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View Full Version : Is there anyone on Earth who still self-publish through papyrus and clay?



SeattleSounders
11-04-2017, 11:52 AM
Just curious since the forum is titled Self-Publishing: Print, Audio, Digital, Papyrus or Clay

why not Self-Publishing: Print, Audio, Digital?

since nobody self-publish through Papyrus or Clay anymore. Maybe 1000 years ago...but today?

Catherine
11-04-2017, 12:25 PM
It's meant to be funny. However you chose to self-publish, we talk about it here.

:welcome:

Helix
11-04-2017, 12:43 PM
How about stone?

http://www.stanzastones.co.uk/

Old Hack
11-04-2017, 01:07 PM
There are several buildings in Sheffield, where I live, which have poetry on the sides of them. It's so lovely. And it could be argued that that's a form of self-publishing. So those poems are self published in brick, stone, aluminium and steel.

The point is the medium isn't the point.

Polenth
11-04-2017, 07:37 PM
I have a drabble available on mugs, t-shirts and the like. You can print a story on most things.

AW Admin
11-04-2017, 08:13 PM
A hundred or so UCLA Near Eastern Languages students write a poem in Cuneiform on clay every quarter. I not only write on papyrus, I've been known to send letters to people written on my own papyrus.

And as a card-carrying Medievalist, I have prepared my own vellum, and passed my paleography practicum by writing a short essay on said vellum.

As Old Hack says, the point is that the medium is a vehicle, a container, for text. That's all it's ever been.

Filigree
11-04-2017, 08:27 PM
I've used clay, papyrus, silver, leather, fabric, glass, and wood to create one-of-a-kind or limited edition book art pieces. They sell for a decent amount. I guess that is self-publishing, even though sales are generally handled through my agents.

BenPanced
11-05-2017, 07:45 AM
I'd stay away from Papyrus, even for a cover. It's incredibly derided, almost as much as Comic Sans, and you want to attract readers, not repel them.

What?

Filigree
11-05-2017, 07:14 PM
Well, it is a writing site, so we had to expect a Papyrus font joke sooner or later.

Papyrus the material is an incredibly finicky material to work with. I have some. To use it for inks or acrylic paint, I have to sand it with 800 grit wetdry sandpaper first to roughen the surface. But damn is it pretty with gold leaf.

AW Admin
11-05-2017, 07:16 PM
I'd stay away from Papyrus, even for a cover. It's incredibly derided, almost as much as Comic Sans, and you want to attract readers, not repel them.

What?

That's partly because it was extensively used on menus, and from there, on self-published book covers.

Ari Meermans
11-05-2017, 08:34 PM
Just curious since the forum is titled Self-Publishing: Print, Audio, Digital, Papyrus or Clay

why not Self-Publishing: Print, Audio, Digital?

since nobody self-publish through Papyrus or Clay anymore. Maybe 1000 years ago...but today?


A hundred or so UCLA Near Eastern Languages students write a poem in Cuneiform on clay every quarter. I not only write on papyrus, I've been known to send letters to people written on my own papyrus.

And as a card-carrying Medievalist, I have prepared my own vellum, and passed my paleography practicum by writing a short essay on said vellum.

As Old Hack says, the point is that the medium is a vehicle, a container, for text. That's all it's ever been.

[emphasis mine]

Also, the title rather drives home the point that self-publishing predates history, irrespective of the medium: self-publishing has been around at least since the first cave painting. Only the medium for expression changes. I've always liked the title for that reason alone.

TrinaM
11-26-2017, 10:22 AM
[emphasis mine]

Also, the title rather drives home the point that self-publishing predates history, irrespective of the medium: self-publishing has been around at least since the first cave painting. Only the medium for expression changes. I've always liked the title for that reason alone.

Thank you for this! As a newbie to the forum, I have to admit that this forum title had me more than a little offended, along with the requirement that we use "self-publishing" in this way. I understand and respect the rules of the group...but I had felt as if this was an insult to a group of writers. Your explanation makes it not quite as offensive to me.

I think I'm just hyper-sensitive. Been insulted for my publishing choices a few too many times!

I really like your explanation!

Old Hack
11-26-2017, 12:52 PM
Thank you for this! As a newbie to the forum, I have to admit that this forum title had me more than a little offended, along with the requirement that we use "self-publishing" in this way. I understand and respect the rules of the group...but I had felt as if this was an insult to a group of writers. Your explanation makes it not quite as offensive to me.

