are a couple i will need to write..so that’s like 18. I better get my shit together as i am really liking what i am doing and other people seem to like it as well ….this is never good this is when i usually shoot myself in the foot to get out of combat.

Remember, last week i had a little too much money kicking around and instead of paying a bill like a responsible grown up, i bought toys? well i thought i bought a toy…turns out i missed having a straight up camera in my pocket like an amputated limb. Once I started carrying it around I was snapping a LOT more than i have been with the damn Iphone which thought it CAN do a lot of things, it really isn’t as dependable and as easy as a camera.

I have spent the last two days collecting materials for future volumes. LOVE that camera.   Using my formula, i am taking MY cost for printing and ordering the book, so far between 2.50 and 3.50 and i am doubling it. THAT’s the wholesale price for 10 copies for the local museums, libraries and giftshops…then they can double THAT price and use the books as a decent fundraiser. i am even in talks with the coffee shop on the corner, but i need to spend 100 bucks on a display unit..i will need to sell 50 books to make that back, so no way am i making money. And so far…i have only given copies away..the local libraries can have their 1st copy for free…and considering the well worn and badly reproduced copies on their shelves? they will be coming back to buy an easy 10 of each I am sure.s hanging out with special collections librarians…the folks who mind the books you aren’t allowed to take out of the library. And these are the folks whom i do not have to sell on the idea of producing a line of what i am calling TOUCHABLE books. In the last 20 years our civilization has been digitizing our reference materials like mad. however we spent nearly no time using these digital versions to create touchable books so folks can HAVE them. Don’t even START with me about those fucking Print On Demand producers…they are churning out what can best be described as bound photocopies for USURIOUS rates…i mean what the fuck? the writer and subjects have been dead for 100 years, you used a machine to scan the book, and another machine to print it, a minimum wage slave to box it and you want THIRTY fucking bucks? that’s ballsy….but i digress.

Today I made the final clicks on the Vox Populi volume which I can bet right now …NO ONE will buy. I will give one to the Lowell Library but aside from that…it was just something i liked. I read the pieces i liked them…i had to practice Indexing anyway..and the cover is a work of art. I found the actual 1840s papers on microfilm, printed one of those really bad copies that we surprisingly still produce in the 21st century, then i photoshopped the hell out of it. I think it looks awesome considering…i even added the paper’s internal advert as a frontispiece. It reminded me, i need to start using the cover art as frontispieces so that folks can see the whole illustration.

That was then, now i have a few more titles on the hotplate. I am aiming to stay with methuen/lawrence titles until i run out…since those are the sales venues i have..then i can spiral out with interesting local titles i find. i started pairing up short pieces and some of them have to wait until i find something to pair it with. Tonights victim is..or rather ARE two pieces by the same author. A local historian in 1896 did a reading about the Merrimack Valley and then in 1900 did one about the Fall of the Pemberton Mill…so I am pairing them, adding an index…and after talking to the librarian I am going to add a little backmatter to bring his Pemberton Mill info up to date….it makes me feel that I will have earned my $2.50…$8.95 suggested retail price.

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