Acceptance of individual authors
Second in a Series
Charles A. Taormina
Copyright © 2008 by Charles A. Taormina
Recently, in a casual talk with Rager Media's editor, Christopher White, I broached the question of writer's acceptance, all writers or one writer, new or old. We considered an article by novelist and instructor, David Hollander, a Poets & Writer's columnist, who questioned why so many authors in the classroom were put through writers' or readers' group sessions, especially via MFA writing programs. It begs the question of integrity, about each writer doing his or her personal creativity. Hollander, also a guitarist, wrote: "At no time does a musician sit in a circle of fifteen strangers from disparate musical backgrounds, play his song, and then allow them to 'offer feedback' on it." (Poets & Writers, Jan/Feb 2006)
Inspired by that comment, I took it a step further in asking would a painter, sculptor, or other artist ever do that? Do you think Van Gogh or Rodin or Picasso would've ever turned from his outdoor paint box or marble or easel, to stop in the midst of an unfinished stone or canvas, to ask a passerby which was a better shade of pastel, or which cut was more responsive, which Cubist eye more astute for Picasso? Yet a writer works away as an individual artist, then amidst a crew of well-intentioned listeners, attempts to change his or her art, with a hundred and one possibly boorish or bad suggestions. It's a corporate/university mindset, the "team member" concept, a good ole' boy sports scene, rule by conformist Groupthink . . . Even Hollywood puts nearly finished films through the rigors of "focus groups," where final endings are tested for popularity amongst unwary twelve-year-olds (How to ruin a film: "Fatal Attraction" was turned from complex adult cinema with an original ending that displayed Glenn Close's character's feelings of self-destruction, to the actual finale of a goofy, shower stall knife attack). My point is that acceptance needs to be a consideration of our publishing process, what it means and what it should or could mean, for serious writers and readers, for the individual. One person writes for one person at a time to read. Acceptance needs to expand if our culture is to prevail.
Perhaps, for those familiar with contemporary publishing these days, especially the sort who write online, use POD (Print On Demand), broadside or independent printing, and a certain extent for the smaller presses, this effort is all held at bay. "Print On Demand" refers to setting up a one-time computer file process for a printable book (complete with page layout, cover design, all finished editorial processes) and then being able to print one book at a time from that file, on order, or twenty books or as many as desired. The process can be expensive, moderately priced ($500/book), or free. The process is open to individuals, not only university or corporate conglomerates. It suddenly allows for new authors or controversial writers to print books, or even publishers wanting to keep an out-of-print book available for instant order (without having to invest in overprinting and warehousing thousands of volumes). It thus eliminates three pitfalls of traditional publishing: publication scarcity, warehousing of volumes, and bookstore return of unsold books. (www.paraview.com)
Also, we must consider direct online publishing with the massive increase in web logs, or blogging. Some years ago in an e-mail comment to Dan Poynter, author of The Self-Publishing Manual and prodigious organizer, lecturer, and consultant for the self-publishing industry, I commented on his statement about how "the Internet has become our library." My reply was how the Internet also has become our new printing press. Today, we might add, it's become our primary distribution channel (and with the proliferation and easy transmission of entirely electronic books, or e-books, we might suggest the Internet's our complete process for library storage, printing, and distribution). The number of blogs now is estimated at over 112 million, with 175,000 starting new each day (www.technorati.com). Renaissance? To explore creatively, we have to look for sites or ways to navigate all that, which of course is why there are new services: Technorati, BlogScope, and Bloglines.
Getting attention for POD books or other electronic offerings, as well as others by independent or small publishers however, continues to be difficult. Some critics label POD volumes in disparaging terms reminiscent of Soviet ideological times, as "non-books" or decry problems such as missing extra design or team editorial benefits usual with mainstream commercial publishing . . . there are errors or needy editorial changes evident with many humbly published tomes. These critics however, especially in the last ten or so years, fail to face one fact: In American publishing today it's often the worst books, the basest, foolish, most sensational (or as with business or utilitarian nonfiction or text books, the most ordinary), which are the actual books that do get professional editing. Again, with POD publishers, the authors do most of the work themselves, with an occasional outside editor contracted privately.
The mainstream press in America generally has stopped publishing new literary authors-unless the writer is well-connected (it is astonishing that quality novelists such as E.L. Doctorow and Toni Morrison started their careers as editors for established New York publishing houses), or the author is from abroad. We must remember from the last discussion ("Our Rebirth of Writing") that a prime strategy of Censorship is avoidance, generally boycotting or completely refusing to publish certain works, topics, or authors.
