A new topic for Bristol Women Writers, and a new guest on our blog who is – yes, a man. (Our first in blogging terms!) But how can we refuse column inches to Richard Jones – our long-time supporter, organiser of the Bristol Flyer’s Word of Mouth evenings and, also, as director of Tangent Books, our publisher! Right now he has a new project.
The continuing struggles of the High Street and the relentless global domination of Amazon mean that the independent publishing model has to change. So I’ve launched my first crowdfunding campaign to re-publish Catacombs of Terror! by Stanley Donwood. There are various rewards you’ll receive in return for your support and we’ve produced a highly entertaining video to publicise our campaign.
Crowdfunding is an interesting process, it’s empowering and frustrating in equal measures. We decided to do the crowdfunding campaign with Fundsurfer because they are local – they are based at Temple Meads and about a 20-minute walk from the Tangent office at Paintworks. Fundsurfer seem to offer all of the benefits of the big crowdfunding organisations, but there’s a lot of personal support. Using Fundsurfer is very much a case of ‘Think globally, act locally’.
For any crowdfunding campaign to be successful, the backers need to play as active a part as possible by sharing and promoting the project. So please share FB and Twitter posts and tell people about the campaign. Please share the video and the link to the Fundsurfer page.
I should add that the book will be gorgeous and is a limited edition.
Thanks Richard for alerting us to this and to the other work of Stanley Donwood whom most of us know through his work with the band Radiohead. Of course crowdfunding (or ‘publishing by subscription’ as it used to be known!) is becoming more and more popular. Lots of authors locally and farther afield have been down this route and it seems particularly suitable for limited editions like this. Good luck with bringing it into the world!
Finding myself in a period of writerly pause, or to put it more succinctly, ‘stymied by having too many beginnings’, I have been filling my head with the work of others. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a run of cracking good reads (thanks to Nina Milton for book reviews at http://kitchentablewriters.blogspot.co.uk/p/the-kitchen-table-reading-club.html), I’ve watched a few outstanding films, too much absorbing trash TV, and dipped in and out of Facebook. Yes, a mixed blessing but it’s all art of one kind and another. Well perhaps not what your mate had for dinner, but that gorgeous photo captured on a morning walk (check out https://www.polaroidblipfoto.com), or the one out of a hundred (mostly irritating) poetic proclamations about life that just hits the mark when you’re feeling anxious or sad. I love it that we can share so easily, even if you have to pan for the gold sometimes.
At the other end of the scale, my business is lucky enough to have the world’s foremost entertainment company as a client. Tasked with translating storylines into commercial graphics, we get to see some of what goes into the making of epic movies. Rising majestically from their comic strip origins, Super Heroes are trending right now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WWzgGyAH6Y.
Those early twentieth century cartoonists in their shadowy world of pen, ink and midnight oil had no concept of the cultural phenomenon their work would become.
This summer some of my colleagues went over to Comic-Con in San Diego (strictly business of course!). The scale of this convention is bewildering, and goes to show how much we mere mortals love to escape into a parallel universe of storytelling and dress up, given half a chance! You might say ‘only in America’, but actually we do it here too http://www.mcmcomiccon.com/london.
So, what am I trying to say (did I mention that I was a ‘resting’ writer – perhaps rusting is more apt)? I think we must appreciate creativity in all its forms and tap into whatever sparks our imagination at the time. It might be a novel, a blipfoto or Facebook post, a cinematic battle to save the world, or a fairytale told to a child. The human appetite for sharing stories prevails. It comes in many forms and it takes all sorts.
Everyone is welcome to see the outcome of what sounds like a fascinating community arts project.
Do contact the organisers if you would like to attend.
Louise is also working with illustrator Beth Hawkins on a pamphlet called In Sane Moments, five short fictional pieces exploring elements of Mental Health, which should be ready as a one-off limited edition in time for the Bristol Festival of Literature (BFL) in October.
Watch this space for more BWW member news and other events at this year’s BFL, now in the planning stages.