Forum / Chapbook/Micro Press

  • Adcaker_.thumb
    Arturo Ruiz
    Apr 11, 08:49pm

    I've been toying with the idea of starting a chapbook press, and I'm wondering if any members have insight into starting a literary magazine, an online journal or a micro press.

    I'm especially intrigued by book as art. But I'm even more motivated by the amount of writers who go unseen who may be looking for a venue to publish their first chapbook.

    As an experiment, I've been taking some of my own work to create a perfect bound chapbook. I've ordered a proof to see how that turns out. Perfect bound would be the easiest way to produce a chap. The more beautiful way would be to hand print and hand sew the books, making them all unique creations.

    Anyway, if anyone has tried this before or has insight into how to make something like this take off, I'd love to hear it.

  • Mugshotme_(3).thumb
    Mathew Paust
    Apr 11, 10:01pm

    Fascinating idea, Arturo. I'm in the process of doing a chapbook for Kitty Boots. I've done the text layout and covers, and our local UPS store is making the book. Should have been ready today, but there've been a few small hitches in getting text lined up properly. I'm not familiar with Perfect Bound. Have to look into that.

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    David Ackley
    Apr 11, 11:49pm

    Nice idea, Arturo. There are a number of members who've been active in publishing, magazines, books, name it. Barry Basden and Gloria Mindock are a couple who come quickly to mind.

  • Adcaker_.thumb
    Arturo Ruiz
    Apr 12, 01:19am

    Matthew, I have a template I've been working with to do my test run at a chapbook. I can send it to you. It's 5.5 x 8 inches, and a Word doc. Maybe that would work for your project? I used CreateSpace to design a pretty rudimentary cover, but I think it looks good for what it is. If the test comes back nice, I may consider it as an option if I decide to start some kind of micro press. Still, the romance of printing books and sewing them by hand is appealing. I've seen a few small indie presses that publish a limited number (50 copies) of a chapbook, which makes it manageable to see all by hand. It also makes them into collectible pieces of art.

  • Adcaker_.thumb
    Arturo Ruiz
    Apr 13, 01:55am

    OK, I'm doing it:

    If anyone has a small collection of work they want published, let's talk. I'd love to team up to get a small print run of a chapbook going.

  • -5.thumb
    RW Spryszak
    Apr 13, 04:13am

    Arturo - poetry only?

  • Adcaker_.thumb
    Arturo Ruiz
    Apr 13, 05:53am

    Fiction or any kind of short prose/flash, too!

    Anything that works in chapbook form.

  • Mugshotme_(3).thumb
    Mathew Paust
    Apr 13, 07:55am

    Congratulations, Arturo, and best wishes for a successful venture! Kitty's about ready to launch her first chapbook (the proto was finished yesterday) but we might well be talking business for her next one.

  • Adcaker_.thumb
    Arturo Ruiz
    Apr 13, 01:42pm

    Awesome, Matthew! And congrats, Kitty. Hope you share it with Fictionauters. :)

  • Mugshotme_(3).thumb
    Mathew Paust
    Apr 13, 02:07pm

    Thanks, Arturo. I'm sure she will. Too bad we can't post images in the forum here, altho she'll undoubtedly post a photo of the covers on Facebook.

  • Photo%2015.thumb
    Gary Hardaway
    Apr 15, 01:52pm

    We salute you who are about to be overwhelmed.

  • Adcaker_.thumb
    Arturo Ruiz
    Apr 15, 03:42pm


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    Barry Basden
    Apr 17, 05:45pm

    I think this is a great idea. There are lots more chap opportunities for poetry than flash. Good luck. I hope it's very gratifying for you.

  • Self_portrait.thumb
    eamon byrne
    Apr 17, 10:03pm

    Good on ya, Arturo. I once hand made a 250 page book containing some of my fiction pieces. I did the cover using microsoft paint. For the pages I chose a fairly heavy bold paper with a slightly creamy colour, as white copy paper is aweful for books. For the layout, I converted a word doc into pdf. The doc and subsequent pdf were single files. I printed it on my laser both sides. Acrobat reader does booklet printing very well. I experimented with the typeface and font first. To perfect bind it, I clamped the pages and applied pvc glue along the spine and placed the clamped block inside the cover, and pressed the cover down. It turned out really well, and after several years it still hasn't fallen apart.

    Since then I've mastered the art (sort of) of latex programming. Normal doc format is nowhere near good enough for decent publishing output. You need to be exact in your kerning and other typesetting stuff. Latex does all that and gives you full control of the page.

    If you take care you can most definitely produce a superior product to that of the print-on-demand services. From my experience of buying some books by fictionauters produced by these services, the result is poor. The print product, not the writing itself of course.

    It's definitely the way to go for self publishers.

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