Hello, here is an interview that I did with J.A. Tyler. We started it via email soon after the announcement that his press, Mud Luscious, would have to close down. It’s fairly long. First we talk about all the things he did with MLP, then we get into the nitty gritty of what happened that caused its demise. I really appreciate that he would do this. I’ve asked other presses to do a similar post mortem but they’ve declined. It’s not easy, I know. You run a press, you feel an almost paralyzing responsibility to the people you publish. You have a book that does well, you’re fucked because your responsibilities seem to increase. It’s not a thankless job, art — not by any means — but it’s a tough one. And the place where art intersects with business IS thankless unless your strength is on the business end of things. Anyway. Get into this interview. Remember MLP for its growth and its commitment and its problems.
Hi, J. A. How are you feeling? Would it be an understatement to say you’re sad?
Yes: Sad, overwhelmed, frustrated, sick. A million things all at once.
Well, we started this interview back in April, so it’s been a while. How are you feeling about things now? Is the remorse turning to relief? Have you started to get a glimpse of what a normal life can be yet?
Normal life, probably not. There is this residual layer of guilt that I presume will take much longer to unwind from wherever it is in me. I do see how much time I spent doing MLP related things, both on the “free time” I’m now allotted and in the size of the hole it left.
by Adam Robinson
Awesome Machine/Publishing Genius Press, 2010
76 pages / $4 Buy from Publishing Genius
Adam Robinson is one of only four or five writers I know named Adam, but he’s the only one with the last name of Robinson. Adam Robinson runs a press named Publishing Genius (the only one named that) and I’m inclined to agree. Robinson has been publishing some pretty awesome writing for the last few years. I’ve seen him read a few times, and I have to say he’s one of the most entertaining readers named Adam I’ve seen. If he’d take his shirt off, he’d probably be in the top six.
A lot of people use words like “meta” when talking about writing, and it would certainly be appropriate when describing Robinson’s Say Poem, except I don’t like the word “meta.” “Meta” killed my father. It was during a hunting trip in New Jersey. “Meta” said it was an accident; he said he was aiming for a deer. My father looked nothing like a deer. For one thing, he was slightly taller and had fewer legs. For another, he was asleep in his bunk. So instead of using that word, I’ll use “George”, which was my father’s name, to describe Robinson’s collection. He would’ve liked that. The book is very George. Robinson is commenting on the difference between poetry on the page and poetry in the ear in a very George kind of way. The book is split into two sections, two long poems, really: “Say Poem” and “Say Joke”. The George-conceit of the first poem is that it is a text of Robinson performing several short poems. It includes often-very-George-commentary, light stage directions, banter Robinson would use, theoretically, between shorter poems within the longer section, either to add context to the poems themselves, or to keep the flow of the collection going. Robinson manages to do this without intruding on the poems too much. My father used to say that it’s not what you say it’s how you say it. He used to say that, but it’s been so long since I’ve heard it, I don’t even remember what his voice sounds like. Isn’t that sad? Some of Robinson’s poems are sad, too.
September 21st, 2012 / 12:00 pm
(This is my first post here in a while, ugh, and it’s lame that it’s about PGP, but dang I’m all wound up in excitement for this, so why not, and plus it’s a good deal.)
To celebrate The June Issue, Everyday Genius’s first ever print issue, I’m giving a prize to three people who order it before Friday, June 1 (previous orders are being entered to win as well). The prize is a PGP care package, which includes recent books Falcons on the Floor by Justin Sirois (review at The L Mag), Meat Heart by Melissa Broder (review at The Rumpus), Rachel B. Glaser’s Pee On Water (just reviewed brilliantly at The Nervous Breakdown). ALSO included will be Joe Hall’s Post Nativity and Stephanie Barber’s book/DVD these here separated. ALSO also included, Joseph Young’s Easter Rabbit and David NeSmith’s El Greed. Finally ALSO also also included, a PGP tote and a PGP koozy cuz why not cuz it’s summer. READ MORE >
by Michael Bible
Awesome Machine Press, 2011
64 pages / $8 Buy from Awesome Machine
What is Michael Bible up to?
Michael Bible has fixed the toilet with a shotgun!
Michael Bible has hand-picked the sentence without kid gloves, without hubbub, without shilly-shallying!
Michael Bible has exploded the sentence by reforming the sentence into what it was once and dreams of being again.
Michael Bible is the new South, writing from Oxford, Mississippi.
November 4th, 2011 / 12:00 pm
Even though my experience is very basic, people often ask me to recommend printers. Here is a list of printers I have used, and some thoughts. READ MORE >
Publishing Genius (March 13, 2007 – October 27, 2010) Publishing Genius suffered a fatal brain aneurysm under the presumptive posthumous auspices of its genius ridden editor, Adam Robinson, whose genius/molester glasses did little to deter his underage contributors, whose logical conclusion was that being published at such place meant it was so. From chapbook genius, to everyday genius, to the genius of sticking poems (aka “gay tagging”) in or around Baltimore, one wonders how Robinson’s head could not have exploded. Their genius poster-boy Shane Jones will be hosting an all night vigil in February, in a fable-like unnamed town somewhat characteristic of upstate New York, in which precious things happen; February lasts forever, so those who are undecided about braving the snow to meet Shane Jones and his authorly beard can afford to wait. A private cremation of all ignored manuscripts will take place inside the fiery chests of those whom Robinson geniusly rejected.
