I received my contributor’s copy of Harvard Book Store’s Microchondria yesterday in the mail. It’s that great pocket size and a pretty neat project. And since I was fortunate enough to earn two out of the forty-two spots, my stories also make up 1/21 of the final product (one, “Consumer Reports,” is a traditional short short; the other, “Desperate Measures,” is Hint Fiction). Excerpts from the foreword:

On February 1, 2010, the call went out: Harvard Book Store would produce a book of original short short stories.

On Monday, March 1, 2010, at 5:15p.m., the first copy of Microchondria was printed in Harvard Book Store on Paige M. Gutenborg, our in-store print-on-demand book machine.

Thirty days ago, this book didn’t exist. No one knew what would be in it or what it would look like. Now you are holding a copy of Microchondria in your hands. Now you are going to read it.

We think that’s pretty awesome.

I think that’s pretty awesome too. HBS in the only independent book store I think I’ve ever spent significant time in, and, you know what, why just sell books? Why not also make books? They have a party. They have readings.  They have wine. They print out copies. They sell the copies. Everyone has fun.

It’s a singular book buying experience.

HBS is the bookstore and the book publisher. Afterward, it’s available on their shelves and online here, with more copies just a few minutes away thanks to POD technology. Welcome to independent publishing in 2010.


Tracy Lucas 03.25.10 Reply

This sounds like such an atmospheric place to spend time. I’m fairly jealous; it’s going to be a million years before Nashville has a venue that could match that description, not to mention the population to support it financially.

Thanks for your post, and the chance to vicariously sip some wine, put my feet up with some kindred spirits, and watch my book being made. (Sigh.)

Also gotta say, I’m really digging that cover, and I can’t quite put my finger on why.

Ben 03.25.10 Reply

Boston is such great place for the arts. My wife and I still miss it, even though truthfully it was way too cold. If San Antonio (or even Dallas) has a place like it, I wouldn’t know. I doubt it would be nearly as nice. I mean HBS owns the harvard.com URL—how awesome is that?

The back is also great. It continues the square motif and has a “Paige M. Gutenborg” HBS logo at the top.

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