Another day, another thread, another book idea.... March 9, 2010 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Inspired by this thread, would people be interested in collaborating on/buying a book of new material written by MeFites?

Here's the concept, and I have to admit it's got me excited:

Book concept is announced. It could be, say, a book of essays on a given theme, or even a collection of short stories. MeFites are invited to submit their work. The (10? 20? 25?) best pieces of work are selected, and the book is assembled and edited. Prior to the book being printed, samples of it are posted to a website, and pre-orders are taken. The book run size is determined by these pre-orders. Any resulting profits (though I doubt they'd be significant) would be split among the writers and editors and whoever else put a significant amount of work into the project.

It's not like we're lacking in talented writers, but what I was wondering was, do we have the interest? Would people be interested in working on and/or buying such a book? I don't see this as something Matt would want to do or that would happen on Metafilter, but perhaps he'd agree to let us announce the project's various stages in MeTa and sidebar some of the announcements.
posted by orange swan to MetaFilter-Related at 8:57 AM (136 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

On second thought, maybe any potential profits should go to charity. A few hundred dollars split among 30 people is nothing, but the same amount given to a good cause could actually do some good.
posted by orange swan at 9:02 AM on March 9, 2010


Like the klangklangston Centre For Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too.
posted by gman at 9:05 AM on March 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


As long as it's awesome and I emerge as the hero of the endeavor, I think I can get behind this.
posted by Mister_A at 9:08 AM on March 9, 2010


I will write the hell out of an essay, and buy the fuck out of a book.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:10 AM on March 9, 2010 [16 favorites]


I would be for buying this and/or submitting something for it (that would likely get rejected). Also relatedly, the second (and third) collaborative novel projects are currently in progress.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:13 AM on March 9, 2010


Just don't put any money into it, or you are dooomed.
posted by smackfu at 9:13 AM on March 9, 2010


I already read a lot of new material written by MeFites on a variety of topics for free. Monetizing conversation doesn't seem like a great idea to me.
posted by DU at 9:18 AM on March 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Damn I missed the sign-up for those projects. I'll be danged if I'll miss this thing here!
posted by Mister_A at 9:20 AM on March 9, 2010


I would be interested in this, but one of the things I love about metafilter discussions is the rapid-fire nature of responses and koan-like crafting of sentiments down to small phrases; they max out at like two pages each, and there's rarely much pleonasm (THANKS, STEPHEN FRY). My biggest worry, buying a book like this, would be that a bunch of people would feel they needed to write at least ten pages in order to feel appropriately like they'd Made A Contribution.

I might or might not buy a book of writings by metafilter authors, but I'd be about ten times more likely to buy it if the submissions were capped at a fairly small word-limit. In my ideal world, I'd have each participant limited to one page.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:20 AM on March 9, 2010


Monetizing conversation doesn't seem like a great idea to me.

The back-and-forth is what makes the site hum, definitely.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:21 AM on March 9, 2010


Lightning Source's POD is easy to set up and cheeeap for b/w printing. I know, 'cause that's who's printing my next book...

[Projects link!]

...so if the book was b/w, that's what I'd recommend.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:21 AM on March 9, 2010


Like, instead of 30 people writing ten pages each, I'd rather see a hundred people writing a page each.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:21 AM on March 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Just don't put any money into it, or you are dooomed.

Oh yeah. Notice the "preorder" clause of my project plan. Money up front or it doesn't go to the printers, because they'll insist on being paid, capitalist bastards.;-)

If we can't make it pay for its own printing, the material can be posted online (authors willing), so everyone will still get to read it and it won't be wasted effort.

I would be willing to edit this book. It might be a good idea if I had a co-editor. Aside from that we'll need an experienced proofreader and perhaps also someone to handle the project website and the preorders, though perhaps that could be done simply enough that the other editor and I could handle it.

I might or might not buy a book of writings by metafilter authors, but I'd be about ten times more likely to buy it if the submissions were capped at a fairly small word-limit. In my ideal world, I'd have each participant limited to one page.

We'd definitely be setting a word limit. One page might be too short, though.
posted by orange swan at 9:23 AM on March 9, 2010


For a project site you could just set up a wordpress or something, no? Simple is best.
posted by Mister_A at 9:25 AM on March 9, 2010


I already read a lot of new material written by MeFites on a variety of topics for free.

Exactly. There are more well-written Mefite blogs than I have the time or inclination to read. I would not pay for a book.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:27 AM on March 9, 2010


Some people like books though.
posted by Mister_A at 9:28 AM on March 9, 2010


Ooh, I had another idea. Cover art could be — should be! — MeFite artwork or photography.
posted by orange swan at 9:28 AM on March 9, 2010


This seems like an ideal candidate for print-on-demand.
posted by smackfu at 9:30 AM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'd buy and submit, assuming really short pieces about unrequited love are acceptable.
posted by dobbs at 9:33 AM on March 9, 2010


I thought this was what I was using Metafilter for anyway?
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 AM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't know how interested I'd be in essays or short stories, but I'd love to have a book of "how to" on various topics by MeFites who are experts in their area. For example, a craft project by you, someone else has an awesome recipe, how to build a great "something", a list of the best 25 albums you never heard of...stuff like that. How to find a lawyer (crush-onastick), how to choose a funeral home (ColdChef), how to survive anything while maintaining your sanity and joy for living (DeeXtrovert), how to find the path to doing what you love best (allkindsoftime).

