I saw a few calls recently for a return to physical ownership of products instead of the virtual ownership of media that we all believe we “own" with a purchase. It’s probably just a matter of time before some corporate overlord decides to block us all from accessing whatever stuff we thought we’d bought. After all, isn’t that the unwritten promise of late-stage Capitalism?
It’s hard to overstate the convenience of streaming, of digital downloads of movies, books, and music. We can carry entire libraries in our pockets. I get that…and I’m not opposed to it.
And yet, fail to update a dying machine or lose your back-up drive — and even without the shareholders voting ‘to hell with the customer base’ — what did our money get us?
What is actually ever ours?
These are just a few of the gorgeous, handmade books I’ve been lucky enough to have out. They often come with extras and freebies — from temporary tattoos and stickers to broadsides to original collage covers and laser-etched flasks. They are all things that, should you own one, won’t just up and disappear in the night.
I talk about it only because I have such admiration for the artists behind such creations — folks kind enough to share their tremendous talents with my humble projects. To me, this remains the most amazing thing about the small press — that together we can do things like this.
Yes, there aren’t massive print runs or enough sales to ever rub two nickels together.
No, this stuff is never covered by the powerful promotional engines behind big publishers, or mention much across bookish social media. That’s too bad…because there are those few people and places out there who still do care about such things.
Anyhow, this was just a way to say — if you are one of the people that support such things — thank you. Keep supporting these publishers and people who try harder to go the extra mile.
I promise I’ll keep trying to make the coolest stuff I can.
Until then, I guess all this will remain our little secret…