Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Alt-pub on Vulpes Libris – a round-up.

4147958231_d15259dd3a_oIt’s the end of our Alternative Publishing theme ‘thrortnight’ (coined by Bookfox Kate, you saw it here first), and what a fascinating and varied three weeks it has been. When we were planning this, a theme week was what we had in mind. Then it looked as though we might have enough material for a fortnight. The more ideas we pitched around in the Den, the more it looked as though we might have room for even more, so it turned into three weeks. The Bookfoxes would like to express their huge thanks to everyone who has contributed, whether by agreeing to be interviewed, or contributing a guest post. It’s been all about you, and all the better for it.

In planning this theme, we were inspired by the recollection of the number of times that as book bloggers we had had our attention caught by writers’ stories of alternative routes to publishing, especially where the traditional publishing world had proved not to be receptive. We’ve watched as new technologies have transformed the scene, we’ve heard from authors for whom they have provided new opportunities, and we’ve reviewed their published books. So, to round off the theme, here is a selection of posts from the past three years on Vulpes Libris – interviews, articles, guest posts and reviews. It is not exhaustive, so if you think other posts on VL would complete it please do not hesitate to add to the list in the comments.

An early foray into considering alternative publishing was our Ebooks theme fortnight (you see? We’ve always found so much to say about this!) in 2012. During that week we heard from writers for whom the e-publishing revolution had provided fresh opportunities.
Former Bookfox Anne Brooke’s article had the forthright title: Ebooks saved my life and other virtual musings.
Sharing the prize for a sit-up-and-take-notice title, independently published author Catherine Czersawska wrote of her experience of independent publishing, ebooks and ‘The Great Satan’ in Weeping Crocodiles, Little Pigs, and Big Bad Wolves.
Bookfox Rosy contributed two articles on this theme, including the eminently practical Publishing an ebook – quick tips and pointers.
Finally, The Coffee Crew, aka Phillipa Ashley, Nell Dixon and Elizabeth Hanbury, gave us their story of how for writers sharing experience and encouragement, and looking at new ways of getting their work out there, can keep writing ambitions alive in Introducing the Coffee Crew – Ebooks: the good, the bad and the ugly.
This is just a selection – the whole fortnight is well worth a look.
Just to show another side of the removal of barriers and gatekeepers to publishing, Bookfox Leena told us the salutary tale of ‘Elisa the Angel’ in Death, Lies and Self-publishing – well worth reading in the week when another self-publicising Internet mythologiser has had to apologise.
Alan Cleaver, whose account of the self-publishing venture at the Florence Arts Centre appeared last Thursday, mused on e-publishing and the future of reading in an elegiac guest article Last Writes .

Reviews and interviews.
Here, without further commentary except to say that these are works that have been ‘Published Otherwise’ and that we love them and thoroughly recommend you love them too, are links to just some of Vulpes Libris’s reviews of alternatively published books:
The mysteriously pseudonymous Avant Garde A Clue
The Smart-ass Works of the Mysterious Elliott Alexander
Richard Ommanney: Jerome’s Angel (plus an interview with the author here)
Catherine Czerkawska: The Curiosity Cabinet and Ice Dancing
Colin Fisher: A Republic of Wolves, a City of Ghosts
Peter Haring Judd (ed): The Akeing Heart. Passionate Attachments and their Aftermath: Sylvia Townsend Warner, Valentine Ackland and Elizabeth Wade White.
The Longest Night. Five Curious Tales. A collection of five seasonal short stories illustrated by Beth Ward, with an introduction by Stephen Volk (with a guest post by Tom Fowler: Self-publishing and the oral tradition: The birth of ‘The Longest Night’).
Jack and Barbara Maloney: The Wee Mad Road
Zulmira Ribeiro Tavares: Family Heirlooms

So ends the Alt-pub Thrortnight, which (I’ve only just realised this) followed the Ebooks Fortnight by almost exactly three years. Somehow, I think the next time we return to this theme will be much sooner, and in the meantime the Bookfoxes will continue to write about the books that catch their vulpine eye and imagination, however published, Alt- or Trad.

This gorgeous, alive-looking Alt-Fox in origami is Román Díaz’s Vixen, taken from the Flickr photostream of Gerwin Sturm and reproduced here under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) licence. Clicking on the image will load the source page.

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The views expressed in the articles and reviews on Vulpes Libris are those of the authors, and not of Vulpes Libris itself.

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  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)
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