Thanks to everyone who has commented or sent me thoughts on how to pull off this geocaching short story distribution thing. Jez Burrows (who does amazing design stuff in the UK) referred me to this service I’d never heard of called Lulu which will print a book of the size I envision for about five bucks a copy. My friend and colleague Beatrix Gates recommended Bookmobile and then tonight at Hugo House Matthew Simmons suggested I might be able to do something with the new Espresso Book Machine (really sucky name for the thing, imo) they’ve got running at University Bookstore.
One commenter on Slog raised an issue I hadn’t thought much about, whether folks would simply take the books and not pass them along because they’re cool. I’ve always figured a number of books will go missing, and I accept that, but I’m curious about whether there’d be a correlation between the stories’ production values and their tendency to live permanently on someone’s shelf rather than get passed along, as I intend them to be. In other words, should I produce these stories to be completely no-frills? Should I simply send them out into the world as pieces of loose-leaf paper in Ziploc bags?
Another question that occurred to me as I was making my daughter lunch today: Should I allow people to reproduce the stories and plant them in geocaches themselves? Would anyone care enough to even do this? And to what extent do I want to enlist the help of “mules” who can place these stories in various geocaches around the world?
And another idea: I’m thinking about contacting Pilot Books’s proprietor Summer Robinson to see if she’d be willing to keep a geocache behind the counter, stocked with copies of the books. I suppose even speculating about this publicly blows the whole find-it-with-a-GPS-device aspect of the thing, but anyway.
Like I said, I’m still figuring this out. I want to create something cool as cheaply as I can. (Don’t we all?) Thanks again for all your ideas.