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Do Or DIY

Mixing anecdote and advocacy, the title [co-authored with Craig Dworkin & Nick Thurston] offers an introduction to the concealed history of DIY publishing — as undertaken by some of the most revered writers in the modern Western literary canon. Professor Morris is a leading contributor to the field of conceptual writing with a publishing imprint dedicated to the genre, multiple books, as well the first film on key protagonist Kenneth Goldsmith and the first public exhibition of conceptual writing in the world (The Perverse Library, Shandy Hall). The first part of the book offers a miniature history of self-publishing by writers now canonised by the English-language literary industry, whose D.I.Y. actions have been covered over to negate the stigma of ‘vanity publishing’. The second part of that essay is a concise polemic, advocating a D.I.Y. approach to publishing in the current digital epoch, as a praxis against the drives of ‘vanity publishing’, and as a positive socio-political choice. It concludes, quite simply: “Don’t wait for others to validate your ideas — Do it yourself.”

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