So, Better Living Through Xeroxography IX happened two weeks ago…
Ahj and I are still dazed. It felt great to see people of varying creative styles and perspectives come together in one place. It was all too surreal to finally see in person the people behind the books in our collection of indie titles or online literary journals. All the stuff they get to share, all the concepts they get to pass around. Gah! The creative energy was contagious! The people at BLTX were so nice (salamat Adam and Chingbee!), and it felt like a reunion of sorts as I got to see familiar faces (Charles! Joseph! Nante!).
What makes BLTX critically important is that it amplifies the voice of indie/new writers. The event itself inspired us to create more, to ‘make good art’ further.
The event was also an invitation for courage: it was MEOW’s first time to join. We had no idea if our participation would be successful or not, but we still decided to come because 1) we wanted to become a part of this really, really fun event; 2) we were just a bunch unknowns and we had nothing to lose anyway; and 3) we wanted to get our stuff out there and see what would happen (we had a lot unpublished workshopped materials and it was, I think, the only sane direction to take).
People, from friends to strangers, took a chance buying our prose and poetry. I’ve no idea if they liked our works or not, but the experience left us all thankful. Thank you for buying our zines, and we hope that you enjoy them.
There were also a lot of things we’ve learned in terms of sale and production:
- Experiment further with the physical form. There was someone who crafted the book upon purchase (it was hypnotic to watch actually). Vinz had this long accordion-type publication (which was sold out in a blink, huhuhu). High Chair also sold limited copies of signed ‘frame-able’ poems.
- Improve presentation. My goodness — I saw some high-caliber covers! They’re so beautiful! On MEOW’s table, Leir’s work was a hit because the people responded to the fun title.
- Provide a guide and/or simple spiel. One thing Ahj and I forgot: making a chart of prices to make it easier for passing people to see. A simple spiel from consignees could also have been helpful, especially when others asked what the zines were about.
- Invest on tools for production. I’ve just realized that the long stapler and cutters we used were all borrowed. I guess it’s time to invest on these materials for future productions. Will also look for good cutters, as mine are already rusty and unreliable. A good long steel ruler would also be nice. I also prefer using the small cutter instead of the board cutter.
- Prepare ready/spare change. Break big bills into smaller bills & coins for convenience.
One last thing:
Yeah. It’s happening. The build-up may be a little daunting, but hey: let’s all spread the creative love.