Monday, May 03, 2010

Corvine Call #5: Devils, Details, Come-Outers and Non-Resistants

May is "Organize and Update Month" at Corvus Editions, in preparation for the summer book and paper fairs. There are four new pamphlets from the Non-Resistance and Come-Outer movement available now from Corvus Editions. Over the last few months, I have prepared a lot more material than I have uploaded and offered for sale, mostly because there has been a lot of behind-the-scenes organizing that needed to be done before operations could become anything like routine. I've resourced all my paper, in order to emphasize tree-free and post-consumer materials. I've added a couple of new formats—and have a couple more ready to add, when I can solve a few problems.

The devil always lurks in the details: Some of the most logical materials for my small pamphlet line—those that best reproduce the elements of some classic radical pamphlets—don't quite fit my low-environmental-impact sourcing model. Some of the larger formats are simply hard to put together cheaply enough to be generally affordable—at least without sacrificing the quality of the booklets themselves, which I'm less and less willing to do. So I have a stab-stitched, landscape-format 8.5" x 11" series ready to go, once I can find a cover stock that's both attractive and durable, and fits the overall Corvus aesthetic. Right now, the logical choices seem to be a jute paper or one made from elephant dung. For a pocket-sized series, I'm experimenting with mulberry paper in place of glassine outer covers—in the style of the old Charles H. Kerr series—but the source I like best for the mulberry stock is in Thailand. And so on....

In order to transition from a strictly print-on-demand operation—which worked when there wasn't any business—to a state where I have at least a little of everything on-hand—along with the materials to make a little more—has meant developing a rough cataloging system, a small stockroom (in the hall closet), workspaces that don't have to be cleared of the last binding or paper-making project in order to be used for assembling and packing, etc., etc., etc. And the size of the catalog—103 titles in the Store, 30+ ready to be uploaded and listed, and easily 100 others waiting for just a few minutes, or the right paper stock, to be added—makes for all sorts of difficulties, not the least of which is making some chunk of it browsable on a half-table at a community bookfair. So I've been building and decorating table fixtures and—more importantly—organizing "libraries" within the Corvus Editions catalog, with enough visual clues built into the pamphlets that the whole glorious mess is navigable.

I'll be introducing the various libraries, as they emerge. The first of them is a collection of writings by abolitionists, non-resistants and come-outers—mostly religious anti-authoritarians from the early 19th century. The first four titles include works by Adin Ballou, William Goodell, Sidney Hook, and Charles Whipple. Whipple's "Non-Resistance Applied to the Internal Defence of a Community," which I had not read until I dug it up for inclusion here, is particularly interesting, I think. Coming attractions for this library include more from Ballou, and a great account by Nathaniel Peabody Rogers of an anti-slavery trip through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The new titles are available in the Corvus Shop, and will be added to the Libertarian Labyrinth archive soon.

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