Spotlit recently on Dennis Cooper’s blog, Portland’s Publication Studio—brainchild of novelist Matthew Stadler and his business partner Patricia No. Using print on demand equipment, PS puts out books by a number of innovative writers—including two of my favorite Seattle authors, Stacey Levine and Matt Briggs—rescues the out of print or in publication limbo, and generally advocates for a more nimble, more author-centric publishing world. I asked Matthew some questions. Matthew answered.
I wanted to know more about the machine you are using to bind the books. Could you tell me about it? Where you found it? Who had it before you? What it was used for?
Yes, we use two machines. The one that got us started, that we call Ol’ Gluey, is the heart of an old Instabook III system that was developed by a man named Victor Celario, a Mexican who started the business in Morelia and Mexico City and expanded it when he moved to Florida. Victor calls Instabook “the Mr. Coffee of portable print-on-demand.” Victor designed and patented his integrated POD system in the late 1990s, aiming for a market of self-publishing authors, the people who now use Lulu or Apple’s iBook or Blurb. The Instabook rig that we have started out at a bookshop in NewJersey in the late 1990s, performing that service (as far as I know) and then migrated to Brooklyn’s Longdash Printing, which became a printing arm of a local cafe called VoxPop. Gabriel Stuart used it there to publish more would-be self-publishers and he might have tried publishing an imprint, I’m not sure. Gabe wanted to change the focus at VoxPop and had been trying to get rid of the Instabook for a year or two when I saw his blogpost offering it at a cheap price. I flew to NYC with my ten-year old, rented a van, and drove it back to Portland last summer. We got a Kyocera FS9130DN duplex B/W printer, Ol Gluey, and an Ideal guillotine trimmer from Gabe (all parts of the Instabook III system) and started to make books in September 2009. Since then we have added a Chinese knock-off of a perfect binder, a rig you can get online for $700 – $900. We do about half the books on that and half on Ol’ Gluey. READ MORE >