Monday, August 17, 2009

On "Slow Publishing"

You might know about the Slow Food movement. Last week I heard a Vermont Edition interview on Slow Money. Both refer to models that support the local economy, minimize environmental impact, operate on a human scale, stress diversity over monoculture, and respect the relationship side of transaction. As similar goals have informed the way I’ve brought out my book, this has led me to think about what one might call Slow Publishing. In previous posts I’ve written about local economics and environmental concerns. In the future I’ll start to grapple with scale, diversity, and relationship.

One little secret about Slow Publishing: it’s actually fast. Once you’ve got a manuscript and design ready to go, you can have a physical book within minutes. In traditional publishing, the process can take months. Or more. I remember how odd it was to learn that a book was slated for some far-off season in the future that felt a lifetime away.

Since one feature common to Slow Food, Money, and Publishing is local production, I want to draw attention to another local production, my husband, Tony Eprile’s excellent novel, The Persistence of Memory. It's the story of a young South African man who has a perfect memory--and as a result is always bumping into the people and institutions around him. Every time I read it or hear Tony read from it, I discover something new. The bulk of the book was written in a yurt in our meadow, a few hundred yards from the house.

Yes, I said a yurt. I'm posting both hardcover and softcover designs because I like them both and feel each reflects different aspects of the book.

Tony’s first book, Temporary Sojourner and Other South African Stories, is also quite lovely. Many who grew up in that era in South Africa have said, “Yes, that’s the way it was!” Unfortunately, the book is out of print. Wait a second—I now know a bit about getting a book into print! Must have a chat with this fellow.

No comments:

Post a Comment