I think I'm just hyper-sensitive. Been insulted for my publishing choices a few too many times!

I really like your explanation!

I'm sorry you felt that way, and am glad you've now understood. Asking people to use the term self publishing and trade publishing is an attempt to prevent people from using disparaging terms and inadvertently insulting each other--and it's an attempt to foster clarity rather than confusion, too. There are no negative reasons for it at all, and it would be horrid if people felt put down by it.

I don't think you're hyper-sensitive at all, by the way. I do think it's reasonable to feel defensive when you've been insulted over and over again, and if you ever feel you're being put down here please report the post immediately (look for the triangle with the exclamation mark inside, beneath the poster's name) so the mods can take care of things for you. We won't allow insults here.

TrinaM
11-27-2017, 05:08 AM
Thank you. That's good to know. I love encouraging other authors, and I love what I do passionately. I'm comfortable with the choices I've made.

This seems like a very good place to hang out. I'm enjoying getting to know everyone...and hope that I can learn to use these terms with clarity because I also would not want to inadvertently insult anyone!

I wonder if it is just me that grew up with "self publishing" being used as a derogatory term?

Ari Meermans
11-27-2017, 07:47 AM
Thank you for this! As a newbie to the forum, I have to admit that this forum title had me more than a little offended, along with the requirement that we use "self-publishing" in this way. I understand and respect the rules of the group...but I had felt as if this was an insult to a group of writers. Your explanation makes it not quite as offensive to me.

I think I'm just hyper-sensitive. Been insulted for my publishing choices a few too many times!

I really like your explanation!

*smiles* I'm glad it helped. I've been an avid reader longer than a lot of today's writers have been alive and I have tremendous respect for writers. And though I do write and have written, I can't write fiction to save my life—I just don't have the storytelling gene. And that hurts my heart.


Thank you. That's good to know. I love encouraging other authors, and I love what I do passionately. I'm comfortable with the choices I've made.

This seems like a very good place to hang out. I'm enjoying getting to know everyone...and hope that I can learn to use these terms with clarity because I also would not want to inadvertently insult anyone!

I wonder if it is just me that grew up with "self publishing" being used as a derogatory term?

I think it's unfortunate that self-publishing has a poor reputation. I read three to five books a week and have for as long I can remember (that's a long, long time) and a quick count for the past two years indicates that just over a third of the books I've purchased for my Kindle were self-published. In fact, the two most amazing YA fantasy series I've read and reread over that two-year period were self-published with obvious care and attention to detail. So here's where I think—and that's just my opinion—the problem with self-publishing's reputation comes in: impatience; i.e., books that aren't ready are being self-published. Too many of those books I bought needed an editor. The stories had great potential—those authors definitely have the storytelling gene—but in a number of cases, the writing chops just. weren't. there. yet. Also, I know misspellings happen and if there aren't too many, I just gloss over them. Malapropisms are another deal entirely; those can ruin a story and cause me to close a book even when I want to know how it ends.

So, if this reader has one piece of advice for writers, it's this: make your word choices with care.

TrinaM
11-28-2017, 10:30 AM
I think the biggest problem is that the writers who most need the editing don't recognize that they do.

My son needed glasses. The problem showed up in a checkup. When I asked why he hadn't said he had a problem, he insisted he didn't. We got the glasses over his protests. When he put them on, he said, "OH...wow. Those are mountains. I thought they were trees."

If they're using Word for grammar/spelling, those malapropisms are going to happen.

There's a problem in the financial equation for self-publishing that we still need to resolve. How do we pay quality editors enough to live on while they help authors get started? It's much easier to work with the big houses...but even those are cutting their editing budgets these days!

I fear that all written words will be as poorly edited as a modern news story soon.

Old Hack
11-28-2017, 11:38 AM
There's a problem in the financial equation for self-publishing that we still need to resolve. How do we pay quality editors enough to live on while they help authors get started?

It's hard, isn't it? I know several editors who used to work full time for big houses, who are now freelance; when they've discussed their rates with people who are planning on self publishing they've been told they're far too expensive, and will have to slash their prices significantly to get work--but they are getting work at their full rates from trade publishers, and have all the work they can handle. So the self publishers use cheaper editors who probably don't have the training and ability that these editors do.

But if self publishers paid the going rate for the good editors they'd have to sell a lot more books to make that money back, and there's no guarantee they'd do that, even with the increased quality that better editing would lead to. It's a big problem and I'm not sure there's a way to resolve this.


