Monday, July 07, 2008

Undercooked Steak

I was in a celebratory mood and decided to make my reader copies nice this time. Who cares if it is a first draft? I can't believe how easy this POD technology is. And cheap! For the same cost as copying a 300+ page manuscript at Kinkos, I had shiny, real books made. Uploaded the file Monday, received the books on Friday. Who says POD has to be used just for self-publishing? How about as a groovy alternative to the alternatives? A simple means to make 11 copies for a handful of helpful pals? It's totally private. You Google this book, you don't find it. Unsearchable on the POD publisher I used. Just what I wanted!


I designed the cover with Microsoft Publisher and some photos I shot in my house and at St. Luke's garden in the West Village. I love wandering around and finding images to go with my text. I'm thinking this might lead to a more graphic project next time around. More of a chicken and egg work of art, where the images and the text talk to each other and generate new images and text.

Another part of me wants to unretire Big Fat Press yet again and start soliciting manuscripts from the talented and frustrated writers I know out there. Maybe that can be my retirement career. If books still exist by the time I retire.

The problem with POD technology is that it's too easy to make a "real" book. This novel reminds me of a badly cooked steak. It looks delicious. But inside there's lots of fat that tastes disgusting. A little bit longer on the grill would not hurt. So the key while reading this draft is not to be snowed by the format. There's something about messy pages from my inkjet printer that is a lot less sacred, if less portable. I'm not hesitating with my red pen, but I'm a little worried my readers might.

In the meantime, it was a very fun experiment. If I ever do find a home for this, none of the design decisions will be mine, so at least I got to have my creative moment.

Now it's time to put it aside for a month or so and work on other stuff, so I can reread with fresh eyes.



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