Collusion with other media could be illustrated with a personal example of mine. I attended a public support forum for authors, in Pittsburgh, PA a few years ago; it was for Salman Rushdie, upon the uproar with publication of his novel, "The Satanic Verses." I didn't particularly care for the author or book, but was invited by my literary agent at that time to attend the event she personally sponsored. My agent also arranged for me to speak with a visiting journalist from a Pittsburgh daily. I mentioned to the reporter that I had a novel and other books represented by the agent, that I had in fact written my first book after visiting Morocco (my novel Abbas & Merdan was set in an Islamic nation), and that one had to wonder how Rushdie ever got his book published at all. I suggested that if he had written a title promoting Socialism-this during the Cold War-that it never would've seen publication in the West. Yet for "secular publishers" his tome was fine. Imagine instead, if his book were titled, The Communist Poetry of Karl Marx. Later, I was surprised to read the female journalist's coverage-the only mention made of any writers there was an innocuous remark from a real estate agent who was a "weekend novelist," promoting his sci-fi novel. Thus, the journalist avoided or censored entirely a legitimate literary author making a comment that didn't fit the newspaper's agenda. She vanished the event. Similarly, my "Letter to the Editor" for Newsweek in 2006, which voiced distress about the drift and errors of an article supporting The Da Vinci Code, was ignored; I expressed how if that novel today had been about slandering Mohammed or Moses, the book never would've been published. We must understand what forces exactly are in control of the presses to defuse any irony, confusion, irrationality. Of course, that's exactly how our censorship continues.
I've made a similar case for mainstream media's avoidance of recognizing an Arts Movement in the late 1970's in Virginia. The primary authors published in Virginia mostly were university professors, instead of an active group of poets, fiction and nonfiction writers, editors, painters, photographers, and cinematographers that I worked with as an independent author, journalist, and magazine editor-mentioned in the preface to my novel, Gratuity. Probably there have been other literary movements in America that also have been squelched by the mainstream press: San Francisco, Washington, DC, and New York? If the public ever questions why there's nothing akin to the arts movements of the New England Renaissance of 1850's or the 1920's in Paris with "The Lost Generation," it's not because they failed to happen, it's because America's Art Movements have yet to be documented and publicized.
The question of whether or not to even read literary novelists from outside of America may sound xenophobic. But often the non-American author on our bestseller lists is there precisely because he or she is published outside of America, from India, Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan or elsewhere. I guess that's because those countries (or the U.K.) still publish the individual literary artist, whose work then gets read for world readership and eventually gets accepted elsewhere, even in USA. It's difficult for me to get excited at all, however, about a twenty-something Pakistani author now in America, when so many thousands of my own fellow citizens, serious literary men and women, are unable to get their works accepted by a publisher or circulated in any fashion in our own nation.
(My estimates are conservative if we take my last article's figures of there now being 135,000 new titles printed each year in the U.S. mostly with POD and independent publishers. We might suggest that even with an improbable 3 books/writer, the number of unpublished authors in America was in the range of over 40,000, actually the size a small city. Artsville?)
Does the populace here actually think that nobody in the United States is producing deep, serious, or complex work nowadays? Or that the awful or trite nonsense put out by the mainstream is any indication of what serious writers in this country believe, live by, or produce on their own? Or that all serious writers teach in universities and publish obscure books only for tenure résumés (a publishing phenomena I labeled some years ago, as "Teacher Lit")? The populace must misunderstand how their culture is not only assaulted, violated, corrupted-but in fact, diminished into almost minimal sustenance these days, if we may speak here at all of high culture.
I feel it's important to look point blank at the publishing scene, to understand it in an historical context, to know what's really going on today. We need to see the vanguard of real writing, where it is or will be and to accept that vanguard for its advance position in this moment at the forefront of literary art, that is, a real position of the oft-touted phrase, "avant-garde." So, first, is history.
Publishing, not as we know it, but as we accept the technical innovation of it, began in Europe mostly in 1455 with Johann Gutenberg (in an industrial publishing sense); his was the production of one of the first printed books, The Bible (we might note his own bankruptcy later, taken over most "ironically" by a man named Johann Fust, some claim the origin of the Faust legend so popularized by Marlowe and Goethe). Gutenberg used a screw printing press modified from a common wine press, with an efficient printing process unsurpassed until the 19th Century. (www.ink.news.com.au) China is said to have originated the first printing in 593 AD, first printed newspaper in Beijing in 700 AD, first woodblock printed book in 868 AD. It is thought that missionaries back from the Orient introduced block printing to Europeans before 1300 AD (used commonly for fabric designs). Gutenberg's book innovation included movable metal type, with standardized text and uniform pages of print on paper using an oil-based ink, and professionally bound editions. (www.Wikipedia.com) The 21st Century has the online digital library inspired by his name: Project Gutenberg, www.ProjectGutenberg.org.
