Cory Doctorow was in town Friday, as part of his whirlwind tour for his new book For the Win, and Linda Stone hosted a small late-afternoon gathering for him on her back deck. (Linda’s house has a glorious view of Lake Washington, and Friday turned out to be a warm, sunny day. We even spotted a bald eagle cruising overhead. “The emperor will die,” muttered Matt Ruff, gnomically.)
Cory had with him four printed copies of his next new book, the quixotic project With a Little Help, each with a different cover. This is a collection of short stories, which Cory is publishing himself in a variety of formats, some of them given away – largely to find out what happens when you do this without a regular publisher. I had designed and typeset the interior of the book, creating pages that I hoped would work both printed and bound as a perfect-bound paperback by Lulu and read as a PDF onscreen, but until Friday I hadn’t seen it printed out, except as drafts from my laser printer. Now I have an advance copy, with a cover by Frank Wu, and I’m pretty pleased with the way it all came out. The binding is flexible, and the paper is an off-white with no glare. (Cory was going to get some galleys printed at a quick-print shop in London, but found that it was cheaper just to order copies for himself from Lulu and have them delivered to him en route. A truly dispersed publishing method!) The pages seem readable, which is the whole point.
I’m not sure when the official launch is, but no doubt it’ll be soon. Meanwhile, if you’re in San Francisco this Wednesday, Cory will be doing a benefit reading at the 111 Minna Gallery, as a fundraiser for EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation).