Welcome !! A Call to Participants & "Faits Divers & Fate's Divers"

I started this blog as a site where poets, artists, Visual Poets, Mail Artists, researchers, essayists, reviewers, artist-ragers, zine makers, comix, graffiti makers may have a place to contribute and display works which express their visions of the historical and contemporary interelated lives of Anarchy & the Arts--
This site is for any persons who are actively interested in and working in these areas
Theoretical letters are welcome, stories, photos, anything which
investigates the everyday all around one with a questioning Anarkeyological spirit & energy. Insight and Incite!
If you are interested please contact me at



Since to an American ear and reader the homophonic punning possibilities of the title "Faits Divers" in French are completely absent, IL Maestro di "PAROLE IN LIBERACE" Professore G-A Vidiamodopo suggests instead the use of an American homophonic translation, in order to keep alive the sense of
"Une Joie de Vivre qui se trouve a travers les Jeux du Mots."
(A Joy of Life found through Plays on Words)

--and now allow me to turn over the podium to our illustrious and well-beloved colleague, Il Maestro, Giulio Agosto di Vidiamodopo--

the Fondatore, who has given us the eternally generative legacy of his never-to-exhausted "Grand Song of the Open Piano" under the sign of his immortal


echoes of which one may find in all manifestations Visual Sonic Visceral which in their very most particulate, singular and also massed, on-flowing wave existences acknowledge the inspiring and influential, ceaselessly experimenting presence of Il Maestro among their notations of Found and Accidental scores . .

Then, with a magnificent flourish, Il Maestro di Parole in Liberace enters stage left and announces the entry into the world of the "Faits Divers--Fates' Divers"--

Special Forces' Lieutenant X announces the Vernissage of his "Celestial Snuff Films" at Galeria Gore,Friday, 19:00-24:00 hr. Combining his Fighter Jet's elegantly enhanced and edited videos with his own high powered zoom photos and infra red images, the young hero creates the "Theater of Certain Death" as seen by both the "Omniscient Eye's View from Above," and the "subjective focus on the Eroticism of the Subject's Snuffing on the ground."

Exactly at 8, the New American Extreme Experimental Fascist Poets' opening salvo of "Militarized Morphemes" created Pure Terror. Renditioning subjects from the audience using Chance Operations, the Poets undertook "Interrogations of Parole" via the branding of each Tongue as a Forbidden Langue. By making speech mute, projected words announced, the subject existed now only as name brands of material language.

Felix Feneon Editing La Revue Blanche --painted by Felix Vallotton

Felix Feneon Editing La Revue Blanche --painted by Felix Vallotton

from Nouvelles en trois lignes/Three Line News Items/ Short Stories

Feneon created the simultaneous "news/"stories" of his Nouvelles
with perhaps "more in mind" than his own punning use of the Faits Divers' Nouvelles en trois lignes--

he may have been thinking also of the example of Gusrave Flaubert
who several decades earlier had created out of a provincial journal’s Faits Divers the novel Madame Bovary:

“Delphine Delamare, 27, wife of a medical officer in Ry, displayed insufficient austerity. Worse, she ran up debts. To avoid paying them, she took poison.”

Nurse Elise Bachmann, whose day off was yesterday, put
on a public display of insanity.

A complaint was sworn by the Persian physician Djai Khan
against a compatriot who had stolen from him a tiara.

A dozen hawkers who had been announcing news of a
nonexistent anarchist bombing at the Madeleine have
been arrested.

A certain madwoman arrested downtown falsely claimed
to be nurse Elise Bachmann. The latter is perfectly sane.

On Place du Pantheon, a heated group of voters attempted
to roast an effigy of M. Auffray, the losing candidate. They
were dispersed.

Arrested in Saint-Germain for petty theft, Joël Guilbert
drank sublimate. He was detoxified, but died yesterday of
delirium tremens.

The photographer Joachim Berthoud could not get over the
death of his wife. He killed himself in Fontanay-sous-Bois.

Reverend Andrieux, of Roannes, near Aurillac, whom a
pitiless husband perforated Wednesday with two rifle
shots, died last night.

