July 20, 2009

Eddie Wright helps start new co-op publishing venture

Backword Books

Regular readers will remember that earlier this year I reviewed the self-published Burroughsesque experimental tale Broken Bulbs by Eddie Wright, and ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Well, I just heard again from Eddie a few days ago, to let me know about a new project he's gotten involved with, which sounds pretty cool to me which is why I wanted to mention it. Called Backword Books and headed up by Henry Baum, founder of the Self-Publishing Review, the group is careful not to call themselves an actual publishing company; instead they're more like what Image Comics started as in the early '90s, a confederation of artists who each own their own imprints, and who have come together to share the costs of communal marketing, distribution and the like. The idea supposedly came about after Baum and others were recently profiled in a surprisingly popular Entertainment Weekly article about self-publishing, and the group includes everyone from genre veterans to NEA award-winners, former journalists and more; and unlike a bigger print-on-demand place like, say, iUniverse (which regulars are also familiar with -- I review titles by them here all the time), these initial founders of Backword claim that not just any interested artist will be allowed to join the group in the future, but that careful attention is paid to recruiting only writers of a certain quality and commitment level, something they hope will keep the Backword brand collectively stronger than any of the individual artists who belong to it, which of course was part of the problem behind the aforementioned Image sort of falling apart by the early 2000s. (And for what it's worth, Backword also claims that all of this will keep the prices of their books far lower than at the bigger print-on-demand places, another big reason for artists to do something like this rather than simply sign to places like iUniverse and the like; but I'll leave that debate up to people who know a lot more about the specific figures than I do.)

Anyway, you can check out all seven of the titles currently in their catalog, including brand-new information for ordering Broken Bulbs, over at BackwordBooks.com. Thanks, Eddie, for letting all of us know about this, and congratulations!

Filed by Jason Pettus at 7:24 AM, July 20, 2009. Filed under: Arts news | Literature | Profiles |