Thursday, 2 July 2009

publishing laid bare



I spoke at the Publishing Laid Bare conference on independent publishing last week and there's a report of it in the Bookseller HERE.

I'm about to go walking in Cumbria for a week or so, and may be out of blog, tweet and facebook range for a while - which will be a relief to many of you I'm sure, but to leave you, Dear Reader, with something to chew on...

We've been thinking for a while now about setting up an if:bookshop or an unlibrary, a place on the highstreet where we could experiment with different ways of promoting the word. A local place for people to bring their laptops and books to share them, get help using them most effectively and imaginatively, a venue for workshops, performance, exhibitions all about the word in the digital era. As a charity we could take over a closed down shop and experiment with new approaches. It's an idea we discussed at the Bookcamp some time ago at a session inspired by Dave Eggars' amazing bookplaces in the USA.

The problem is such a project involves a team of volunteers,lots of logistics and rotas and, of course, fundraising. It could be done with interns from an educational institution, or possibly in partnernship with a commercial company. We could do a trial residency in an existing venue or start from scratch.

Anyway I asked delegates at the conference last week if anyone wanted to collaborate, and I'm doing so again here now. If you do, leave details here.

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