How do I even start this post? This is a project that I have been developing for YEARS now, but I’ve always been very precious about the details (to avoid judgment/dismissal and jinxing, to keep from risking the unique edge the idea has by sharing it with the wrong people, or too many people… I sound like quite the little curmudgeon, don’t I?) You know how it is when you’re this invested in an idea for so long…
I’m running a crowdfunding campaign to start up the Gonq Press. We’ll be leasing an on-demand book printer (an all-in-one printing/cutting/binding unit that spits out a store-quality bound trade paperback– the Espresso Book Machine and Xerox Perfect Bind are two options– and they’re AMAZING and WE’RE IN THE FUTURE) to create curated series of public domain works, with really gorgeous letterpress covers designed by Toronto illustrators and artists. All of the perk levels above $25 receive books (of your choice), as well as other goodies like getting snail mail, memberships to the store (see next paragraph!), and definitely some fun stuff like stickers and buttons thrown into every shipment.
Step two: opening The Algonquin Bookshop. Yeah, I’m that person who wants to open a bookstore in the age of fatalistic articles announcing the Death Of The Printed Word. I have some really good reasons why this is actually a GREAT idea, and why I am particularly well-suited to it. I’m going to do a post exclusively about this part of the plan (and there’s a section about it on the crowdfunding page), but the crowdfunding campaign is just for the Gonq Press, so let’s get back to that…
We’re starting with two series of five titles each: The Blurred Line Between Fiction And Memoir, and The Lesser Works. When we hit $5k, we’ll release the winning series of the contest we’re running**, either Selected Faulkner, Colonial Adventuring (I bet you’re terribly curious what’s in there…), Early Canadiana, or Contemporary Poetesses, and then a full set of The Chronicles Of Narnia will be released when we make it to $10k (those are going to be insane gorgeous).
Faulkner is winning hard right now, and I’m a little sullen about it because it’s not where my heart lies, but holy cow are there a lot of Faulkner superfans out there!
The Blurred Line Between Fiction And Memoir
- My Lady Nicotine by J.M. Barrie
- A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
- The Egg And I by Betty MacDonald
- Down And Out In Paris And London by George Orwell
- Walden; or, Life In The Woods by Henry David Thoreau
The Lesser Works
- The Beautiful And Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Demian by Herman Hesse
- Dubliners by James Joyce
- Coming Up For Air by George Orwell
- The Years by Virginia Woolf
**the contest!!! Vote for which of the four series you’d like us to produce by commenting here, or on the IndieGoGo page, or tagging me on Twitter, and be a donor of any amount (no minimum), and we’ll choose one winner at random to receive a free set of the series we wind up releasing. Free books, guys. Come on. All you gotta do is comment, and contribute a coupla bucks.
How can you help?
Contribute *any* amount– large donations are great, but so are small ones. The number of people who support our campaign is a concrete number of “investors”/customers to be able to use to secure traditional funding for the bookstore. The perks for some of the higher amounts are pretty sick, though
Share share SHARE (please)– sharing on your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and/or blog is a huge deal. The more exposure we can get, the more support this campaign can find. Sharing on FB and whatnot is great, but specifically sending a note (with the link) directly to people you think would be interested is one of the most powerful, active things you can do to contribute– I think a lot of us just skim over links people post in statuses on Facebook.
Feel free to ask if you have any questions at all, and recommendations/tips are ALWAYS welcome.