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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Links I'm loving, Micropublishing and Tesla!

The first one, which you may have already heard of, it The Oatmeal's fund raiser for The Tesla Science Museum. It's a chance to be a part of history, and to help build a museum to remember Nikola Tesla, and his contributions to science. There has been a lot raised, but it's not just about buying the land. What goes over the amount raised for the land will help pay for getting the museum built.

The other one, you may not know about. Micropublishing! You know I'm a big supporter of micropublishing for Kindle, but I also like real books and "zines" that are micropublished. Micropublishing is independent authors, illustrators and very small publishing co-ops creating books, zines and chapbooks. These are all on a small scale and done more for love than money.

Growing up in a hippie household, my mom had lots of 8-32 page "chapbooks". These were laid out and Xeroxed, then folded in half and stapled, or sometimes they were just sheets of papers with a staple in the top corner. Some were political manifestos, others were collections of recipes or instructions on doing things. They were poetry collections and short stories. We have blogs and the internet for that now, but there is something wonderful about having paper versions to give people.

DIY publishing, full of creativity and ideas. It's a part of our culture that defies the mainstream to provide information, interests and thoughts. It's punk, it's hippie, it's all sorts of things.

These days, those self-published booklets are frequently called "zines", and the co-ops or people who distribute many types of them are called "distros". Distros get submissions from authors, and provide a central place to get zines on lots of subjects. Zines are generally printed on 8.5x11 inch paper that's folded in half and stapled in the middle. Some are copied from handwritten pages, or created using traditional methods to make a master and copy that. They are usually printed in black and white. Some of them have hand stamped or printed covers. The books made by the micro-publishers can be stitched, stapled or perfect-bound (paperback glue binding)

The biggest has split into 2 independent distros, it's the second that's my other "link I love".
Microcosm Distribution
They sell patches, buttons, stickers and teeshirts that are created in house, as well as a fantastic selection of zines and books.
I've ordered from the original company a few times, and trust them. So when the new company started, I had no hesitation about ordering from them. For DIY types, check out the DIY section. You can order superpacks which are collections on a theme. There is also a section for people who love to cook that includes some great vegan recipe collections.

It's punk, it's indie as heck, and it's a lot of fun. My whole family enjoys our zine collection. It's not for everyone. Some people will object to the politics or language.

I don't use explicit language very often, but it's not because I object to it. We have the Fix Sh*t Up sticker on a lot of things around the house, and  I'm beyond thrilled they are doing a sewing version of it.

Check them out, look around, if there is a specific DIY or cooking zine you want to know more about, ask me, I might have it and can tell you if it's a favorite or not. They are having a 50% off sale on a lot of things to promote the new distro.



1 comment:

  1. This reminds me that my parents, too, were micropublishers for a number of years in the early to mid-70's. My parents were part of a community group formed by concerned citizens to inform others in the community of what was going on in local and regional politics. Every home in the village received a copy of the quarterly newsletter. The pages were typed by my mom onto stencils via an a manual Remington Rand typewriter. They were then printed via an hand cranked mimeograph machine. Later, they had an electric mimeograph. We kids were well paid to deliver a copy to every household in town. We had an excellent local paper at the time - the editor was fearless in printing stories, but this augmented/supported his work.

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