Digitally, there we were. It was me comfortably paternal in Palmer, Nick renovating alone in Seattle, and Dan with a leaky anused pup in SoCal. We were drinking (natch) and discussing, as you do, the nature of publishing RE: the abject slavery in which the current industry imprisons the writer. Then came trouble.
We three have a mutual friend, writer, published, who had been in contact with Nick about the e-book platform and he was lamenting the fact that, by the time the profit gravy train hit the author’s bank account, she was merely a dribble. I asked for numbers but Nick was unable to provide them other than to say that said train tends asymptotically to zero. Then there was a voice report about barium shits, colonoscopies, and prostate exams. Dan dropped in to say he would be drinking dinner. A farty shower ensued. I submitted an article wherein the pub industry whined about third party sellers on the internet taking their market share and robbing authors of their deserved spoils. We debunked that fallacious argument and I suggested we dig into the meat of the matter in the next podcast. A conversation about commerce appeared, then we discussed the inevitability of the trashiness of the human race precluding the mass distribution of capital “A” art and the inherent greed of the publishing industry. Discussions flourished about profit margins and distributors and writers becoming business people and the possibilities of going straight to the reader market with honed pieces of work. 50 Shades of Grey was involved, as was Nabokov. An adverb was employed. The griminess of sex arrived. Dan drank furiously. Nick suggested leveraging his knowledge of the industry in order to create a new model of publication and position ourselves as gatekeepers of literature. Dan then suggested a networking scheme to enlist the aid of our writer friends. We decided that time trumped profits and we should do something about the nature of the writing business. Joe Rogan and Adam Corolla became references. Commercials got into the mix. Facebook and Instagram. People liking to read books. A grown child’s opinion on radio versus music videos espoused. A sweet dumper showed up. Dan’s pup liked hockey and beer. My recent cattery was a point of interest. Nick belched. I value wined. In the end, we settled on a vid chat for the next evening and a fuck everything.
It was grand.
The following morning I suggested that, in the run up to begin our own publishing company, we begin publishing work here at Wordsworthing. Ideas bandied. A strategy came into view. We discussed chapbook style publishing, one piece from each genre, to be available digitally and in a limited physical presence to be given away perhaps, along with other unscalable marketing schemes (children’s artwork, small cash sums, hand written pieces ripped from notebooks etc. etc.). Nick headed home to create a submissions page as I gathered supplies to combat the hornet menace currently encroaching on my house. My special lady was pressed into services as poetry editor. The vid chat came. We discussed finances, Submittable, searchability, webpages, incorporation, logistics, submission schedules, distro routes, publication times, the inviolability of adhering to a higher plane of Art, family things, technology, trash race, drinking, all arrowed through with the horrible enthusiasm that comes with a new endeavor that in no wise is destined to do anything except fill the span of consciousness allotted to our pitiful frames. We were, of course, manic with excitement.
We were speaking at length, as novices do, about things with which we had little experience. Naturally, we were enthralled. We didn’t know all the ways we were wrong, are going to be wrong, and will likely fail but that didn’t matter, none of it mattered. The only things present were the start of something new and saying yes to a world drowning in no.
By Ben Toche