Farewelling 2014

Blaise van Hecke and Kev Howlett – Busybird Publishing.
Blaise van Hecke and Kev Howlett
The wife and husband team behind Busybird Publishing.
So we’re almost at the end of the year, which is a time both to reflect and also to look to the future.

What did we accomplish in the past year? Did we finish that book we wanted to write? Or have that exhibition? Or read at that open mic night?

Going into 2014, we all would’ve had plans, things that we wanted to achieve. If we did achieve those goals, we should commend ourselves. If somebody else had written a book, we’d congratulate them and flatter them, yet we’re always unkindest or – at the very least – the most blasé to ourselves. So if you achieved a goal, commend yourself. Reward yourself. Celebrate a little.

And if you didn’t, now’s not the time for self-flagellation. Why didn’t you? It’s important to look at why we didn’t manage what we set out to do. Is it a case of not having a time? If so, how’s that something that can be addressed in the future? Maybe there were personal upheavals. Ultimately, the reason themselves aren’t as important as the examination of how we learn from them – and we can learn – and plan to address them next time we encounter them.

As any type of artist (writer, poet, singer, paint, illustrator, sculptor, etc.), learning is pivotal. It’s not about doing the same thing over and over. There’s a constant evolution occurring – we not only get better at our craft (whatever that is), but about learning how to approach it and how to tackle any obstacles. This is how experience arms us.

Here at Busybird, we released a number of books in 2014: [untitled] issue 6, page seventeen issue 11, The Book Book: 12 Steps to Successful Publishing, Self Made: Real Australian Business Stories, and Walk With Me. It’s an eclectic mix, and yet it wasn’t everything we wanted to get out this year, but we did the best we could and we’re proud of each of them.

On top of that, we also helped a number of authors self-publish. The term ‘self-publish’ has always held a stigma, particularly as self-published books could look cheap and amateurish. Now, as printing’s becomes easier, it’s become a much more accepted and respectable medium to self-publish, and it’s a worthwhile avenue to pursue given big publishers can be so risk averse with what they decide not to publish.

Also, with self-publishing, you can undertake every component of the publishing process that big publishers do (e.g. structural editing, copyediting, layout, design, proofreading, distribution, launch) and end up with a product that is indistinguishable from books released by commercial publishers. That’s how easy and accessible it’s become. Most importantly, we take pride in nurturing authors – many who are inexperienced in publishing – through the process and giving them the best result possible. That’s pivotal to us.

This year, we also had a string of exhibitions, ran workshops, and held our monthly Open Mic Nights, which continue to grow in popularity. They’re all things that will be returning throughout 2015 and we’d love to see you at them. If you have suggestions for the sorts of workshops you’d like to see, why not shoot us an email?

In 2015, we hope to release another issue of [untitled], another issue of page seventeen, Below the Belt: Experiences with Prostate Cancer, Joffa, The Uncanny Love of Jimmy Panagakos, The Launch Book, The Writer’s Companion, and more.

So there’s plenty happening for Busybird in the new year, and we hope to continue to grow, to go from strength to strength. To everybody who’s supported us, we thank you.

But what about yourself? What individual goals are you setting for 2015?

And what’re you doing about making them a reality?

Busybird’s closing its doors for a fortnight, from Saturday 20th December 2014 to Sunday 4th January 2015.

See you in the New Year!

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