Criticism, fiction and other writing
Towards the end of 2021, when Talk about books was one year old, I thought about starting a print edition of the publication (which, at the time, I was still calling a newsletter). In the event, I did something completely different: I moved Talk about books from Substack, its original home, to Micro.blog, which had just begun to offer a newsletter feature. Now, a year on from that, I’ve revived the idea of a print edition.
As I said in the original post, I think it’s likely that I won’t find anybody who is willing to pay to receive a printed edition of Talk about books. If that’s the case, I’m not going to be surprised or disappointed: it’s important to me that a physical, tangible edition should exist, and be available to readers, even if nobody takes up the option. If there are no takers, it won’t cost me anything to produce, and if there’s just a handful, the costs will be proportionately small.
When I was originally thinking about this I intended to use Substack’s paid subscription feature to collect payment for the print option. Now that Talk about books is no longer on Substack I need to find an alternative method.
I’m planning to offer three tiers: at the top, the printed publication. On average, this will consist of 16–20 A5 pages (four or five A4 sheets folded into a booklet), and contain a little over 2,000 words on average. The cost will be €12 per month and there will be 26 issues a year.
The middle tier will consist of the A5 PDF, exactly the same as the printed edition except that the pages will be in the right order for reading on screen (rather than for printing on both sides of A4 sheets). That will be sent by email and will cost €3 per month or €30 a year.
The third tier will, of course, be exactly what we have at the moment: each post sent by email and RSS, and archived on the web at https://letter.talkaboutbooks.net/tabarchive. It will remain free to read, as it has been since the start.
I’m going to treat the next Talk about books post, on 11-Jan-2023, as a test run, to try to gauge interest. The screen PDF (i.e. the middle tier) will be free to download, and there’ll be a link to it in the usual email. And if you’ll send me €6 and your postal address, I’ll mail you a printed copy.
Update 12-Jan-2023: The screen PDF of Talk about books, 11 Jan 2023 is now ready for free download.
The money can be sent by PayPal to email@example.com, which is also where you can send the postal address and any comments or suggestions you might have (whether or not you want a printed copy). I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
You can sign up for the email posts (which are free, and sent out every two weeks) here:
Or get the RSS feed here.
Further update 22-Jan-2023: I made a video about the print edition:
To absolutely nobody’s surprise, I got no takers for my offer of a sample print edition of last week’s Talk about books post. So, I decided to try making a demonstration video instead.
Posted by Art on 09-Jan-2023; last updated 22-Jan-2023.