In political disagreements, M. Begouen, journalist, and
M. Bepmale, MP, had called one another "thief" and
"liar." They have reconciled.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


In a fit of "Black Humor," a joint US-Israeli Black Ops "Homage" to the 1977 film of the 1975 novel BLACK SUNDAY skyjacked the Goodyear Blimp and attacked the Super Bowl as the Half Time Show and ads began. . Posing as "Palestinian Terrorists" the Black Ops dropped leaflets claiming the huge Crowd & Stadium as a Poetic Analogy for the open air prison of Gaza, and its 1.5 million death row inmates. Stating " BUT--No Rockets were launched from inside the Super Bowl, “Presidents Ohmert and Obama ordered the carpet bombing of Gaza. Bettors and advertisers made sure Patriotic Duty prevailed and the game was completed as over Gaza “bombs burst in air—“and over the Stadium “our flag was still there.”

Under a sky grey as the concrete of Fascist train stations a large contingent of Avant Poets contributed readings, performances and brief speeches to the large rally. Fired by the unaccustomed welcome of the crowd’s partisan fervor, a leading Avantist announced: “Many accuse the American Avant of Silence regarding Gaza. Do they not understand Poetics sufficiently to know that “it goes without saying” that such “Silence” “Speaks Volumes” and at “High Volume” our Support of Israel?”

Black Sunday is a 1975 novel by Thomas Harris. It was the first novel by Harris, who went on to write the Hannibal Lecter novels. Harris wrote the novel after watching the 1972 Munich Olympics hostage crisis where Palestinian terrorists took Israeli athletes hostage and murdered them.

[edit] Film adaptation

Main article:Black Sunday (1977 film)

In 1977, a film was made based on the novel starring Robert Shaw and Bruce Dern and directed by John Frankenheimer.


Michael Lander (Bruce Dern) is an American blimp pilot deranged by years of torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, a failed marriage, and a bitter court martial. He longs to commit suicide and take as many people as possible with him, so he conspires with an operative (Marthe Keller) from a Palestinian terrorist group known as Black September to launch a massive suicide bombing on American soil. Lander plans to detonate a flechette-based bomb, housed on the underside of a blimp, over a football stadium during the Super Bowl. American and Israeli intelligence agencies, led by Mossad agent David Kabakov (Robert Shaw) and FBI agent Sam Corley (Fritz Weaver), race to prevent the catastrophe. To add further intrigue and a pall of doom, the President of the United States attends the game.

[edit] Reception

The film was a commercial hit when it was released in 1977. Although director John Frankenheimer lamented serious shortcomings in the visual effects of the climax (due to time and budgetary shortfalls), many critics trumpeted the final scene featuring a helicopter/blimp chase over the Orange Bowl as one of the more riveting and unusual in movie history. Black Sunday also features a film score from John Williams.

[edit] Behind the scenes

A significant portion of the filming was done during actual Super Bowl X at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, on January 18, 1976. In the movie, Kabakov discusses the security arrangements for the game with Miami Dolphins owner Joe Robbie, who plays himself. In the movie, Jimmy Carter is shown as the President of the United States who attends the Super Bowl, although Gerald Ford was President when Super Bowl X took place.

[edit] Blimps

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company granted use of all three of its U.S.-based blimps for Black Sunday. The landing and hijacking scenes were photographed at the Goodyear airship base in Carson, California with Columbia (N3A); a short scene in the Spring, Texas base with the America (N10A), and the Miami, Florida Super Bowl scenes with the Mayflower (N1A), which was then based on Watson Island across the Port of Miami. While Goodyear allowed the use of their airship fleet, they did not allow the "Goodyear Wingfoot" logo (prominently featured on the side of the blimp) to be used in the advertising or movie poster for the film. Thus, the words "Super Bowl" are featured in place of the logo on the blimp in the advertising collateral.

