Two indie writers, a music maven, and a wily photographer take to over thirty cities to redefine the concept of a book tour.
Rami Shamir (TRAIN TO POKIPSE) and m. craig (The Narrows) are part of a new generation of writers who are creating different models of publishing and redefining what it means to be an author. They're teaming up with Lynn Casper of Homoground—the premiere queer radio show that brings together the work of LGBT musicians—and Brooklyn artist Magda Rachwal—who will be documentating the journey and bringing along Madison (the dog)—to break new ground in independent publishing.
A New Type of Author
Independent publishing, the unprecedented literary phenomenon by which authors are starting up publishing companies and taking on all responsibilities for their work's printing, publicity, and dissemination, is quickly becoming an avenue for writers who don't fit into the limited confines of conventional publishing. Unlike self-publishing—which in recent years has gained traditional acceptance (with a self-published title reaching the annual top ten list of legendary New York Times reviewer, Michiko Kakutani, in 2012)—independently published authors are molding a new Renassaince-style vision of twenty-first century authorship. Part publisher, part writer, the independent author relies heavily on strong community support and exacts an openness to experimentation that hasn't been seen in publishing since the sixities.
Separately of each other, we coordinated teams to create our own presses—Underground Editions for TRAIN TO POKIPSE and Papercut Press for The Narrows—and became independently published authors. Through consistently selling out at indie bookstores around the nation and garnering acclaim for our work, we've already shown that independent publishing is something that can be successful, and that there's room in the culture for a new type of author.
With your support, we're intending to embark on a two-month adventure that will go beyond the traditional book tour to include workshops on independent publishing and build a new distribution model based on personal connections with indie bookstores. Influenced by the established DIY spirit of indie music and looking to experiment with the conventional notion of a book reading, we plan to host queer dance parties and live performances with Homoground in select cities along the way.
Workshops on Independent Publishing
In these workshops we're going to talk about the nuts and bolts of becoming an independently published author. This includes practical applications in editing, business start-up, finding the right printer, book layout and design, guerilla marketing methods, assembling the right support team, finance, and distribution. We'll also discuss alternative methods of DIY publishing and zine-based book creation.
Building a New Distribution Model
It's time to establish a nationwide system of distribution that makes sense for indie authors. That system will prove to be very much like the one used by Barney Rosset and all the greats of American publishing—you get in a car and go build a relationship with the people at the bookstore in person. This tour has the potential to reintroduce a philosophy in the distribution of books and the dissemination of information, a philosophy that's much more spirited in classic American optimism, where anything is possible and everyone is included.
Experimenting with the Conventional Concept of a Book Reading
Homoground will draw on its nationwide network of musicians to curate shows featuring local bands and DJs. Other than pairing with live performances, our readings will also be accompanied by puppetry and visual art by Magda Rachwal. Stepping away from the separation inherent in a conventional book reading, this is going to present us with the opportunity to bridge the gap between author and reader.
* Cities featuring Homoground events to be announced.
- van rental (for 10,000 miles) - $5000
- gas (based on 20m/gallon with gas at $3.8) - $2000
- promotional materials - $560
- food & lodging - $1000
Please note: Our budget is greater than our Kickstarter goal and will be supplemented by fundraisers to be held in New York City.
Embracing the Accidental
In 1990, Barney Rosset—the famed founder of Grove Press and publisher of authors such as Henry Miller, Samuel Beckett, and William S. Burroughs—gave a lecture at Syracuse University, where he discussed one of the driving forces behind his storied accomplishments in literary history: "I had wanted to publish Faulkner and Hemingway, but unfortunately other people were there ahead of me. I wanted to publish Norman Mailer, but he never offered anything to Grove, so I had to put in my paint box what accidentally came along. And so on to a pattern of the accidental. First, you have to set up for it.... eventually you can discern a pattern.... and finally you learn how to choose wisely.... The Autobiography of Malcolm X had accidentally fallen into our hands after Malcolm's assassination. William Burroughs, Hubert Selby, and Jack Kerouac also had accidentally fallen into our hands." In this spirit of openness, we are setting out to embrace the accidental, fortified by Barney Rosset's example that if we are open to new possibilities, untold magic can occur.
