Hmm. Was gonna say it but I can't bear the thought of the spam-magnet effect it'll have. So substitute asterisks for "o"s :-)
This is the “what we’re up to” column. Feel free to treat it with schadenfreude as the “I told you so” column, to see it as an interesting reference point, or if you so wish as the place to cheer us on (we like that one!)
B**BAD sounds rather rude. It stands for Brief Objects of Beauty and Despair, which at this moment is the title of the collective’s sampler, due to be launched on an unsuspecting world on July 1st. I say at this moment because we’re a collective. So decisions come hard. We love each other and we’re all rather enamoured of our hippy credentials. Which means when we have two names on the table (the other is Zero Cuts – I like both, but they say completely different things – one is whimsical, intriguing, smacking of fragility and quality; the other is exciting, edgy, smacks of the new) two names sometimes stay on the table :p
Whatever it’s called, we’ve put together a really rather whizzy sampler of work, containing contributions from 13 of us. Some of us have given short stories, others extracts from the books they’re going to be publishing as part of the collective later on.
There were two driving forces behind the format. The first was to get readers slathering for our prose. That goes without saying – the main approach people have taken with this is to give pieces that aren’t necessarily their most polished or publishable, but are most distinctively them. Which is exactly what’s needed. I’m fed up with reading perfectly-crafted flat prose.
Second was length. We didn’t want to create a book. We are not a business and don’t want (well, OK, I don’t want – I may have forced this bit onto people :p) financial macramé getting in the way of things. So the idea of producing a collection that we published and all took tiny cuts of royalties from was a definite no-no. Plus, it goes against the whole marketing (and collective) ethos I’ve been expounding for the past few months of giving stuff away. So the idea was to produce something short enough that if people wanted to make it into a physical object they could print it from their desktop (something made centrally likewise doesn’t work when you have members in the UK, USA, Dubai, Finland, France and Hong Kong!!). Mostly, though, we’ll be giving away the pdf.
So that’s the centre of our attention at the moment. That and working on our guerrilla marketing campaign (I think guerrilla marketing’s great, but one of those things that if you don’t get it spot on, you end up wasting vast swathes of time, so we’ve got a group working on perfecting some really great ideas we came up with during a brainstorming session – there’ll be a how-to on that: it was incredible, we got way over 100 posts with some fantastic ideas). So what I’m doing at the moment is chasing down bios for people, trying to write some press releases, and not worrying about the fact we don’t yet have a cover!! Cancel that last bit. In the two days since I wrote this we do have a cover. An absolutely fantastic one, courtesy of the vastly over-talented Larry Harrison.