Sunday, August 2, 2009

Author’s Press Series

Now that the dust has settled after our move and the completion of Songs and Letters, I’ve made a couple of major publication decisions. The first was simple: I’ll be starting another of my open-ended, potentially embarrassing online projects soon. The second, while simple in concept, will take a lot more work, or at least work of a different kind: I’ve decided to put together an Author’s Press Series of relatively inexpensive, uniformly designed paperbacks that explore different themes and facets of my writing. The titles that have suggested themselves thus far will likely occupy a foot or more of shelf space.

Feeling as I do about books, not having more of my writing available in print editions has bothered me for some time. I love the dynamics involved in writing for online publication, but I’m old enough and superstitious enough to wonder what will happen if someone ever “pulls the plug.” As I’ve joked online and privately with friends many times before: without the Internet, would I even exist? With this in mind, and perhaps because online publishing is so easy, having a physical record of my work seems more important than ever. It’s only partly arrogance; it’s also common sense.

For me, the project will also be a challenging and educational one, as I hope to see more clearly where my strengths and weaknesses lie, and to gain a better understanding of how my writing and thought have developed and/or eroded over the years. I can’t change what I have done, but I can certainly learn from it — just as I do from readers, who, through their observations and comments, often point me in other, more fruitful directions.

This entry added to News and Reviews.


Joseph Hutchison said...

I'm glad about this development, William. You know how I feel about reading online—and I too wonder how long this crazy-wonderful medium will remain plugged in. Best of luck with the project!

awyn said...

You bring up an interesting point, William. Have you ever written an important (to you) poem or story that got lost or destroyed ... you try to reconstruct it later and whole sections come up blank. The end result pales in comparison to the original as you are only able to remember bits and pieces. You can write other poems, but THIS one, this particular one, is never going to reappear. Ever. ("But they're just WORDS!" someone argues. "You can make OTHER words." That doesn't, of course, help. They're gone.) This just to say, I understand, completely!

Even worse than the Internet imploding though, is two decades later having your writings condensed to quippy twiteraturettes, little easily digestible 'texties' because the succeeding generations have stopped being interested in reading. Now THAT's truly scary, ha ha.

William Michaelian said...

That it is, Annie. And they can be used in Twiterature 101, a class in which all discussions are held in the form of text messages. Which reminds me — as an aside, I still don’t have a cell phone. The marketers have set up camp on my lawn. I’m digging in. Behind them is a battalion of disgruntled microwave salesmen.

Joe, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to sneak up and pound them over the head with an old dictionary.

Jean Spitzer said...

While its fabulous to have access to so much on the internet, for reading I too prefer books. Sounds like a good project.

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Jean. So many people nowadays think books are a thing of the past. But I have a feeling we will be relying on them far into the future.