I drew a webcomic called “Allergic2Umbrellas” from 2004-2006. It was still the early days of the medium, and it seemed cartoonists were creating interesting content. They were breaking the conventions of traditional newspaper comic strip format, and using the “infinite canvas” of the internet to expand 2-dimensional sequential art to something more interesting. I’ve never drawn particularly well, but didn’t let that stop me. It was a rewarding, artistically fulfilling project. Webcomics seemed a logical progression from zines.
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Photo credit: pheezy on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/pheezy

Photo credit: pheezy on Flickr

I’ve been reading and listening to podcasts and thinking about starting a business. This is one of the reasons I’ve started to take my blogging more seriously.

I don’t want to be rich, I just want to do something fun with my time that can earn me a little income. Something largely hands-off after a initial burst of effort, or in the words of Martin Eden,”money for work performed”. Some good or service that adds value and solves a problem, and at least tangentially connected to something I like.

At the same time, I didn’t want my side business to wring the fun out of something I cared about by making it be about minutiae. I also am still working on being a DOER, and not just a dreamer. I want to make rad things happen. I want to have adventures.

I had a problem. Not a PROBLEM problem, but I wanted to do something that was difficult and not at all convenient. I believe there are others in the same position as me, and thus, an existing underserved market.

There was a book Lindsay wanted about a subject she’s interested in, but has only had a handful of books written about it. The book is long out of print, with used copies costing around $200 Ebay and Amazon.

If the cost is that high, it’s likely because the sellers believe people are willing to pay as much.

I am fairly certain, outside of collectors and bibliophiles, there are a few people that wouldn’t be able to pay $200 for a leatherbound book about a little-known part of American history, but would be comfortable buying a $5.99 ebook or a $20 paperback copy.

I saw a few other books about the same subject that are also OOP, and were only printed in Spain. In Spanish.

I can’t read Spanish, at least, not to the level where I can read for pleasure learn something. However, many of my favorite books have been translated from Spanish. I read those books because an American publisher decided the cost of translating the work prior to sending it to print would be a good investment, because people like me would buy it.

I believe there are authors telling stories in other languages that would resonate, and we’d never get to read them if they don’t get the blessing of a big publishing house.

I’ve heard more than a few times a summary of a business and it’s goals shouuld be able to fit in one sentence. Here is mine: Connecting readers to emerging authors and to rare/unavailable content, often translated from languages other than English”.

It’s still in the dreaming stage, where I’m planning and researching. Other people have done similar things, focusing on genre fiction or serialized stories from old magazines. I can make this happen.

Wait what? If I start a publishing company, can I put out  my friend’s and I’s projects?


Can a publishing company also be run like a DIY punk rock record label, while using existing means of distribution?

Also yep.

Ok then. Let’s do it.