Sunday, December 31, 2006

AN ANIMATED NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL

My greeting is here. 2007 will be a very good year, that's clear.


Saturday, December 16, 2006


This is probably my final design for the front cover of The Book. The inside title page is still Augustine being pulled up to G's red carpet, as shown on the Dec.4th post below. I'm at the sleepless/foodless/legless stage now. The plan of having the book printed before Christmas was unrealistic: everything grinds to a halt during this season of enforced merriment and nobody nowhere is interested in one's silly deadlines. The earliest my baby will come rolling off the presses is end of January/early February. That's okay, it's been a year in gestation, why hurry now?


The meticulous care and boring know-how required when you're doing all your own pre-print production, is one reason why self-publishing isn't the Holy Grail. The HG is having a publisher and his minions take all this sweatshop labour off your frail shoulders while you sit back and contemplate the six-figure cheque which is your well-deserved advance. On the other hand, the efficient self-publisher has the advantage of total control. Nice, but who needs total control? Wouldn't you rather have minions running around doing things for you? And be able to tell them off when they do it all wrong? Self-publishing a novel or a book of poems is a doddle - yes, a doddle, I'm telling you (I don't mean the writing of it but the technical production process). Self-publishing a book which is 99% graphics in full colour is a tiny bit insane, especially if you're aiming for as near visual perfection as the medium allows. Not to mention (but I will) having to work out in excruciating detail what it will cost and how much you need to earn from sales in order to break even or, possibly, make a small profit.


To tell the truth, I really hate this process and having done it several times in the past, I hope never to have to do it again. Maybe this time (da da di dah) I'll be lucky and my prince publisher will come along and fit the crystal shoe to my foot when he/she sees what a gem this little self-published book is, and then I'll live happily ever after while minions take care of all the production/printing/promotion/selling/packing/sending, and millions await the latest newest God interview which I'll be churning out in uninterrupted gleeful flow.


If it would be useful to those of you who may be thinking of self-publishing anything, I could go into the nuts and bolts of the stages in publishing this particular book, right up to the day of its launch into the world. Leave a comment if you're interested in my posting a sort of journal of the process. And also, it would be great if I had some idea of how many people are actually going to order the book when it's ready (haven't worked out the price yet). No need to fork out any money yet, just send me an email with the subject line: "I want the book" and you might mention how many copies you will order (for you, your family, your friends, your cat, your dog, etc.). Thank you.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

AB FAB

December 12, 2006

The absolutely fabulous Old Stile Press (that's stile, not style, as in the old stile which is in their garden in Wales) run by my friends Nicolas and Frances McDowall, now has a blog/journal which you must visit and put on your blogroll immediately. Not only because today they have posted photos of Dream and Variations (purchased from me some time ago) but because their journal is full of interesting pictures and notes about this two-person private press, the artists and writers they publish, and their current projects. Nicolas does all the designing and printing on his collection of hand-presses and other equipment and Frances, as well as often making the paper, looks after administration and business and cooking and exhibiting at book fairs, etc. etc. They are a formidable team who have for many years produced consistently high quality books which are prized and collected world wide. I am proud to be on the list of artists they have published (see Revelation) and love visiting them in Llandogo where they live a charmed life, in surroundings of uncommon peace, beauty and joy in the work of one's hands.

Page from "Dream & Variations" by NdA
Page from Dream & Variations by NdA. Collection of Frances & Nicolas Mc Dowall. Click to see the rest.

Meanwhile back in the technological world, the part of the BBC Imagine programme in which I appear has been made into a YouTube clip by the ab fab frizzy logic and you can see it on her blog right now, as well as her accurate review of the show.

Stuart, of Feeling Listless has put together a thoroughly researched list of links to everything and everyone who took part in that BBC programme (www.herecomeseverybody.co.uk) and Kim of Mildly Diverting has some diverting things to say about how she helped out in this production.



As I keep on saying and being contradicted: the way I looked on the Beeb causes such shock-horror in me that it's become an allergy. Fortunately the little Something-Stupid home movie restores a bit of self-esteem and I can accept that this is me, whereas the ghoul on Imagine is, I kid you not, not me. Thank you for not watching Natalie on Imagine. Nuff said on this topic. 