[edit] Differences between the novel and the film

* In the novel, the Aldrich Rubber Company owns the blimp. In the film, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company permitted its blimp to be used. A Goodyear representative noted that it is impossible for two people, alone, to launch the blimp.
* In the novel, the Super Bowl occurs in New Orleans at Tulane Stadium. Harris wrote his novel before completion of the Louisiana Superdome. In the film, the Super Bowl occurs in Miami at the Orange Bowl Stadium.
* In the novel, Mochevsky (Kabakov's assistant) survives to the end of the story, but Kabakov, the helicopter pilot, and the FBI Agent Corley are killed in the blimp explosion over the Mississippi River. In the film, Mochevsky is killed; Kabakov is not.
* In the novel, Muhammad Fasil, a Palestinian terrorist who assisted Lander survives and is repatriated to Israel (by Mochevsky) to be tried; in the film, Kabakov shoots and kills him during a gun fight in Miami.
* In the novel, Kabakov has a relationship with a young psychiatrist named Rachel Baumann. The part was originally scripted with either Ali McGraw or Katharine Ross in mind, but due to budgetary issues, the script was revised and the role was deleted.

[edit] In Popular Culture

In Tom Clancy's novel The Sum of All Fears, Mark Russel mentions Black Sunday to the main antagonists when he notes the similarity of their plan to that of the film.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Felix Feneon's Comments and Answers during the "Trial of the Thrity" Paris, 1894

The chief prosecutor, Bulot, prohibited the press from reproducing the interrogatories of Jean Grave and Sébastien Faure, leading Henri Rochefort to write, in L'Intransigeant, that the criminal association concerned not the defendants, but the magistrates and the ministers[1]. The defendants easily discharged themselves of the inculpation of "criminal association," since at that time the French anarchist movement rejected the sole idea of association and act exclusively as individuals[1]. Despite this, the president of the court, Dayras, dismissed all objections from the defense, leading Sébastien Faure to say:
"Each time we prove the error of one of your allegations, you declare it unimportant. You may very well sum up all zeros, but you can't obtain an unity[3]
In the same sense, Fénéon, was accused of having been the intimate friend of the German anarchist Kampfmeyer. Le Figaro 's correspondent thus transcribed his interrogatory:
He cross-examines F.F. himself: “Are you an anarchist, M. Fénéon?”
“I am a Burgundian born in Turin.”
“Your police file extends to one hundred and seventy pages. It is documented that you were intimate with the German terrorist Kampfmeyer.”
“The intimacy cannot have been great as I do not speak German and he does not speak French.” (Laughter in courtroom.)
“It has been established that you surrounded yourself with Cohen and Ortoz.”
“One can hardly be surrounded by two persons; you need at least three.” (More laughter.)
“You were seen conferring with them behind a lamppost!”
“A lamppost is round. Can Your Honour tell me where behind a lamppost is?” (Loud, prolonged laughter. Judge calls for order.)[4].
Fénéon received support from the poet Stéphane Mallarmé, who qualified him as a "fine spirit" and one of the "more subtile critique" (un esprit très fin et un des critiques les plus subtils et les plus aigus que nous avons)[1]. Debates continued during one week. The general prosecutor Bulot intended to prove that there had been an effective agreement between theoricians and illegalists, but failed to do so for lack of evidence[1]. He abandoned the accusations for some of them, and claimed attenuating circumnstances for others, but requested harsh sentences for those he depicted as the leaders: Grave, Faure, Matha and some others[1]. Finally, the jury acquitted all, except the common law prisonners, Ortiz, Chericotti, Bertani, respectively condemned to 15 and 8 years of forced labour and to six months of prison[1].

MuzzleWatch: Media Circus: Bill Moyers, 60 Minutes' Bob Simon and the backlash

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  1. Media Circus: Bill Moyers, 60 Minutes' Bob Simon and the backlash
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Media Circus: Bill Moyers, 60 Minutes' Bob Simon and the backlash