Contemporaneously in 1455 there were still "scriptoria," writing rooms or cells or workshops, active in monasteries (the salvation of most surviving editions of ancient source manuscripts in Europe). Ecclesiastics such as Pope Nicholas V and wealthy humanists like Federigo of Montefeltro or Cosimo de' Medici also had book copyists in continuous employ, whose sole duty was to hand copy or rewrite page after page of text. One man could produce one new book in 2-5 months (a Bible similar to Gutenberg's might require one scribe a year or more to hand copy). For one project, Cosimo had 45 writers deliver 200 volumes in 22 months. (Civilization of the Renaissance In Italy by Jacob Burckhardt) A duke or other nobleman, within a few years and millions of ducats, might boast of a modest library of only fifty to a few hundred new volumes; collected sources might push that number to 600-800. Also, as pointed out in Roderick Cave's Private Press, the total "was almost certainly dwarfed by the number of manuscripts which scholars copied out for their own use, as Petrarch, Chaucer . . ."
Suddenly, mechanical production was introduced to the world, so that by 1500 AD some 9 million printed books were in circulation. (www.ink.news.com.au).
The earliest history of printing or books might be attributed however, to Mesopotamia, around 3100 BC, with a cylinder seal, a porcelain or clay or pottery actual small cylinder, with raised pictures (and later cuneiform glyphs), that could roll a uniform "picture story" onto clay tablets or cloth or, later, parchment. Some claim that signet stones, seals, and stamps or signet rings, were the earliest forms of printing. The earliest book, though, might be the Babylonian clay tablets, letters impressed with a stylus. From Egypt came papyrus (and from china something closer to paper), with scrolls attached one to another to make lengthy "books," which might be stored rolled onto two spindles, as one often sees in historical pictures of the Hebrew Talmud. Such scrolls without the spindles could be stored in libraries (first public library in Rome was the Libertas Temple in 39 BC) in something appearing to us as vertical wine racks, where the scrolls might be inserted and kept dry and accessible. (As obscure as such historical notes might appear, it is significant that even today our most technologically advanced still "scroll" their computer screens.) In Ancient Rome commercial publishers issued editions of as many as 5000 copies of classical authors, produced by literate slaves. Scribes in ancient Athens, Alexandria, and Rome made those cities the centers of book production and exporters to the known world. (www.Encarta.msn.com) Also the ancient Greek and Romans had smaller hand-held wooden tablets (called a "pugillare") covered with wax, that one could use a metal stylus upon, to write notes, accounts, letters for servants to transcribe, or for teaching children writing (the wax could be wiped over to erase the inscription and start over again). Several of the pugillares tied together were called "codices," an early form of our modern multi-chapter, bound-book concept, codex. (www.Wikipedia.org) (www.RandyAsplund.com) Today of course, we have evolved to completely electronic files, or "e-books."
However, the common publishing process for centuries, until Gutenberg's major innovation in Europe, was that an author took his copy of the original scroll or codex, handed it to a friend to read, and if the friend liked the book, he or his servants handwrote 2-3 copies, and voilà, publication.
More scrolls were passed hand-to-hand, hand-written, saved, circulated and eventually in later years collated into flat editions with bound bulk pages or a crude early book; pages were fastened on one side and also called a "codex." All of this however, was a handicraft then, by artisans individual and private, yet obsessive enough to save valued text and pass it along for study and enjoyment and erudition among contemporaries, and eventually posterity. But complete publishing, with control by gatekeepers (either with motives financial or ethical/religious/political/artistic) as today, was unknown.
What preceded 1455 for year after year, century upon millennia into the past was different. Roderick Cave explains common publishing, "When he [the author] published his completed book, he did so by permitting his friends to read the [handwritten] manuscript he had written." (The Private Press)
I had to laugh some years ago when the John Adams biography by David McCullough was popular in book form (the TV series is currently in vogue). I was reading of Jefferson's trip to Paris and McCullough's mention of publication for Thomas Jefferson (as American ambassador and father of American Revolution, not yet president), for Jefferson's recently completed book, The Notes on the State of Virginia. His "peer review" and acceptance by a publisher, editorial rework, meeting with a marketing team, confronting a "bottom-line" accounting department, etc. evidently consisted of this: Upon finishing his manuscript, Jefferson took some money and his manuscript to a local French printer; he ordered the printing of 200 copies within an agreed upon time. Thomas Jefferson later picked up his books and handed them out to friends. Again, voilà!
