After a couple of weeks of blogging here about our Jobs for Book Lovers, it has come to pass that people are taking us seriously. I am so glad to report that is happening because sometimes when a jobs program is announced that seems so far ahead of the curve, people are either dismissive or suspicious.
But now that some of our favorite authors we carry on the tour, such as Robert Jensen, are lending their voices to help us and with the new addition of David Swanson's new book "Daybreak" being added to our list, we are just realizing how wonderful it would be to see as many people signing on to become a Bookie as possible.
We offer a fun job talking about books and selling books with each Bookie earning a portion of the sales. We train, we support and we encourage anyone who loves to stand in front of roomful of people to talk about the books that they have discovered and that they feel their communities not only would like but should get to read now. Most of the books we carry do not show up in bookstore chains. Most of the authors we carry are not the top earners for the mass media run empires. Rather they are the true American voices whose ideas, stories and in some cases provocative messages are not the ones that the media want you to hear or to place on your bookshelf.
This is an odd time in all our lives. We are or know so many people who are unemployed or underemployed. We see so much despair around this wonderful time of year because there has been job loss, home loss, morale loss, insurance loss, life loss, and yet, inside a book and inside the rooms where people can gather to discuss books another kind of life can begin to emerge.
This is a part of the new publishing paradigm we want to help foster. Sullivan Street Press may be a new company going out on its own to do these things and discover how to get them done and make a difference. But we are not alone in this venture. All the people whose books we carry are thrilled to be a part of this effort--No this movement. They speak well of us and congratulate us as we report back to them of the comments we receive about their books.
When we meet new friends on the road and give a performance where we talk about how publishing is not just going to change but has already changed and for the better, our new friends are also eager to talk about it, argue with us about it and then come back to do it again when we make a return visit.
So, if this type of experience is of interest to you. If you like to read, to talk about what you read, to meet new people, give readings from the books you carry, and sell them so that we all can help each other then write to us from our contact information on the website.
Keeping small, indie presses alive and well is so important as the Sarah Palins of the world try to feed off the hopes and fears of people who are not able yet to hear what we have to say about the value of books, all books, in a democracy. The obscene amounts of money people like her receive for books that add nothing to the real formation of our democratic structures can only be countered by talking to people about how it is on the other side of the money divide.
If you feel as passionately as we do about this, send us a note with a short resume so we can see what you are going to bring to our wonderful new program and tell us where you live. This is a nationwide effort so we need to make sure we can reach out to all 50 states.
All are welcome so long as they love books, can talk about them and have a car. That is the one requirement we wish we did not have but it is difficult to cart all the books around without one. We await your reply.
Deborah Emin is the founder of the publishing company, Sullivan Street Press (www.sullivanstreetpress.com). She is also the impressario of the Itinerant Book Show as well as the program director of the REZ Reading Series in Kew Gardens, NY. Her (more...