One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.
Our warmest thanks to all the wonderful people in our community that helped us with this Kickstarter: Margarita Shalina, Anjelica Young, Carly Howard, Arthur Nersesian, Frances Rex, Allie Falco, Katie Anderson, Bryn Jackson, Jules Persaud, Kim Harris, Adam Void, Chelsea Ragan, Sarah Lerner, Amela Parcic, Tyler Phillips, Kai Cameron, Spoonbill and Sugartown Booksellers, Molasses Books, and Flown for recording a great song.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Any project of this scale may meet certain risks and challenges, but with the knowledge and experience shared among the four of us, we believe that we can face all obstacles and rise above them with a solid amount of faith and perseverance.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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THANK-YOU MESSAGE & a public shout out! facebook, twitter, tumblr you name it!Estimated delivery:
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POSTCARD FROM THE ROAD. Receive a personalized message from Rami, Maggie, Magda, and Lynn from one of the thirty-five cities scheduled for the tour.Estimated delivery:Add $1 USD to ship outside the US
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"PRACTICAL ADVICE ON LAUNCHING AN INDIE BOOK TOUR" ZINE. Receive a limited-edition zine on lessons that were learned from the experience of the tour and what practical applications they might offer for launching your own indie tour!Estimated delivery:Add $7 USD to ship outside the US
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MUSIC FROM THE ROAD A handmade mix tape of music from the road, including songs from the bands we meet along the way.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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HANDMADE TOTE BAG and LIMITED EDITION BUTTONS. DIY all over! Magda and Maggie will send you a Narrows or Pokipse tote bag made out of reused fabric and Lynn will send you two limited-edition tour buttons!Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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PIZZA DATE. Rami or Maggie will take you out for a slice of delicious nyc pizza and discuss the advice offered in “Practical Advice on Launching an Indie Booktour!” (Zine from #2 included.)Estimated delivery:
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TAROT CARD READING- especially for you Maggie will bring out her secret shaman skills & peer into your futureEstimated delivery:
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PORTRAIT OF YOUR CAT. Magda will come over to your house and take an artsy photo of your cat or you and your cat (only for nyc sponsors); or get an original fine art print of Magda's artwork (available to all sponsors).Estimated delivery:Add $12 USD to ship outside the US
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THE WHOLE TEAM WILL GET A DRINK WITH YOU IN YOUR TOWN (AS LONG AS IT'S ON OUR ITINERARY) or WILL MAKE YOU DINNER, and discuss the advice offered in “Practical Advice on Launching an Indie Booktour." (Zine from #2 included; as well as tote-bag and buttons from #3).Estimated delivery:
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PERSONAL DIY CONSULTATION: The whole team will spend an afternoon with you and discuss practical ways to apply DIY techniques and philosophy in order to implement the goals for whatever project you’re working on. A rare consultation, as it brings specific knowledge from music, publishing, art, and fashion DIY perspectives. (Includes Zine from #2.)Estimated delivery:
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A LIMITED-EDITION BOOK OF OUR FIELD NOTES FROM THE ROAD. This limited edition book will be available only to our kickstarter supporters and will be a joint publishing project from Underground Editions and Papercut Press. This unique compendium of journal notes, observations, photos, and drawings from the road along with an expanded “Practical Advice on Launching an Indie Book Tour” promises to be a beautifully crafted book as well.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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COLLECTOR EDITIONS OF THE NARROWS & TRAIN TO POKIPSE. Hard-bound edition of “The Narrows” AND early-numbered first edition TRAIN TO POKIPSE.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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SPONSOR AN EPISODE ON HOMOGROUND, and get your message, store, product brought to thousands of weekly listeners through queer music’s radio sensation, HOMOGROUND.Estimated delivery:
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THE “WOW! REALLY? THANK YOU SO MUCH” PACKAGE, everyone who donates and joins us in this one-of-a-kind experiment in independent publishing is really appreciated; but if somehow, anyone manages to give us this much support in one shot, we’ll be so grateful that we’ll include all of the following: #11, #10, #9, #8, #6.Estimated delivery:Add $30 USD to ship outside the US
- (30 days)