Over the last year or so I've been thinking more and more about starting a small publishing press. I've thought about making hand-bound letterpress and etching wonders, or simple photocopied multiples. I've considered just about every format possible, from the one-off artist's book to the mass produced paperback.
I've come to the conclusion that whichever way I do it I am extremely unlikely to make a penny out of it, so I might as well please myself! The liberating thing will be the creative freedom. No more changing this-that-or-the-other to please somebody else's idea of how your work should look. No more waiting for feedback and getting frustrated because all I really want to do is scribble, draw and paint all day.
I have so many stories and ideas which will never see the light of day if I rely on finding a commercial publisher for them. They are officially 'uncommercial'. So here goes... Maybe they will be rubbish! Maybe they would have been better with a publisher's art team behind them, and maybe this is an act of fantastic folly. The worst I can do is fail, and as an artist I do that every time I make something, so what's the worry?
First up will be A Bird's Song as a 32 page full colour picture book. I wrote this story years ago, and it's been in many forms over the intervening years. It's lyrical, poetic, obscure and lovely. I need to finish the artwork but I am aiming to have it ready by the end of the year. There are a couple of self-publishing websites now which offer fairly reasonable full colour printing, blurb.com and lulu.com. I am in the process of researching isbns, pdfs, bleed sizes, spine width calculators and generally getting confused. I'll be ordering a proof to see what the quality is like.
I will post more news as the venture progresses...