Bill Moyers My sister recently stumbled on a blog post by a far right pseudo-journalist that accused me, her peace-love-and-justice baby sister and the keeper of our family's terrible Holocaust history archives, of being a Nazi sympathizer. Her reaction was a mix of horror at the viciousness of the post, and amusement at its unintentional camp hilarity. My response to her was, "Welcome to my world. This is what it's like to work on Israel-Palestine issue. Every day." (I am on staff with Jewish Voice for Peace, which works to end Israel's 41-year occupation.)
Most journalists don't cover Israel-Palestine every day, and so they are unaccustomed to the inevitable tsunami of hyperbolic nastiness sure to come their way should they dare to touch the topic.
Bill Moyers, however, one of America's most respected journalists and moral voices, could not have been surprised by the response last week to his powerful video commentary in which he condemned Hamas and asserted Israel's right to defend itself, but also said,
Brute force can turn self defense into state terrorism. It's what the US did in Vietnam with B-52s and napalm, and again in Iraq with shock and awe. By killing indiscriminately, the elderly, kids, entire families… Israel did exactly what terrorists do and exactly what Hamas wanted. It spilled the blood that turns the wheel of retribution.
He presciently went on to describe exactly the muzzled world in which we live here in the U.S.
Our political elites show neither independence nor courage by challenging the consensus that Israel can do no wrong.  Although one recent poll found Democratic voters overwhelmingly oppose the Israeli offensive by a 24 point margin, Democratic party leaders in Congress nonetheless march in lockstep to the hardliners in Israel and the White House. Rarely does our mainstream media depart from the montonous monologue of the party line. Many American Jews know, as Aaron David Miller writes in the current edition of Newsweek, that the destruction in Gaza won't do much to address Israel's longer term needs. But those who raise questions are accused by a prominent reform rabbi of being "morally deficient". One Jewish American activist told me this week, that never in 30 years has he seen such blind and binding conformity in his community. You'd never know, he says, that it is the Gazans who are doing most of the suffering.
Moyers' analysis, it turned out, was prescient because the backlash of calls and letters calling him a rabid anti-Semite, and one would presume Nazi-sympathizer, was so strong–even good old Abe Foxman of the ADL got into the fight– forced him to take the rather unusual step of addressing the onslaught of criticism at the top of his next show. (Sorry Bill, welcome to my world.)

A satirical columnist for the SF Chronicle learned a similar lesson this week an off-hand reference about "recalcitrant Israelis," part of a humorous litany.
I knew I'd hear from American supporters of Israel, because that's what happens. Any journalist can tell you that - pro-Israeli journalists, Jewish journalists, any writer who says anything that might be taken by somebody as a criticism of Israel or its current policies is gonna get reamed out. Dead babies are frequently mentioned, and crazed Palestinian fanatics - these folks go right for the top of the rhetorical ladder.

Finally, we can only imagine what awaits 60 Minutes' Bob Simon for this generally fantastic and in the U.S, downright courageous piece of journalism,  Time Running Out for a Two-State Solution? (I say generally, because at times it erroneously gives the impression that "reasonable" voices like Tzipi "there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza" Livni are drowned out by the extremist settlers. In fact, Likud, Labor and Kadima have all been deeply complicit in the settlement project and the violation of human rights of Palestinians.) 
Send your support to Bob Simon by commenting here. Bill Moyers might like to hear from you as well. Comment here.


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Hotmail® goes where you go. On a PC, on the Web, on your phone. See how.


Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 18:50:32 +0100
From: cesar@boek861.com
To: cesar@boek861.com



Ya tengo en mis manos el libro "parido" como se cita incansablemente en el, creado por amigos de este canal, por poetas con ganas de compartir, un libro como los anteriores de la colección versos sobre el teclado, surgidos en la red por personas en las que no existe el problema de las distancias ni el tiempo, gracias a este medio.

VOCES Y ACENTOS es la unión de tres propuestas literarias:

La primera continuación de la colección de Versos sobre el Teclado, donde los poetas aportan propuestas con temática y formas libres.

El segundo apartado poesía visual para el deleite de los sentidos dejándose
llevar por las imágenes.

El tercero los autores prueban su destreza en el manejo de la palabra, demostrado en Tormenta de Versos.

Haz ya tu reserva. haz click aqui:


POETAS VISUALES QUE PARTICIPAN EN LA EDICION: Ana Parrado, Cesar Reglero, Edu Barbero, Francisco Soares, Gloria Izquierdo, Gustavo Vega, John Bennet, Juan Ballester, Julie Hermoso, Julio Fernández, P. Benito, Peter Ciccarello, Sergio Quiñonero, Silvia Lissa.