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

DOES MY EGO LOOK BIG IN THIS?


First the bad news. It's official: I'm an oldie. It didn't fully hit home until I saw myself on TV last night so thanks a lot BBC. Like I needed this revelation. My mirror must have a filter which conceals the unpalatable truth as does the kindness/blindness of friends and strangers. So you have been warned: when last night's "Imagine" is up on the net, you will no longer be able to imagine me as a cute cartoon person. My other gripe is that they didn't show more of my cartoon self.
Now the good news. The programme was excellent and informative about the cultural revolution that the internet has created and I'm pleased to have been included. Since yesterday, my blog hits shot up to about 300 (okay, that's what some of you get in an hour) and maybe some of these new visitors will stick around but the more you learn about internet fame the more you realise it's unpredictable as the weather. Anyway I had a some friends round last night for moral support which they generously provided, along with compliments, wine, chocolates etc. Thanks to them and to you, my online mates, I can now face the rest of today without brooding about the bags under the eyes, the twisty mouth, the uncertain chin, etc. In the end, vanity rules. 

Monday, December 04, 2006

CELEBRATION TIME IS NEARLY HERE

Finished finished finished at last - the colour and black & white versions of all images for the God Interviews book. Now I just have to add some text at beginning and end, design the cover then upload the whole shebang to lulu.com. Apparently the holiday deadline for shipping books to the UK is December 8 - can I do it in four days?? Maybe and maybe not. Below is the (almost) final title page. This is not the cover. What do you think?

And tomorrow night, just in case anyone has forgotten, is my BBC televison appearance - heh heh heh heh heh. It's about time the media took some interest in me. I've been around the block so many times I can't recognise the blocks on the block. If you're in the UK don't miss "Imagine" on BBC1 at 10:35pm. If you're anywhere else, wait for it to be uploaded on the net.

(the rest is on my main blog, Blaugustine).

Sunday, November 19, 2006

FIRST TIME EFFECT

This month's theme in the excellent online literary magazine qarrtsiluni is: The First Time , which spurred me to dig further back into my memory. I came up with "The Effect" - another chapter for the autobiography, I suppose, but one I hadn't thought of writing down before. Knowing that your stuff will be read by someone somewhere certainly acts as a stimulus - why not send them your own experience of a first anything in your life?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


THERE'LL BE CHAMPAGNE CLINKING IN AMERICA TONIGHT

NOT THE SOUND OF MUSIC

If you've missed me, and I hope so, you can actually hear me, being interviewed over transatlantic phone tonight by Chris Rittke of 49sparks.

I didn't realise that I say "you know" quite so often or that I've got a frog up my nose and sound like an especially irksome adolescent but I was aware of my habit of butting in before the person I'm talking with has finished their sentence. Ay ay ay! Sorry, Chris, and thanks for being polite and not telling me off. My excuse is that in my family everybody talked all at once and everyone had strong views and you didn't stand a chance of being heard unless you interrupted.

This interview came about because the talented Lucy Pepper (formerly known as Vitriolica, currently wowing audiences at Blogzira ) was recently interviewed at 49sparks (listen to her lilting English voice there). She it was who told Chris how wondrous Augustine and I are and so it came to pass.

Now you have been warned, go and listen but don't hold it against me. When that BBC programme comes out (due on November 28 but they'll let me know ahead of time and you can bet I'm not going to let anyone forget it) I hope I'm not going to come across as so ...er... bolshy. I don't know if that's the right term. Ay ay ay.

This week - yes this week - I'm going to post another episode of the autobiography. Stick around.

Monday, October 09, 2006

BLOGGING LESS OFTEN FOR A GOOD CAUSE

The bad thing about blogging less often is that your stats go waaaaay down and you're about the only visitor to your blog. The good thing is that you stop checking your stats, since there's nothing to see, and then you stop caring about stats altogether. But the best thing is that you get a lot more work done on whatever it is you needed to get on with that was interrupted by blogging more often.

I hope it's clear that the above link will take you to the whole of this post but that you're getting your RSS feed from here. That's because it's too laborious to make RSS links from the original Blaugustine, which is published from my website. Let me know in comments if this new system works for you and if so, please subscribe so that you can get your fix of Augustine regularly. Thanks.