I used to think Dan Wickett was an auto mechanic. I think I thought that for several months when I first heard about the Emerging Writers Network.
Anyhow, here’s his massive preview of 2009:
I know, I know. 2009? What about reviewing a few more 2008 titles? I hear you and, at least in my own mind, have that all under control. You’ll see more of those soon, as well as varying lists of my favorite books, novels, story collections, poetry collections, non-fiction titles – well, you know the deal.
In the mean time, I’ve been looking at catalogs and getting emails from authors and am already a little terrified that there’s no way in hell I’m going to be able to read every title published in 2009 that I already know I want to read. One interesting thing to note – some of these were submitted to Dzanc Books and, well, since I’m not going to include the Dzanc titles publishing in 2009 in this post, obviously were not accepted by Dzanc Books. However, it is absolutely possible to find yourself both receiving a no thank you note from myself in regards to your book, and then finding out I am anxiously looking forward to it when published elsewhere.
You can see the entire list here: What Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2009.
I first met Aaron Burch at AWP two years ago. I had read some issues of Hobart before and really liked the stuff he’d published, so it made sense to me that I should talk to him. I anxiously introduced myself to him at the Hobart table and babbled to him, asked him many questions about the journal, and felt very sweaty the whole time, especially after I ran out of things to say. I’m glad that he did not punch me in the mouth.
Not that he would have, for Aaron Burch is a kind and gentle human. He grows his beard and keeps it tidy. He smokes cigars and drinks whiskey. He publishes the fine literary periodical Hobart, and he administers the web version as well as the mini-books division.
Aaron Burch lives up north somewhere.
Aaron Burch also does some of his own writing. He is a fine fine writer. His work can be read both online and in print at various publications: Eyeshot, Pindeldyboz, Storyglossia, Phoebe, elimae, MonkeyBicycle, etc. He’s currently reading/writing in the MFA program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also teaches composition.
I emailed him some questions when I was drunk. They seem ‘aggressive’ now that I’m looking at them again, so I have edited out some of the aggressiveness.
1. Lots of people shit on the MFA. You’ve decided to go for it at UIUC. Why? Tell us some pros and cons you’ve noticed about the program, if you can.
Dan Wickett is getting it done over at the Emerging Writers Network.
He’s just posted a great Chapbook E-Panel, participants in which include Kevin Sampsell of Future Tense Press, Ander Monson of New Michigan Press, C.M. Mayo of Tameme, Kristy Bowen of Dancing Girl Press, Carl Annarummo of Greying Ghost Press, and Justin Marks of Kitchen Press.
It’s a lengthy post, but worth the read. Dan asks the particpants questions about the history of each small press, production details (business and design), submissions policies, the chapbook as a form, etc.
Dan Wickett, god of small presses, has announced a Write-a-Thon! on the Emerging Writers Network – basically, you get a sponsor to pay a certain amount of money depending on how much your write and then that money goes to Dzanc Books. He has better details over at the site.
I once did a Jump-Rope-a-Thon! and raised some money that way. I also went Trick or Treating with a UNICEF box.
Oh, also, a prize: the writer who raises the most money gets the ‘full run of’ Dzanc’s titles.
October 7th, 2008 / 8:53 pm
Dan Wickett of Dzanc Books and the EWN once again rips shit up with a nice new epanel discussion on independent publishing, with a Q&A among publishers from several indies, including Underland Press, Ellipsis Press, Keyhole Books, Tyrant Press, Hobart Short Flight Long Drive, Rose Metal Press and Hotel St. George Press. They discuss all matters of what running a small press entails, from searching through submissions to marketing the books to sales and promo, just about everything you could want to know.
A great, great interview, and a fascinating read, esp. if you are in the market of trying to place your own book or start your own press.
As a particular favorite moment, here’s Eugene Lim of Ellipsis Press on the future of Indie publishing:
I’d like to think an indie movement is going on. Twelve years ago there was an issue of The Review of Contemporary Fiction, titled “The Future of Fiction,” and edited by none other than David Foster Wallace. In it, there’s a hilarious and dead-on piece by Dalkey head John O’Brien, which stated among other things that the “end of literary books in commercial publishing is a historical inevitability.” And so it has come to pass. The bigger houses will cease (have ceased!) to publish literary fiction. It is not profitable for them to market and produce a title that will sell to 5000 people (even if Rick Moody strong-arms a National Book Award for them). S’okay though. The old publishing joke goes, How do you make a small fortune in publishing? Answer: Start with a large one. And then you and your crony get to laugh bitterly together. But it’s the wrong question. A small and lively (and one hopes resurging) group of people care about the novel as art. And with the new methods of production and distribution, it’s getting easier for writers to connect with readers. The truth is there’s never been any money in publishing innovative writers (at least before canonization—for those lucky few). But now what’s being revealed is it doesn’t matter that there isn’t. This is parallel with the digital revolution in filmmaking, which Francis Ford Coppola famously predicted by saying, “One day, some little fat girl in Ohio is going to be the new Mozart and make a beautiful film with her father’s camcorder and the so-called professionalism about movies will be destroyed forever.” Similarly and importantly, the means of production and marketing for books have become much more affordable.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
September 30th, 2008 / 2:38 pm