Edición n. 83  de la revista ensamblada EL PARAISO (Invierno 2008-2009)


Edición de Adolfo Vargas Blanco  MINIMA CARMINA III  (Haikú y otros géneros poéticos) ...y una dedicación especialñ a Joaquín Gómez


CD en conmemoración deL 25 aniversario del Colectivo Alcandoria (Caja de Truenos)/ Recibimos el n. 44/51 fabricado especialmente para César Reglero. Mil gracias.





Video dedicado al fatógrafo y poeta visual Gilbert Garcin


Video de Edu Barbero MIRADAS DE PAPEL dedicado al mundo de la publicidad: BUSCANDO POESIA EN LA PUBLICIDAD

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Juan Pablo Darmanin: Nuevo video sobre Gaza

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Juan Pablo Darmanin <jpdarmanin@gmail.com>
Date: 2009/1/27
Subject: Nuevo video sobre Gaza
To: "david.chirot" <david.chirot@gmail.com>

Quiero compartir este video con usted:


Y Que sea para el bien de todos.

El Enemigo

Aiheita van Goghin korvasta--Poetry by Rita Dahl--cover art d-b Chirot

Aiheita van Goghin korvasta
by Rita Dahl



Poet Rita Dahl chose this cover- by David Chirot "The Executioner is a Sunday Painter" Many thanks to Rita Dahl and Jukka Kervinen

david chirot

Aiheita van Goghin korvasta

Aiheita van Goghin korvasta

by Rita Dahl

Rita Dahl

Buy Now!

*What's Lulu?
Only the world's premiere digital marketplace, where creators can publish everything from books and calendars to CDs and photo albums – and sell them to buyers from around the world. Check out our site and become one of our million members today. (www.lulu.com)


"All Animals are Equal, But Some Are More Equal than Others"
George Orwell, Animal Farm

While telling the Muslim world he would treat it with respect, President Obama also told his Arab TV interviewer that he did not respect those who kill civilians. Now American lexographers are busily redefining "citizen" to exclude the 16 Pakistanis killed earlier in the day by American missiles, and at least two-thirds of the 1,400 dead in Gaza.

Fearing War Crimes charges, members of the Bush and Olmert administrations. along with the IDF officers and soldiers involved in Operation Cast Lead are occupying Guantanamo as a Protective Custody measure while its inhabitants are transferred to the Open Air Prison of Gaza.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

from Aryanil Mukherjee: "Can write, will print ": India's Non-Mainstream Writers Making Creative Use of Self-Publishing Services

Bharat Matrimony 060109 The Telegraph

Can write, will print

It was a dilemma for Ohio-based poet and essayist Aryanil Mukherjee. He’d written a book of poems in English (he has already written four in Bengali) and didn’t know how to get it published. He finally hit upon a slightly unorthodox solution: he teamed up with Goa-based self-publishing service CinnamonTeal Print and Publishers to publish his collection, Late Night Correspondence recently.

Welcome to the world of self-publishing. Today, would-be authors can avail of self-publishing services like CinnamonTeal, Pothi.com and Depot. They offer a quick, efficient and cost-effective option to writers eager to be out in print quickly.

Ok. Self-publishing or vanity publishing, as it’s also known, has always been around. But today technology means that a publisher like CinnamonTeal or Pothi.com can bring out a well-produced volume — and in next to no time. And the costs are more manageable.

For Mukherjee, the self-publishing option turned into a boon. He wanted to share his works, originally in Bengali, with American experimental poets, who he interacts with. “Small presses typically take one to three years to print. That was the principal reason why I approached CinnamonTeal,” says Mukherjee.

The new services offer more than just modern printing technology. They’re also offering varied services from editing to designing, thus hand-holding writers through the entire manuscript-to-printed copy process. And in some cases, they’re even helping to market the books although self-published authors are ultimately responsible for reaching out to readers — and selling in bookstores.

