Starting a cooperative publishing company is a lot like traveling to a planet in a different solar system. It takes years and is really foreign once you get there. Every step is an adventure you want to record in detail and each pile of dust and extended panorama is worthy of myriad photographs. Traveling a few hundred yards requires a new base camp and multiple samples of rocks.
Taking off from Earth is a great experience with celebrations, high hopes and the thrill of facing the unknown. Traveling through empty space with no external sounds or vibrations or friction or visible signs of the stars moving past the window, becomes a monotonous and tedious journey. Are we progressing at all?
The original goals of completing and publishing a variety of sci-fi and fantasy novels, comics and graphic novels, collections of art work and poetry, Spanish curriculum and Bible studies, became bogged down in the reality of daily life; time limitations, money restrictions, commitments.
When Varida Publishing & Resources was started in 2010 the plan was that as writing projects were completed, the company would be getting up to speed in the practical details of business. This is in fact what has been happening.
But living in a small metal spaceship for months or years doesn’t feel like progress.
Here is what a Mars base approach to publishing looks like:
The pioneering space travelers are responsible for all the jobs that are a part of the settlement; i.e. the authors are also the editors, the marketers, promoters, administrators, artists, website designers, and project leaders. It’s not unlike a space kibbutz, a community encampment where tasks and profits are shared and there are no wages – and no debt.
Earning in a different job and saving for every expense is a prerequisite to running this company, and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow has more to do with the desire to produce excellent work than making money. We’re idealists investing in a dream with hard work and long hours.
Deadlines have slid, arrangements with artists and other collaborators have fallen through, and creative juices have occasionally run dry, but the destination coordinates have remained unchanged.
We are moving through space, working on our projects, keeping our eyes on the goal, and the planet is growing in our window.
Just a little longer and the next stage of adventure will begin.
President of Varida P&R