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DIY Poetry Publishing Cooperative

July 08, 2005

Innovation: binding

Take a look at this totally brilliant binding idea. Are there "reclaimed" file folders in your DIY future?

(Thanks to Reb Livingston for the link, which I found in her latest Crucial Rooster column at the Happy Booker.)

Turning back time.

Here in the blogosphere we're all about reverse chronology. For best results, read from the bottom post up.

Now what?

Determing your content is the first step, obviously. But there's no reason you can't also start thinking about what you want your chap or zine to look like (and how much it will cost to produce), and we'll talk more about this next week with examples in front of us. If you're up for it, you might make a trip to JAM Paper & Envelope, Paper Access, or Kate's Paperie. Even Staples and Office Max offer a good selection of plain and specialty papers, cover stocks, and supplies--and they also have in-house copyshops. If you're planning to go the Kinko's route, stop in and take a look at their paper sample books, usually on the front counter.

JAM Paper & Envelope
611 Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave.) at 18th Street
Plain & specialty papers, card stocks, envelopes, etc. Good deals on remainders!

Paper Access
23 West 18th Street between 5th & 6th Aves.
Higher-end stuff, but some beautiful papers for fly leafs or collaging, plus all the basics in about a million colors and sizes. They also have other supplies like stencils, rubber stamps, binding materials, etc.

Kate's Paperie
Five locations in Manhattan (link to store locator)
Similar to Paper Access, but less practical perhaps, more boutiquey.

(link to store locator--enter your zip code)

(link to store locator--enter your zip code)
Office supply stores like Staples and Office Max usually carry basic papers and card stocks, saddle staplers, stencils, envelopes, mailing labels, etc.

Office Max
(link to store locator--enter your zip code)

July 07, 2005

What we did. What we're doing next.

Ok, so we covered lots of ground in our first class. Whew! Great to meet you all.

Since we're all focusing on print-based projects (with online shops or blogs to supplement), I will be rearranging the resource links to the right and adding new ones with those emphases in mind. I've invited you all to become members of this blog (totally optional), so feel free to post ideas, examples of inspiring projects, or any other thing that pops into your head on the topic of DIY publishing. You can also pipe up via the comments function (linked below any post).


For next week: In our next class we're going to get specific, and begin applying the generalities we discussed tonight to your individual projects. Check out the links in the right sidebar and/or visit the consignment section at St. Mark's Books in the East Village (address below), Clovis Press in Williamsburg (address below), or the Bowery Poetry Club's bookstore (at the top of the stairs, just between the cafe & the bar, in case you missed it) for inspiration regarding editorial content and design possibilities. I'll also bring a bunch of samples for us to look at more closely next week.

Chapbookers: Begin sifting through your work to determine your selections. If you'd like, bring copies to our next class to get others' opinions. Decide if you want to use your chapbook as an opportunity to create a themed or stylistically coherent grouping, or if your aim is to edit a sampler of your best work for readings, etc. Are you thinking of one or more long poems, a series of shorter pieces, or some combination of the two? Do you have a title in mind, or a few you'd like to run by us?

Zinester: Since you're working with new material that you'll either be writing yourself or soliciting from others, get a jump on the content for your first issue or prototype. Begin thinking about what kinds of pieces you'd like to include: reviews of albums and/or live shows, a calendar of recommended events, an interview, articles, music-related fiction or art, etc. If you're planning to solicit material from other writers, invite them now. (With a four-week deadline, you may also opt to borrow sample material from other sources to create your prototype zine, then replace it with original material at a later date when you've had time to gather everything.) Will each issue of your zine focus on the same style of music or theme? Are you envisioning sections or regular columns? Feel free to bring copies of material you've collected (original or borrowed samples) to class to get others' opinions. I'd say bring your title ideas--but you've already got a great one!


You'll find an assortment of zines & chaps (among other things) on consignment in these local stores:

Bowery Poetry Club Bookstore
308 Bowery at Bleecker

St. Marks Books
31 Third Avenue at 9th Street

Clovis Press Bookstore
229 Bedford Avenue
Williamsburg, Brooklyn


Hi. Looking forward to meeting you guys tonight at our first class. Below, you'll find the overview syllabus (which you can also download and print if you like). And I've added some basic resource links in the right sidebar. We'll be refining and updating this site with more resource links as we go. (For instance, we'll be adding production resources to aid you as you design, print, bind & upload your completed projects!)

If you have any questions about the syllabus or resource links, there's a built-in comment function (click the comment link below any post) or you can always email me at shanna at softskull dot com.

Tonight we'll be talking about DIY publishing in general, as well as discussing the ideas for your individual projects.

See you at 7:00.


DIY Publishing Syllabus

Click here to download the syllabus as a PDF.

DIY Publishing: Chapbooks & Zines, Webzines & Blogs
Bowery Arts & Sciences Program in Applied Poetics
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
Workshop Space (downstairs)
July 7, 14, 21, 28 at 7:00 p.m.
Class reading: Saturday, July 30 at 2:00 p.m.


Why DIY?
* DIY as an extension of one’s art
* DIY as direct contact with one’s audience
* DIY as a business

What is a micropress?
* In print
* Online
* Self-sufficiency

What is a chapbook?
* Cheap book origins
* Chapbooks as book art
* Chapbooks as a unit of composition
* Chapbooks as a sampler or selection of larger project

What is a zine?
* Magazines vs. zines
* Single-author zines
* Multiple-author zines
* Themed zines

What is a webzine (online journal)?
* Print magazines vs. web-based magazines
* Editorial schedule: issue format…or not
* Viewpoint & aesthetics
* Single- or cross-genre
* Single- or multiple-contributor

What is a blog?
* Viewpoint & aesthetics
* Uses of the blog
......Personal expression
......Joining the conversation
......Publication of creative work
* Considering your audience

Distribution options
* Consignment
* Event-based
* Direct mail
* Online

* Building an email list
* Establishing an online presence
* Trading links
* Postcards & fliers
* Booking events
* Event-based publicity