For writers like Mukherjee, in fact, self-publishing services like CinnamonTeal have proved to be a “value for money” proposition. As an experimental poet, exercising control over presentation too was equally important for Mukherjee. “Small presses sometimes want to exert control in terms of the style. The advantage with print on demand is that all that is within your control,” he says.

The service providers

A host of self-publishing firms have sprung up over the last few years. Like Pothi.com, which was set up by Bangalore-based techies Jaya Jha and Abhaya Agarwal in July 2008.

The two were actually trying to publish Jha’s collection of Hindi poetry when they stumbled upon the print-on-demand technology. “I had a dream job with Google then. But I always wanted to start up on my own,” says Jha.

Pothi.com has already published around 50 books like Four Briefs and Six Vests, a memoir by IIM graduate Dilip T.K., and On the Contrary, a collection of columns by venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy. “Self-publishing is more prevalent than it appears. It gives a chance to writers who don’t have access to conventional publishers,” says Jha.

Then there’s Depot, the three-year-old books and music division of Pantaloon Retail (India). Depot was already publishing cookery, self-help and children’s books through its Depot Exclusives imprint when it began getting queries from would-be authors.

“We thought, why not offer self-publishing services as we already had a back-end and a front-end too in our Depot stores,” says Darshana Shah, senior manager, marketing, Pantaloon Retail (India).

That was in February 2008. Now, Depot has already done around 20 self-publishing projects, ranging from food to fiction to self-help. “We’ve got a very good response,” says Shah. But she admits, “Self-publishing is a democratic platform. We are not going to judge whatever you have written.”

Meanwhile, in Goa, Leonard and Queenie Fernandes too launched CinnamonTeal in October 2007 as an offshoot of their online bookstore, dogears.com. They’ve published 25 titles so far.

As a business, self-publishing is still quite young in India, says Pinaki Ghosh, who set up Power Publishers in Calcutta last year. But he expects to witness “a notable growth” over the next five years.

“Thousands of wannabe authors will get drawn to this concept when they discover the benefits,” says Ghosh, who founded Power Publishers as an extension of his three-year-old ghostwriting service, Writer4me. Ghosh expects to publish 25 books in 2009.

On the shelf

Writers from across the country — and beyond — are seeking self-publishers. Take Sumitra Ramachandran, who’s co-founding an IT company in Thiruvananthapuram. She has just published Pachoo’s Story, an allegorical tale with animal characters, through CinnamonTeal. “As a first-time author, I felt self-publishing was a good option as I was able to choose how my book was going to be,” she says.

Others like Amish Tripathi who has just published his novel, Shiva: The Man, The Legend, are hoping to catch the eye of a mainstream publisher with a fully packaged product.

As the national head of marketing and product management at IDBI Fortis Life Insurance, Tripathi knew the importance of making a good presentation. “I didn’t want to present an A4-bound manuscript that would get lost in the pile,” he says. Hence, he published it through Depot first.

The novel — written under the pen name Amish — is the first part of a trilogy that Tripathi intends to write, and is based on the premise: what if Lord Shiva was a real man who lived in 1900 BC and whose story was turned into a myth about the god? So it turns Shiva into a Tibetan migrant who travelled to the Indus Valley region.

“The story just came to me. I wrote it every morning and evening in the backseat of my car,” says the history buff. Now, he has put together a package of the printed work with reviews from “celebrities” like Prahlad Kakkar and mythologist Devdutt Patnaik, which he will submit to mainstream publishers soon.

Chennai-based Rumjhum Biswas doesn’t believe in self-publishing either. “I write because I must. But if it has to be read, it must be seen critically by a third party who feels it is worth it,” says Biswas.

Nevertheless, when she was invited to read at the Prakriti Poetry Festival in Chennai in December, she didn’t want to read from cyclostyled sheets. So she decided to print some of her already published poems as a slim volume, It’s Been There All Along.

These writers aren’t necessarily opting out of the conventional publishing industry. Aryanil Mukherjee recently published a second book with CinnamonTeal called Chaturangik/SQUARES, a collaborative anthology written with American poet Pat Clifford. He’ll submit it to New York-based Litmus Press soon.

