Update (06/03/07): I got my Lulu book in the mail a couple of weeks ago and it looks really good – I’m very happy with the print quality. So yes, go ahead and order yours!! 🙂 I am now officially hyping it.
I’ve been curious about exploring the whole print-on-demand world for a while, mostly because the biggest professional disappointment I’ve faced is my lack of a catalog of my work. It seems like every few months, something percolates up and seems to turn into a real lead in terms of someone showing interest in publishing a commercially available book of my work (ie, like the kind you’d get in Barnes & Noble or Amazon)… and then it all dissapates and turns into nothing. This has happened over and over. (Oh well.)
And so, in lieu of all that, I have turned to the last refuge of a scoundrel: print-on-demand. I have mixed feelings about this venture. On one hand, it is humbling (to put it mildly) to see my art alongside homegrown cookbooks and step-by-step get-rich-quick schemes. But aren’t I supposed to be the kind of person who gets a kick out of selling catalogs of her work next to cookbooks, etc? Isn’t my art supposed to be totally demystified and just a part of my everyday life? I thought so… so why does this feel weird?
In the “pro” column, I have total editorial control over the book. I did the layout myself; it’s for sale as long as I want it to be for sale for and not a moment longer. My friend Bryan Campen wrote the essay and I chose the drawings that made the cut. So that is all good.
I think I will feel better once I have the thing in my hands and can see it, and all these nagging questions I have (is the print quality any good? can you read the text? what about the colors? and so on) can go away. If for nothing else, it’s a good way of having images of my work around to show to people – the joy of POD is that you can print exactly as many as you want, so if only one gets printed and bought by me then there’s nothing wrong with that.
I decided to make my first POD book out of my Second Life drawings, because they’ve been the true canary in a coalmine for my work lately. Anything that I have thought of as being professionally risky (like posting and really pushing the work on Flickr), I’ve tried out on the SL drawings. Because they are less personal and feel different than the main body of my work, I feel ok making them the sacrificial lambs (yes, they are both caranies and lambs, lucky them!) where, if something goes wrong and they’re somehow seen as “lesser than” the rest of my work… well, I can live with that. They’re fun. They’re an experiment. They don’t take long to do. They’re pages from my sketchbook. I’m not taking them as deadly seriously as I do the rest of my work.
So, I’ll get the first copy of my book next week. In the meantime, if you want to check it out on Lulu, you can do so here. I’m not officially hyping it until I can get all my neurotic questions answered, but if you go ahead and order it before then and aren’t happy because the colors suck (or whatever), let me know and we’ll work something out. Or you can wait until I see the first copy.
p.s. feel free to digg the book and make it delicious and so forth…