Never did authors need to jump through the hoops, academic, commercial, actual or conceptual, with the nonsense of current commercial or mainstream American publishing. That didn't exist. Authors never expected much remuneration from their work (early on) and the writing itself brought other benefits: Jefferson with reputation, political appointments, and a smoother relationship with the French, who had asked about his home state of Virginia, Franklin with civic success and scientific notoriety and financial independence, Thomas Paine with revolution (patron and instigator of the new American Experiment with Democracy, though he died in obscurity, penniless). The work was printed and circulated and it did connect with many readers and political systems over generations, fortunately. Earlier however, the Dutch Humanist scholar, Erasmus (1466-1536), was one of the first authors to live independently from his publications.
Modern times have provided more diverse publishing processes; we need only to look to repressive regimes as the old Soviet Union. The Soviet author's option was to take an original typed manuscript, make Xerox or hand-typed copies of each book and circulate the privately produced volumes in secret among friends and other discerning readers. With the underground system readers made further copies and continued covert circulation. (The Columbia Encyclopedia) The Russian poet Nikolai Glazkov dubbed the process, Samizdat ("self-published"). It worked well enough to keep modern Russian literature alive with the writings of Bulgakov and Solzhenitsyn, and others like Alexander Ginzburg in prison or repressed for the effort of literary production and publishing within Soviet borders (or popularized Czech playwright and later President, Václev Havel). (www.Wikipedia.org) Some of Solzhenitsyn's work was published by official media in the U.S.S.R., but much had to be smuggled to the West, such as his Gulag and the novels, First Circle and Cancer Ward. (The Solzhenitsyn Reader, edited by Ericson and Mahoney)
But to whom, exactly, are we to smuggle out our book manuscripts? To the new Russia? To Canada or France or England (which had staunch censorship laws on the books until 1968, at least for theatre)? Lest this seem extreme or an essayist's rhetorical effect, it should be noted that for ten years there was a dynamic small press magazine begun in USA and later continued in Canada, which dubbed itself, Samisdat. I know because the editor there, an outspoken literary publisher Merritt Clifton, did send friendly advice as I was starting my own U.S. literary magazine, The Blue Ridge Review. He later reprinted my short story, "The Butcher" (Collected into my volume, Moments). That short story had been rejected by magazine editors here; however, once published in The Blue Ridge Review, I discovered that Virginia students at the nearby university were stopping graduate literature classes to discuss the story. Later, editor Clifton re-published "The Butcher" in Canada and commented, "This is the best short story to appear in the American Small Press all year." That is offered not as self-advertisement, rather as one factual incident showing the incompetence of America's publishing process and again, the failure of vision upon the editorial staff here. If the reader refuses to believe, simply look at the dross of conventional publishing these days.
Writers who have done just this, however-that is sending their manuscripts abroad or going outside of the United States (or their native countries) and getting published are numerous. Consider novelist and National Book Award winner, Mary Lee Settle (went to England), political dissenter and linguist Noam Chomsky (Canada), author and painter Henry Miller (France), author and art collector Gertrude Stein (France), D. H. Lawrence (published in Italy), Joyce (published in France), and Boris Pasternak (published in Italy). My own story, "The Butcher," again was reprinted in Canada and my literary magazine, The Blue Ridge Review, was exhibited in Poland (before the U.S.S.R. ended). I also marketed abroad chapters of nonfiction works rejected here, finally publishing part of my book manuscript, Infinity, with World Union, a journal in India (pacifist Chapter 14, "WAR/Peace-Peace\WAR").
I'm going on here though, to present concerns of where writer and reader could move from, and when or how it might go in the future. The current disparaging of POD and self-published works (or some independent publishers) is a contradiction . . . there are so many well-established, accepted geniuses of literature who all started with or resorted to self-published work. Self-Publishing is the primary way to do it-that is, to start a writing career! In fact, many general readers would be shocked to learn the "publishing history" of even the common literary canon of their earlier school years-we might suggest that if left up to "conventional publishers," there would be few authors of the classics for anyone to read.