It's much easier to work with the big houses...but even those are cutting their editing budgets these days!

Editing budgets have been cut, but they've remained pretty stable in the last eight years or so. I see this argument being made a lot by people who are anti-trade publishing, but I really don't think it's an issue now.

mccardey
11-28-2017, 02:41 PM
I fear that all written words will be as poorly edited as a modern news story soon.Oy! That's a bit of a blanket slap-down for journalism. Not sure it's warranted.

AW Admin
11-28-2017, 04:49 PM
There's a problem in the financial equation for self-publishing that we still need to resolve. How do we pay quality editors enough to live on while they help authors get started? It's much easier to work with the big houses...but even those are cutting their editing budgets these days!

Not so much, really. There was a change in the U.S. tax laws that meant having back stock in a warehouse became prohibitively expensive; this had a long term effect on cash flow. Around 2007 or 8, many publishers reduced the number of in-house salaried editors and hired the same people back on 1099 contracts, as consultants or independent contractors.

But there really haven't been dramatic reductions in editorial staff recently, aside from consolidation (i.e. the big six becoming the big 5).

What has had an effect—and this is purely my personal opinion—are changes in work flow due to digital production; there's less reliance on print for proofing and copyediting as it became standard to submit final mss. in digital form (otherwise known as MS Word) and editors and proofreaders used tracking and comments for production rather than relying exclusively on hard copy.

I truly believe that proofing on screen is different than proofing on paper and that we "see" and interpret the text in print in dramatically different ways when it comes to proofing and editing. But I have no actual proof (see how I did that?). It's just personal opinion.

Old Hack
11-28-2017, 06:09 PM
Oy! That's a bit of a blanket slap-down for journalism. Not sure it's warranted.

Agreed.

Some publications have always been somewhat slapdash. But there are plenty of publications which provide insightful, well-written copy.


Not so much, really. There was a change in the U.S. tax laws that meant having back stock in a warehouse became prohibitively expensive; this had a long term effect on cash flow. Around 2007 or 8, many publishers reduced the number of in-house salaried editors and hired the same people back on 1099 contracts, as consultants or independent contractors.

But there really haven't been dramatic reductions in editorial staff recently, aside from consolidation (i.e. the big six becoming the big 5).

What has had an effect—and this is purely my personal opinion—are changes in work flow due to digital production; there's less reliance on print for proofing and copyediting as it became standard to submit final mss. in digital form (otherwise known as MS Word) and editors and proofreaders used tracking and comments for production rather than relying exclusively on hard copy.

I truly believe that proofing on screen is different than proofing on paper and that we "see" and interpret the text in print in dramatically different ways when it comes to proofing and editing. But I have no actual proof (see how I did that?). It's just personal opinion.

Agreed on all fronts, Admin.

I find it much harder to carry out a deep edit on a digital ms. When I'm editing it's much easier for me to work deeply into a text when it's on paper, in front of me. There's something about being physically connected to it that allows me to think more clearly about the words before me.

lolly334
11-29-2017, 05:34 AM
Not so much, really. There was a change in the U.S. tax laws that meant having back stock in a warehouse became prohibitively expensive; this had a long term effect on cash flow. Around 2007 or 8, many publishers reduced the number of in-house salaried editors and hired the same people back on 1099 contracts, as consultants or independent contractors.

But there really haven't been dramatic reductions in editorial staff recently, aside from consolidation (i.e. the big six becoming the big 5).

What has had an effect—and this is purely my personal opinion—are changes in work flow due to digital production; there's less reliance on print for proofing and copyediting as it became standard to submit final mss. in digital form (otherwise known as MS Word) and editors and proofreaders used tracking and comments for production rather than relying exclusively on hard copy.

I truly believe that proofing on screen is different than proofing on paper and that we "see" and interpret the text in print in dramatically different ways when it comes to proofing and editing. But I have no actual proof (see how I did that?). It's just personal opinion.

I work for a Big 5 publisher and have freelanced for a couple others, and while it's true that most copyediting these days is electronic, our proofreading is all still done on paper. I absolutely catch more on a printed page than I do on a screen.

TrinaM
11-29-2017, 07:09 AM
Oy! That's a bit of a blanket slap-down for journalism. Not sure it's warranted.

Perhaps. It may have been that I'd just read something in Inc Magazine -- one I consider usually pretty well edited -- that was desperately in need of a 6th grader to edit it... but you're right. There ARE still some publications that use editors. I WAS being a bit too harsh.