Walt Whitman Says: Go Lo-Fi DIY

10 Steps to Pretty Successful Self-Publishing

Channelling Walt Whitman, July 1855

  • Write your book. Take your time: six or seven years to master your groundbreaking style.
  • Design your book yourself.
  • Get your book printed at more or less any printing shop. They needn’t have printed an actual book like yours before, but they should know about quality.
  • Set some of the type yourself. If Virginia Woolf can do it, so can you.
  • Don’t reveal your name at first. Rather give us a great author portrait.
  • Distribute your book yourself.
  • Oblige your friends to distribute your book. They needn’t like your book or know much about books at all.
  • Print a cheaper version when you start running low on cash. Compromise on the packaging, not your words.
  • Be your own press agent, including publishing without permission any complimentary private letters you may receive from famous people.
  • Be your own critic. Write favourable reviews. Don’t hold back!

Derived from Malcolm Cowley‘s 1961 introduction to Highveld’s 1983 Penguin edition

Cover design 100 years later

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