Anderbo (March 2, 2005 – October 27, 2010) Anderbo was stabbed in the server to death by a near-sighted ironist who mistook them for mcsweeneys.net due to their almost identical formatting (12 pt. Times New Roman, em dash/italics heavy, wide margins). Confused about the internet’s URL implicitness, Anderbo obstinately called their website “anderbo.com,” afraid their readers would not know how to get there. Anderbo is survived by a massive masthead which includes: twelve associate editors, thirteen editors at large, a features editor, a managing editor, an associate publisher, a senior editor, and finally, an editor-in-chief, whose inferiority complex is, well, complex. Short of a staff meeting, they have opted for a large roman style orgy—and so, donations will be accepted in the form of condoms, laurels, robes, and pizza. Beautiful, kind, and generous to a fault, their “Director of Online Publicity and Outreach” will appreciate this link to the recently perished. Prior the imminent traffic, they thought “hits” was something only Michael Bolton had.
This Saturday at 10am EASTERN we’re going to try a Re-Do of the Mairéad Byrne Live Giants Reading. Drink coffee. Present at the reading, all in the same Rhode Island house (so no speakerphone), will be Mairéad, Stephanie Barber (cover designer) and me (publisher). We’ll read from the book and discuss our roles as author, designer, publisher. RSVP on the Facebook event thing. And the new New Pages is out with a review of Mairéad’s book by Gina Myers.
$20,333.08. That’s how much money I’ve spent on Publishing Genius since January 17, 2008. This includes printing books, marketing, shipping, and numerous miscellaneous fees. (To give an idea of operating costs, deduct the cost of printing from that number. Printing spend is $12,916.51.)
$13,640.24. That’s how much I’ve taken in from direct sales, Amazon payments, bookstores, sale of rights and so on. Both of these numbers astound me.
$6692.84 is the difference.
For that much money, I could have made the movie “Clerks.” READ MORE >
August 17th, 2010 / 3:15 pm
Adam Robinson is continuing to do good things. He recently started Awesome Machine Press, an imprint of Publishing Genius, which published Say Poem. Adam has really interesting plans.
Books are printed in one run of 125. 25 copies are for discussion (want one? Keep reading). 50 go to the author to sell and 50 are for sale from the press.
After the book sells out it will be available online and for the Kindle and probably the Nook later.
The entire point is fun. Fun writing, fun book making, fun reading, fun talking.
All the other stuff, like work, or caring about stuff, that is not a part of it.
Awesome Machine has fun fast and doesn’t accept submissions, though sometimes submissions through Publishing Genius will make it over to Awesome Machine, probably.
If you have any questions, or would like a discussion copy, contact adam at publishinggenius dot com. The first 25 people in the USA to request these copies will receive them as long as they have at least a blog or whatever to say something about the book or whatever at. (Sorry to people not in the USA. If you want one and want to Paypal about $6 USD for shipping, then all systems go.)
People who pre-order AMP books get free shipping. Then it will cost $1 extra to help defray shipping costs. . . .
You can read more details here. As if that wasn’t great enough, AMP’s next book is Orange Juice by Timothy Willis Sanders who is a great writer and an excellent person. Go, buy the book, tell your friends about it. Make them buy the book too.
Publishing Genius is not going to accept submissions for books after the day after tomorrow. You can send them on 4/1, but not on 4/2. I’m going to select a book to be published in 2011 from everything in the pile by 11:59 on Thursday. Book submissions will be open again later.
(However, I recently lost a bet to Michael Kimball, so he gets to pick any book I have to publish — you can always hit him up with bribes.)
As the buzz on Light Boxes picked up last spring, I found it increasingly difficult to keep up with fulfillment. Even Amazon, who had previously been sending Purchase Orders for 2-3 books at a time, started to send orders in the dozens every week, and for shipment to multiple distribution centers. This policy of theirs is extremely frustrating, because for one thing, they don’t pay for shipping even while they demand a 55% discount. For a publisher participating in their “Advantage” program, this structure is backbreaking. Having to mail books to four places, in special packaging (since they’ll destroy any book they deem unsellable), eliminates the already-tiny margin and drives up the cost to the user. For instance, a paperback book like Light Boxes, at 167 pages, stretches product value with a $14.95 price tag. At that amount, though, PG is paid $6.73 per copy. Okay, that isn’t too bad. Subtract from that the cost of production (including printing, design, art rights, cataloging numbers, promotional items and copies and so on), the amount PG earns is closer to $2.25. Now consider Amazon’s tendency to order books to four different locations, which means that shipping has to be paid four times, and the result is that it actually costs about $.30 to sell a book with them. Separately, Amazon charges the customer (or enduser) $3.99 for shipping, which means that the cheapest Light Boxes will sell for through them is $18.94. Having paid this kind of money can cause readers to have certain expectations, and I am always afraid that the shortness of the book will disappoint them. READ MORE >
I forgot that when I get really tired and I’m at work it’s good to write a long blog post that doesn’t make any sense and doesn’t really say anything. READ MORE >
Submissions I receive most often and I’m most tired of reading are:
Stories about heterosexual sex (often violent) (usually written by women)
Stories about drugs/drinking (often cruel) (always by men)
Stories about having bad jobs and being proud of it (mostly narcissistic) (always by men)
Stories about detached husbands (mostly domestic issues that don’t seem that difficult to overcome) (usually by women)
Stories about breaking up (usually based on sex) (usually by men)
Stories about not really getting God (usually involve parents) (usually by men)
It’s very hard to handle these topics in an interesting way.
It’s too bad there’s nothing else in the world to write about.