Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Zine throwback: Austin Makes A Book

So a few months ago at my day job, we heard about this cool thing that a handful of New Yorkers did called New York Makes a Book. It was, in fact, the world's first crowd-funded book, and being in the book industry ourselves, we thought this idea was pretty genius. Not to mention ballsy. 100 people. 100 pages. Submissions open to absolutely whatever.

I loved the idea because it reminded me of zine culture, and the cut/paste/copy zines of pictures, letters, and (eep) poetry we did at my all-girls camp in Wimberley. (A camp, I might add, that gave Austin Eavesdropper one of her first stage roles....The Little Mermaid....starring as - are you ready? - Scuttle).

So we got to thinking. Wouldn't Austinites dig this? It seemed like something offbeat and Austin-appropriate. I mean, look at us. We love Flash Mobs. We are downright OBSESSED with Twitter. We like doing strange things in crowd format. So, why not a book?

If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you probably know I'm a little cagey about endorsing things directly sponsored by my company - but I am really excited this. It's called Austin Makes a Book, and just like NYMAB, it is crowd-funded (meaning you fund your own page: in this case, $30) and is open to anything. Stories. Photography. One of those outlines of your hand that doubles as a Thanksgiving turkey (speaking of GENIUS!). As long as you live in Austin, your submission fits onto a 7x7" page and isn't, like, a picture of a newborn baby with a swastika tattooed on its forehead, it is accepted. All of the funding pays for the books to be printed by this lovely place, and anything we get over that amount will go to Room to Read.

Then, we will all take over a bar somewhere with our shiny new books, and have a party for our 100 authors!

Austin bloggers, I am especially curious to see what you guys submit. As for me - oh, I've got a few ideas, friends. A few ideas indeed.

Austin Eavesdropper comes from a family who believes in the "novelty Christmas card" tradition, and has photographic evidence of all three members, father included, dressed up as Carmen Miranda for Christmas 1995. Dad has the best legs. You think I am making this up, but you won't when I publish it.*

So Austin, what say you? Wanna make a book?

*Which reminds me: I really need to do a blog post sometime devoted solely to my family's Christmas cards.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Austin photogs, if you are going to ACL this week, hang onto those pics. Because we'd love to include them in our fabulous little book thingy.

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