Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sketchy; Frenzy; Future Jobs; Video killed the paperback star.

By accident, The Seattle Times' resident artist, Gabriel Campanario, wandered into the commons area of Lake Forest Park and spotted Ginger across the dance-floor. It was love at first sight... We no, not really, but he was curious and for the next 45 minutes grilled me on the ins-and-outs of the Espresso Book Machine, Third Place Press, and all things publishy (yes, I invented that word, got a problem?). During the discussion he had his moleskin open and sketched away. At the end he had a nice illustration:

It ran on his blog on Thursday, and the above image ended up in the Saturday edition of the Seattle Times.
He's also part of a blog collective that staggers the mind in its global scope: Urban Sketchers. They're like Joe Sacco; artists who also report on their environment.

Boy. Did we have a reaction!
All weekend customers came in wanting to see the machine, but unfortunately, Ginger's not awake on weekends, so many left disappointed. A special group, pre-arranged, received a private tour from me; all were publishing industry professionals: editors, writers, publishers, librarians (yes, they count). It was a heady evening. We had great discussions about the industry implications for the EBM, and came up with some cool ideas (Can't tell you-- I'm such a tease!). Afterwards, we had dinner at the delightful and filling Chiang's Gourmet in Lake City.

Getting people in the industry is paramount to getting the EBM to be successful. Sure, everybody's doing Self-publishing to make ends meet with their machines, but wouldn't it be great to change the paradigm as well? Especially in light of Amazon's latest unabashed Godzilla-stomping maneuvers, which I don't trust one bit and may serve to explain my dilemma in my previous post. And speaking of posts, Paul Constant's on The Stranger Blog, SLOG is insightful as to what this means to Indie bookstores.

We had several orders for books (which I've started chronicling on occasion at my Twitter feed), many more self-publishing queries--some from out of state!--, and curious onlookers. Our Tuesday open hours (4-6pm) saw a steady stream of people wandering in to take a peek. One of them had even worked for Xerox since the 1970s. Which gave me some perspective.

And I came across a great article talking about the job trends of the coming decades, like Nano-medic, Climate change reversal specialist, Social 'networking' worker, and Quarantine enforcer (that last one is pretty kick-ass. I wonder if it comes with a stun gun?). But I didn't see one for Literature Delivery Specialist... Hmmm.

Finally, this morning, A reporter from KOMO showed up (and me in t-shirt, no button up! Poo!), and filmed and interviewed me with Ginger. It was cool. It was weird. And should be airing on TV as I type these words. They told me that it'll be on their website in a few hours so you all can see exactly how (un)photogenic this paperback maker is.

1 comment:

  1. A very interesting post. From the perspective of a poet and writer, here's my view on Post-Gutenberg Publishing and the EBM, which I've been thinking and working on now for years:

    At the above link, bottom of the page, I also have a link to a bookstore in Vermont who's figured it out, in my view. If unfamiliar with them, you might find what they're doing interesting as well.

    See also
    The Mission of Earthrise Press

    Frederick Glaysher