White Winter Publishing is planning to be a small independent publisher concentrating on artists' publications with a special interest in supporting artists who wish to take a leap into the world of publishing.
Even though I know better, it’s still difficult to keep a blog up to date. My mother used to describe me as the watcher: I would watch other children play instead of joining in. In many ways, writing a blog is like being a watcher – it requires you to stop doing and start observing or reflecting.
Reflecting on the last six or seven weeks since I first reviewed the submissions I’d had, I realise that there’s so much more to making books than making books. It’s something that comes up again and again in the organisation that I work for, who support creative individuals with their enterprises. If you want to make a living from what you love doing, it inevitably involves doing some things you don’t love doing (unless you’re generating enough income to simply pay other people to do the things you don’t want to).
I made a decision to respond personally to each person that submitted and give some feedback. This is proving quite tricky – especially when I can see massive potential, but the ideas aren’t quite fully formed, or I’m not sure about how the content and the format sit together. In an ideal world, I’d love to work with the artists to develop the ideas, but not only do I not have the time to spend on such activities, I also think that not all artists want to collaborate.
It’s interesting to note that I’m generally compelled to create when I have some stimulus to work from (usually someone else’s work) and that a blank page seems complete; not lacking, not waiting for some thing. Perhaps that is why I enjoy editing so much.
But, on the business front, I’m starting to negotiate three different titles. I’ll probably say more about that when I have a clear idea of what they will be.
In the meantime, I’ll be looking to the Christmas break as a time to step outside the frenetic activity of the last few months and to make some important decisions about what happens next.
The response to the opportunity I posted to a-n has been overwhelming. Almost every time I have checked my gmail account there has been another email; someone requesting submission guidance, another asking for additional information, another sending a proposal for consideration.
It's all I can do to not get completely wound up in the proposals received – it takes a measure of self discipline to simply check that I can open the document and then reply to acknowledge receipt. Sometimes, though, I just can't help myself and I get all excited about the ideas flowing into my inbox. A huge thank you to all who have submitted so far…
The first selection meeting is on Saturday – this will be a fairly informal read through all the proposals received to date, with a view to trying to establish a picture in my mind of what each publication might be. Ultimately, I hope to launch the company with a series of books that somehow or other relate to each other – almost a curated collection.
The opportunity will be printed in the Book Arts Newsletter in the next issue (November/December) and at some point in November I'll post it to artsjobs.
About me: White Winter Publishing starts as just me, so it seems that talking about myself and my reason for wanting to start this little business is a good place to start.
White Winter Puublishing is currently just an idea – there are, as yet, no books to speak of. I had the idea about eight months ago, and it hit me like a bullet train: it was such a simple and compelling idea that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before! After recovering from the shock, I spent a long time discussing the idea with friends and thinking of all the reasons why I couldn’t ‘just start’. Eventually, in some fit of whimsy in the middle of September (after months of inactivity and no progress) I decided to post an opportunity with a-n. I received confirmation that the opportunity had been posted on the website, and then within two days I had been contacted by five different people. So that about brings us up to date. But what about me?
Well, I graduated from a Fine Art course in the summer of 2006. I’ve had a pretty full calendar since then, not all of which was as stimulating as I had hoped when I was a student. In many ways I am now very confused about why I did the course and what I got out of it, but some little things remain: the idea that ‘getting things out there’ really makes a difference and informs what you do next is absolutely true (as my whimsical post proved!); one tutor stressing the importance in allowing oneself to dream in determining what next… So, I think the course had some small part to play in this idea. More than anything, though, it is the twenty odd years I’ve spent adoring books and reading until my eyes sting that make this idea the most obvious and sincere channel for my heartfelt passions.