Spencer Madsen is the kind of guy who sets up a small publishing press. What Sorry House has accomplished is simply incredible. The books Sorry House puts out are quality, the kind of things people read, celebrate, pay attention to and review. Of course with the large amount of experience Spencer Madsen has with the world he’s learned a few things. Due to his incredible giving spirit he decided to share the main lessons from his experience.
Basics are basic. Everybody should care about themselves. Nobody cares about writing as much as the actual writer. Hence people ought to care about their work. Anger is recommended by the illustrious mad Spencer Madsen. It is impossible to spell Madsen without ‘mad’. Millions of books come out every year and most of them look akin to cheap trash. Sorry House apologizes for a great many things. Design has never been one of those things. A Sorry House book has an aesthetic; they are things of true-ass beauty. Work is necessary to make the books more than collections of words into artifacts.
Freedom rules over the small press world. Gmail accounts are simply the beginning of any small press. Eventually the press grows gradually. Thankfully the small presses have a lot of nimble skills to find their way into readers’ hands. Opportunities abound for small press writers. Without any sort of template they can do essentially whatever they want. What this means is the offensive, the deeply weird, the social media presence, this gives the potential fence sitter a reason to get off the fucking fence. People need to get off the fence anyway; it is an uncomfortable temporary position at the very best.
Technical advice from Spencer Madsen pretty much is worth its weight in gold. Words carry a lot of weight. Experience does too. Spencer Madsen knows his stuff about how to handle a small press. A number of pitfalls exist for small presses, attempts to get their money and siphon it off. Printing and mailing can be done for cheap. Various pieces of advice about how to print, what to use to mail it out, and most importantly how to pay writers are of the utmost importance for anybody.
Unfortunately the marketplace is tough. Upton Sinclair wrote about social justice in ‘The Jungle’ yet there are plenty of places to get idealism exploited. Seemingly welcoming places are anything but. The more control a small press can get the better off they will be. Giant institutions exist to try and get a thumb in the pie, ruining the deliciousness for everyone. Better is to avoid outright teaming up with the likes of Bowker, small press distribution, or Amazon. DIY makes sense for most art and it should make sense to plenty of artists trying to do it out of a garage, basement, or bedroom. Spencer Madsen knows his stuff and he has graciously shared it with the world.