11th June, 2012
In front of me I have a list of nine guest blogs, all awaiting publication on this site, with subjects ranging from foraged burdock, disability in a collapsing culture and literature’s failure to address the realities we’re living through. They’re all important, and I’m feeling guilty about not having run some of them before now. They’ll be appearing over the next few weeks. My excuse is that the last three weeks have been almost entirely taken up by collating, editing and organising the contents of the third Dark Mountain book, which was finally sent off to our designer on Friday.
This is our longest book yet, at around 320 pages, and it contains more visual art than ever before too. One of the themes that has emerged from the contributions is the one that is closest to my heart – loss. To be precise, the great wave of losses this planet is experiencing as a result of the human project, the greatest of which is the loss of life itself. We are currently living through an ‘extinction event’ the like of which the Earth has not seen for 65 million years; and that one, which famously did for the dinosaurs, was probably caused by what scientists call a ‘bolide’ – an impact from space. Think about that: what we are doing to this ball of life we call Earth is the equivalent of an attack from outer space. Why can’t we stop it? Why won’t we? Who is working to hold the line, and how? Where is it taking us? What the hell can be done? All these questions are explored in our third anthology, which will be back from the printer in early August.
The way that we have chosen to publish our books presents us with a new challenge each year. We don’t have enough money in the bank to reliably publish a book a year by paying for it upfront. On top of that, we are keen to maintain our independence – to avoid being under the wing of a bigger publisher, or having to take any adverts or do commercial deals. For all those reasons, we try to ‘crowd-fund’ the production of each book. In essence, we ask people to pre-order their copies to pay for the costs of the book’s production.
This worked very well for our first two books, and is working for this one too. We are about halfway through the funding campaign, and we’re nearly halfway to the financial finishing post. But there’s a lot further to go, and there is less than three weeks now to travel it in; so at this stage we are trying to spread the word about the book as far and as wide as possible.
Hence this post. Can you help us to do this? If you can afford to, would you be able to pre-order a book at this stage? Could you spread the word, through blogs or social media or good old-fashioned word of mouth (otherwise known as actually talking to actual human beings)? It will all help. Trying to fund books in times like these is a challenge: money is tight and the immediate future is far from certain for anyone. But we think – we hope – that what we’re doing is important enough to keep doing it.
You can see the book’s full contents list here, and you can pre-order a copy to help fund it here. Anything you can do to help us reach the finishing line will be much appreciated. And we’re very grateful to the 115 people who have supported the new book so far.
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Posted by Paul Kingsnorth on 11 June, 12
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