Most salient of the self-published are: Tolstoy's War and Peace, first volume of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, and the novel considered first among world reading lists, James Joyce's Ulysses (published by a friend).
That's for starters. But consider even one's older high school list and the authors so touted. Thoreau published Walden himself (most of the first edition collected dust in Emerson's attic). Walt Whitman is almost a cliché with his continual printing and reprinting of his masterpiece, Leaves of Grass (to be fair it was an ever-growing work-in-progress, annotated and added to throughout his life); Whitman even had to write his first published book review himself (pilfering without permission a kind response from Emerson, "a blurb."). The originator of "America's conversational writing style," that singular master, Mark Twain, was of course discovered by Samuel Langhorne Clemens (his true name) with a self-published first volume of short stories. Twain later published further editions of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and continued a publishing effort by printing the work of a famous general and president, the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, which became a bestseller. In Great Britain we might consider the first collection of Shakespeare's plays, published posthumously by two actor friends. The great Virginia Woolf, beloved feminist author and classified among the top English Modernists, was printed primarily by the publisher she and her husband created, Hogarth Press. In fact, the trio of masters of the Modernist British novel, Woolf, Joyce, and D.H. Lawrence, all did private publishing.
John Milton defended self-publishing freedoms in 1644 by publishing Areopagitica. Upton Sinclair printed his own work, early Hemingway was self-published, as was the experimental author Gertrude Stein, early George Bernard Shaw, Ginsburg's famous mimeographed poem, "Howl," and the first book by a favorite poet of mine e.e. cummings, No Thanks (on its early pages are 13 publishers who had rejected him). Our list includes classical authors Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thomas Hardy, Alexandre Dumas, Willa Cather, Stephen Crane, Rudyard Kipling, Hans Christian Andersen, Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg, Anais Nin, plus the likes of Ben Franklin (able to retire at age 42 from self-publishing efforts of newspapers and his perennial bestseller, Poor Richard's Almanack), Zane Grey, Lord Byron, William Morris, the modern poets Nikki Giovanni, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, T.S. Eliot, Robert Bly, and older masters Percy Shelley, Melville's poetry, Oscar Wilde, Tennyson, William Blake, such modern notables as Dave Eggers, Julia Cameron, Stewart Brand, R. Buckminster Fuller, Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson's The One Minute Manager, Tom Peters's In Search of Excellence, William Strunk's Elements of Style, John Bartlett (3 editions of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations), Noah Webster's early Blue-Backed Speller, before he complied the first American Dictionary. Stephen King in 2000 self-published online an e-book, The Plant. Other book favorites should be noted, for without self-publishing we'd never have the children's staples by Beatrix Potter or Theodor Seuss Geisel, "Dr. Seuss," or the oversized, hand-painted ornithological classic by John James Audubon, The Birds of America. (See John Kremer's www.SelfpublishingHallofFame.com and e-book of same title, also Dan Poynter's "Self-Published Books," Doc. #155, www.ParaPublishing.com.)
Again, we must understand that our literary culture would be missing the names of its most illustrious, if each author finally had not believed in him or herself, to continue where mainstream rejection ruled. If writers note even three references cited earlier: Bartlett's "Quotations," Strunk's Elements of Style, and America's creator of the "Dictionary," you might even wonder how we'd continue at all! One might suggest we would have no print culture whatsoever, without each author's individual effort. So such self-publishing is the opposite of how mainstream media reports about it (or reasons POD volumes and e-books are often avoided in reviews). That is the primary focus: It is essential for the media to embrace, applaud, support, and watch for the next burgeoning literary talent, societal commentator, conceptual revolutionary, insightful author of spiritual tomes.
And when we think of critics decrying some of the inevitable errors of self-publisher or small publishers, especially with the difficulty of proofreading properly, we might remember the efforts of English author, D.H. Lawrence, where his publisher refused publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover. Lawrence simply went out to a nearby printer (he happened to be living in Italy) and had his novel typeset and printed in English, by Italians who had no knowledge of the English language whatsoever. Lawrence probably had more typos per page than most POD publishers find in an entire volume!
Here then, is where we must take a stand for the individual literary artist and understand how his or her work might appear for the publishing and reading public now-and make plans to promote such new works, as the necessary writing of the 21st Century. Once that's accepted we must consider how to connect with some sort of network, how do the new readers and the new writers find each other? How do you pass along the good news of finding a new author's works these days? Writers must be nurtured.