For writers like Mukherjee, self-publishing in India is a value-for-money proposition. But he says, “There’s no reason why self-publishers can’t graduate to the next level and take an editorial stance.”

Yet, for others, self-publishing is also proving to be a way to publish personal writings among family, or even indulge themselves.

Like when Zunder Lekshmanan’s father M.V. Lekshmanan died last April. “My father had a large number of friends and family, and I wanted them to relive their memories of him through this book,” says Zunder, who works with a telecom firm in Bangalore.

(From top) Novelist Amish Tripathi, Pothi co-founders Abhaya Agarwal and Jaya Jha, poet Rumjhum Biswas

The result is Down The Memory Lane, a slim book of 19 poems, which Zunder published through Pothi.com.

On the other hand, when Prabhleen Singh, a medical intern in Amritsar, managed to put down the “stories in his head” into a novel, And The Mirror Kissed Back, he deliberately chose to publish it himself.

“Traditional publishers usually want you to make changes to make the book more marketable. I didn’t want mine to be changed at all,” he says. It has been a tough job but he has, so far, managed to sell 200 of the 500 copies of his novel about two women “who face problems they’re not responsible for”.

Indeed, Karthika V K, publisher and chief editor, HarperCollins India, cautions: “Self-publishing has always been around but marginally. And it will continue to be marginal because people may be able to print their work but you also need to sell and distribute, which is an entirely different thing.”

Manuscript to printed word

So how does one self-publish? It’s pretty simple actually. Once you’ve written your magnum opus, you can just contact a self-publisher online and get going.

As a first step, you need to enter the basic details of your book online like its genre, dimension (7in x 9in is the most common size), number of pages, hard or soft cover, and number of copies. The self-publisher’s website will generate an estimated cost. You can also choose from the range of services provided such as cover page design, copy editing, formatting and page layout.

The cost depends on all these parameters. For instance, Depot charges Rs 550 for a premium cover page design for a 100-page 7x9 book. Pothi.com charges Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 to edit a 200-page book.

Print-on-demand is costlier than offset printing on the price per book. But as you can print fewer copies, the total outlay is lower. Players like Pothi.com and CinnamonTeal print even a single copy, while Depot prints 25 copies minimum, and Power Publishers, 300.

Once you’ve got your initial quote, you can submit your manuscript online. After that, it’s a matter of liaising with the publisher on editing, formatting et al. You can conduct the entire process online too like Lekshmanan.

The publishers vouch on confidentiality. The book’s copyright too rests with the author, and he also decides its price.

“All rights are with the author. Also the services are non-exclusive so authors can look for regular publishers simultaneously,” says Pothi.com’s Agarwal.

Once you’ve got your printed copy in hand, you can either list it on the publishers’ website or distribute it yourself.

Reaching out to readers

The big problem is how do you sell your book? Mainstream publishers have established marketing and distribution networks to create demand for their authors. But self-published authors must rely on themselves, and that’s where they are at a disadvantage.

Singh, for instance, approached bookstores in his hometown Meerut himself to stock his book. He also managed to get Oxford Book Store in Amritsar, Chandigarh and Delhi to sell his book though he had to first host — and pay for — a book launch.

The self-publishing firms do offer some marketing services though. With its 120 shop-in-shops and 10 standalone stores, Depot for instance, has a ready network. It offers a free listing on its site and stocks the book at select stores for three months. It even organises free book launches. Shraddha Damani, 22, who runs a search firm in Calcutta, hosted one recently when she launched her book Love, Life & Relationships.

Players like Pothi.com and CinnamonTeal also offer a free listing on their online bookstores — they only print copies when orders come in, sharing the royalty with the author. Besides, CinnamonTeal has tied up with online book stores like India Plaza and Flipkart.com.

Pothi even offers an online marketing package, which includes putting up a website and blog for the author, getting them on social networks like Facebook, and marketing the book on community-based networks like Shelfari.

“Ultimately, however, it’s up to the author to reach out and engage with their readers,” says Jha. Be that as it may, one thing’s clear: there’s no dearth of writers out there and self-publishing is opening up the doors for them.