Saturday, 2 January 2016

The start of something beautiful / disastrous

Yesterday I decided that my aim in life is to set up and run a publishing company.

You'd be forgiven for thinking there's more than a hint of midlife crisis about it, what with yesterday being New Year's Day and all, but it's also undeniable that I've been spinning my wheels for a while - see this post from October.

In retrospect it seems obvious. Just take a look at my bucket list, published on 30 December: number 14 is "run my own business", and 17 more of the 96 items relate to reading, publishing, writing or collaborating. Plus I've worked in journal / news publishing for nearly ten years now, and been interested in the written word since forever.

So, yesterday: the euphoria of inspiration and the end of uncertainty. Today: the nagging of doubt. But also determination and obstinacy.

This morning I tried visiting Ditto Press, an Islington-based outfit I heard about via Bertie Brandes and Charlotte Roberts, the founders and editors of the satirical fashion magazine Mushpit, at an event organised by Stack Magazines in December called Magazines for Good. Ditto prints a load of fun stuff, and I thought a visit could be instructive.

The shop was closed, however, so instead I went to the Whitechapel Galleries bookshop to scope out the future competition. This was probably a foolish thing to do, as the competition is lush, exciting and plentiful. This is a crowded marketplace full of passionate people. Eek.

Even though I've newly pledged that all of my disposable income will be ploughed into the business, I couldn't resist buying 10 Years in Art Publishing, a lovely little memoir of a decade in the industry from Lionel Bovier, co-founder of JRP Ringier.

One of the lessons in 10YAP comes in the form of an apparently classic joke:

How do you make a million in publishing?
By starting with three.

A disheartening message for someone wanting to carve a niche into the cliff face. Still, the fact that I couldn't resist buying the book reiterates one thing: books are my kryptonite, for better or worse.


  1. Is this impacting on your £20 a day budget?

    1. Not yet. It'll impact the shit out of my savings if I do it though.