Publishing periodicals or journals is one way, as is seen with Rager Media, and with many online magazines or "ezines." There are unique offerings: Clarkesworld Magazine, Storyglossia, The Big Ugly Review, The Wild River Review, Terrain.org (from Utne Reader, www.utne.com). There's a dynamic "Top 50 Literary Magazines and Metazines" list at www.webdelsol.com and a more complete list of online and print lit mags at www.newpages.com. Established print journals include: The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Zoetrope: All-Story, Glimmer Train Stories, TriQuarterly, The American Poetry Review, The New Renaissance. Study many authors and you'll see literary creators similar to the earlier list who also self-published periodicals: Dostoevsky had to start three journals, Time, Epoch, and Writer's Diary to showcase his work and keep active; Dickens did the same with the journal, All The Year Round; Pound with Blast, and others. Also, I produced a literary magazine, The Blue Ridge Review, and later a global renaissance print newsletter called, Virtù. These are vehicles for writers and artists to reach out to an audience and create an active readership. We might consider how other artists created publications with Andy Warhol's Interview magazine and Le Corbusier's architecture journal, L'Espirit Nouveau. Note also that in the 1990's the majority of comic book titles were self-published, as were many rock musicians, and also upcoming new cinematographers with "Indie Films." (www.Wikipedia.org) What else can be done?
With a final acceptance of the individual it might be offered that for all intents and purposes, I believe America's Freedom of Press only became truly free with a new commercial venue, an innovation early in the year 2000. That was when POD publisher, Xlibris, chose to boost their new site and POD core services. Xlibris offered for a time, totally free, the set-up for any author of his or her manuscript, to convert it to POD book publication. As far as I know, this was the first time ever that our Freedom of the Press was backed up economically with a truly free-of-charge press offering, including no gatekeepers, for new or established writers. (Verified by Xlibris) We still don't have Freedom of Communication (distribution to active readers), though surely that one event finally established our Freedom of the Press. The free offer has changed with Xlibris; yet that was a worthy innovation-it's important to note that there are other commercial publishers online currently offering similar free services today.
I truly believe that this sort of press option, free POD book publishing (and for e-books), should be offered by our Federal Government, so as to ensure Freedom of the Press for any U.S. citizen interested in publishing his or her books. It would guarantee a cultural future for all Americans. One might even suggest a "sin tax" similar to that placed on cigarettes for more conventional or pulp book publishing (for "syntax" dangerous to your health), to help defray costs for authors with a free American Literary Press. Individual creativity! Without that we are left with private patrons, previous censorship discussions, and the harsh assessment by journalist and critic, A. J. Liebling: "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one."
Ways to Stay Active With Publishing (Publishing Resources)
1. POD sites:
2. Books & sites for self-publishing:
The Self-Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter, www.ParaPublishing.com,
The Complete Guide To Self-Publishing by Tom & Marilyn Ross, www.SpanNet.org,
1001 Ways To Market Your Book, by John Kremer, www.Bookmarket.com.
(These three references are master guides to self-publishing in America, must reads! Each site also offers extensive online resources and free e-mail newsletters.)
3. Resources about history of printing:
4. Online digital libraries:
Project Gutenberg, www.ProjectGutenberg.org and
Google Books, www.Books.Google.com.
(Microsoft's digital book efforts have ended.)
5. Books on Censorship:
Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman & Noam Chomsky,
Censored 2007 by Peter Phillips & Project Censored,
Rich Media, Poor Democracy by Robert W. McChesney.
E-book reading devices, www.myebizreviews.com, and
7. Other Self-publishing sites:
8. Len Fulton's Dustbooks:
www.dustbooks.com, with Small Press Review, International Directory of Little Magazines & Small Presses, and Directory of Poetry Publishers. (Since 1965 Fulton's been one of first and continual organizers of independent or alternative literary press offerings in America-an unsung hero. He is also a playwright and novelist.)
9. Publishing Industry:
10. Publishing Organizations:
Small Publishers Association of North American (SPAN), www.SpanNet.org,
Publishers Marketing Association (PMA), www.PMA-online.org,
Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network (SPAWN), www.Spawn.org,
Center for Independent Publishing, www.nycip.org,
Association of American Publishers, www.publishers.org.
Charles A. Taormina's lives in Akron, Ohio, where he is marketing his novels and finishing a book of novellas, a collection of short fiction, and a screenplay. He's worked as a periodical and free-lance book editor and been a member of COSMEP and Small Publishers Association of North America. He is listed with Who's Who In The World. Currently, Taormina is in search of a Medici.