Corona/Samizdat discussion

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THe communal nature of c/s

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message 1: by Rick (new)

Rick Harsch | 49 comments Mod
This is by nature an accidental press and a communal press, and I invite any member of this group to suggest anything, offer any ideas, and help in any way that does not require actual work. Someone remarked, mostly jokingly, that now I know what publishers go through. I said, no, not at all. What makes this press stand out is that we have no need to profit from any particular book. We have no need for profit at all. I have to pay back a loan that got this started but I am already almost halfway there. From that point on, my financial goal is to make enough off each book, on average, to pay for another book. This makes selling my own books of benefit, as I can put ALL of that money into the press. I am sure my family is eating some of the money from sales, but soon I will work out a division of proceeds that gives my family and I the means to choose what goes into life and what goes into the press. I hope that this can become to some degree a model for other small presses.


message 2: by Mike E. (new)

Mike E. Mancini | 8 comments Hello all,

I’d like to get some of these books onto the shelves of NYC book stores. I’ll do the leg work, and make the pitch to the sales people of said stores. What are the thoughts of the community on this idea? Am I overstepping my boundaries? Are there any boundaries in this worthwhile endeavor?

I’m placing an order for myself and a few friends on Thursday. I wanted to discuss this before that.


message 3: by Rick (new)

Rick Harsch | 49 comments Mod
Hi Mike,

I hope to give people such a waft of welcome they don't even think of boundaries. I put up possible covers on instagram and the few who didn't merely like the possibilities came up with some great ideas and one new friend in particular is actively helping with the cover of a different book. I have determined the press will be non-profit, so that not only should help it survive, but to my mind invites communal activity. I don't take submissions because I refuse to become an arbiter simply because I've found myself publishing pocket books by novelists, but the books have to come from somewhere. I have plenty of my own left to publish, but only one will be coming out in the fall, as I have the Slovene Bori Praper, Jeff Bursey, and for the first time in English the full novel by Roberto Arlt in one volume, The Seven Madmen/The Flamethrowers. That, and Eddie Vegas is running out, so I have to print more--a friend has found a way to cut 100 pages with just a couple minor layout and font changes. Should those all be managed, and I think I will, there is now a list of two more novels, one by David Vardeman, and one by WD Clarke. Both are relatively short, so should be inexpensive. But what I was getting to was where the novels corona/samizdat prints will come from. The community somehow or another. I don't know. I won't read for this. I hope a community flings up books that need a pocket edition or whatever.
As to your idea, of course I would love to do something like that, but I have no idea how, particularly given postage problems. One idea is to turn the press blog into a pamphlet available at stores...beyond that, one line that I REALLY want you to cross, and anyone else please as well, is the line between my brain and the needs and possibilities of this press.


message 4: by Mike E. (new)

Mike E. Mancini | 8 comments With some time and patience we can calculate the shipping of a box of assorted C/S books to New York. I can distribute them to the stores that show interest initially. Venmo would be a great way to move the money from sales.

For the sake of convenience I will canvas those mom/pop shops in manhattan and Brooklyn only. Baby steps.
We can talk on What’s App sometime if you’re willing and able.


message 5: by Rick (new)

Rick Harsch | 49 comments Mod
I am quite willing and medium able, my number +386540788855. What makes venmo better than paypal?


message 6: by Mike E. (new)

Mike E. Mancini | 8 comments I never get hit with surcharge using Venmo. PayPal is fine too.


message 7: by W.D. (last edited Aug 04, 2020 09:39AM) (new)

W.D. Clarke (wdclarke) | 3 comments Correct me if I am wrong, but though PayPal now owns Venmo, I believe those of use without US bank accounts are not able to use it (yet)?


message 8: by Mike E. (new)

Mike E. Mancini | 8 comments In this specific case it’s all about a box (two?) of books landing in NYC, with Mike (me!) distributing them to any and all stores that showed mild interest.

Beyond that, no money is changing hands on a scale even worth discussing yet. PayPal is fine for a couple of necessary transactions.

We must get these books on the shelves of a select group of small shops; stores where they won’t get lost in the shuffle. I have many shops nearby. Maybe we can take advantage of this convenience.


message 9: by W.D. (new)

W.D. Clarke (wdclarke) | 3 comments Mike E. wrote: "In this specific case it’s all about a box (two?) of books landing in NYC, with Mike (me!) distributing them to any and all stores that showed mild interest.

Beyond that, no money is changing han..."


Haha yes i was just indulging in a typically Canadian complaint of being denied all the shiny new American toys 😉


message 10: by Rick (new)

Rick Harsch | 49 comments Mod
I will start by finding out how many books can fit in a 46€ box. But here is another problem: the stores get 40%, or used to. I assume that hasn't changed. So to take it on a small scale. Let's say I send 20 copies of An Angel of Sodom--that's about 2€ per book. The book sells for, say, 8.5€. The store takes 3.40. The book has brought in 5.10, which is about 2 Euros more than it cost to print. It might make more sense with Skulls, though that comes with an errata sheet. But as Skulls is my book, and the press is non-profit, and money made off it I can put back into the press. That's the reason I put my two books on sale: because the amount I take in doesn't affect anything. But if I take in less per book for George or David, it takes them more sales to make the investment and thus their royalties. As far as Driftless, which I would love to do this with, the total cost for printing was very high because of the size, and of course, mail is more for fewer because of the size. Maybe the best strategy is for you to choose two places where your relations with the staff are good enough that they would be interested in what you say, and send guinea pigs over, however many Skulls and Driftless Zones I can fit in the 46€ box. What do you think? Maybe you could print out a couple copies of the catablog and see what kind of interest they have. (I can't do it with Eddie Vegas because I still want to find a US publisher for it.) Also, things may look different after the fall books come out. I know Jeff Bursey has plans of his own for his book in Canada at the very least, places to send them or something. In fact, I hope he checks in here and gives us his opinion. Whatever happens, Mike, I'm grateful for your energies.


message 11: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Bursey (jeffbursey) | 6 comments Mike, are there local printers who could, say, take a person's family memoir written for the grandchildren and make a book of it, if it was all designed and everything done except the printing, and not charge body parts for that?


message 12: by Mike E. (new)

Mike E. Mancini | 8 comments Hey Jeff, we have many small printing shops in Brooklyn and NY. I assume I need page count and dimensions to receive an informed quote.

What’s you have in mind?


message 13: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Bursey (jeffbursey) | 6 comments To #12 and #14: putting on one scale postal rates and such and, on the other, electronic transmission of files to a person who could get the books printed (not published) in the u.s.


message 14: by Rick (new)

Rick Harsch | 49 comments Mod
Olof is out and now, as of yesterday, Brossard's first big masterpieces is out: Wake Up. We're Almost there. I put this here because the interest on the part of readers was particularly vivid in the case of both these books, and of course because Olof is a communal work in a very real sense.
So is Brossard as relates to corona\samizdat. It was easy and natural to include a Steven Moore blurb, but it was also easy and natural to include a goodreads reviewer, Nathan Gaddis (Mr. Moore, said about this, Oh, I didn't know he knew the book.). And the introduction was offered/assigned to Zachary Tanner, the press cover feller, which occurred by accident more or less, starting from the simple fact that he could manage to replace a pepsi bottle with a liquor bottle on a photo. That led to more covers and a very low-paying job that pays off big for corona\samizdat, as Zach wrote a terrific intro to Wake Up, and his cover is the height of montage art. Meanwhile, people I did not know of half a year of so ago have shown tremendous interest in the both these books.


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