OK, so maybe some of it would be essays. :)
posted by HopperFan at 9:37 AM on March 9, 2010 [13 favorites]


I've been working kinda behind the scenes with other mefites on a possible story series ...which I've got to put aside for now cause of otter bidness, but maybe a short story in said universe could be a good preview/kick-start/bootstrap ..or a ..comic....
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 AM on March 9, 2010


How to spend all your time on the internet without a visable means of support (The Whelk)
posted by The Whelk at 9:43 AM on March 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


That's a really good theme idea for a book of essays and articles, HopperFan.
posted by orange swan at 9:54 AM on March 9, 2010


I'd buy and submit, assuming really short pieces about unrequited love are acceptable.

Man, I'd love a collection of some thousand short rips on such a topic. True, made up, hallucinated -- no matter as long as they're exceptional.

Like, instead of 30 people writing ten pages each, I'd rather see a hundred people writing a page each.

Couldn't agree more. The notion of representing of representing MetaFilter with the work of just 10-20-25 contributors just feels all kinds of inaccurate, or the world's biggest selection headache. Probably both.

Seriously, in narrowing it down to the numbers suggested, you could represent the site as a cabal of dope smoking libertarianism ... because it definitely has such corners.

Open it up. Figure a way to involve as many voices as possible and I start to get interested. Otherwise, do whatever you want, just don't pretend that it's a relevant representation of Metafilter.
posted by philip-random at 9:55 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd be in for contributing something, assuming you're okay with incoherence and rampant profanity.
posted by Skot at 10:13 AM on March 9, 2010


I'd like to exchange postcards. Wrong thread?
posted by fixedgear at 10:26 AM on March 9, 2010


I'd be in for contributing something, assuming you're okay with incoherence and rampant profanity.

you shuold fuckin penis writer
posted by Greg Nog at 10:27 AM on March 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Writes about penis or on penises?
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 AM on March 9, 2010


or *with* them?
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 AM on March 9, 2010


Aha! So that's how you support yourself with no visible means.
posted by Babblesort at 10:32 AM on March 9, 2010


Here I go being contrarian again--If there's going to be a book, I'd prefer that it be something that we aren't going to get on Metafilter as it stands. There are lots of good comments that would be a page, more or less, if printed in a book. There's plenty of good "how to" comments. We get that all the time, and the web format is a good on for it. But I would be interested in longer form (article/essay length) writing from some of the Mefites here. I don't think being an accurate representation of Metafilter should be the goal, or that that's even possible. A book of "here's what some really bright Mefites had to say when we gave them more space and time to compose their thoughts" makes sense to me. Yeah, it'll have a narrow appeal, but not any more narrow that 100 one-page responses, I would think.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:35 AM on March 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


The Pen is Mightier, by O. Henry B. Pileon
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:53 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, HENRY!
posted by The Whelk at 10:54 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel like this a potentially good idea without quite a reason to be. There are many wonderful and knowledgeable writers here who are delightful to read. That alone doesn't seem impetus enough to compile and sell a book, or for me to buy such a book. I think it would live or die based on the quality of the topic or structure of the book, and its qualities as a useful reference or re-readable set of ruminations, or something other than a potential future doorstop.

A journal or zine would make more sense to me, and it makes sense to web-publish those, mostly, but there are already a lot of those projects happening right now and like TPS, I never have as much time as I'd like to read all the good work they contain.

This seems like another idea that would be well incubated in a MeFiProjects aubsite.
posted by Miko at 10:56 AM on March 9, 2010


I'd be down for a short fiction compilation, mostly because it would be different from MeFi-in-book-form. If the book were essays or how-tos or something, I'd feel inclined to comment and favorite and flag.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:20 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have to admit I am less interested in the idea of doing a representational Metafilter book with a lot of contributors and very short pieces than in the idea of doing a book with fewer, longer pieces and a tighter theme. We really do have the first format already. It's called Metafilter.com. Any book that we do really needs to bring something new and unique to the table, or no one will buy it. And then too, for practical reasons, the book should be smaller than a breadbox.

Or what Pater Aletheias said.
posted by orange swan at 11:22 AM on March 9, 2010


Only if it's a pop-up book.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:29 AM on March 9, 2010


Only if it's a pop-up book.

Yay, porn! I'm fine with that too.
posted by Skot at 11:32 AM on March 9, 2010


I'd love to write a story or an essay for this. I can write an essay about stories. Or maybe a story about essays.

A heart-wrenching story of boy essay meets girl essay in a crowded and coffee-stained Moleskine, only to be callously separated a greedy hipster looking to line his pockets with fat freelance writer profits. She finds herself the cover story in a New Yorker, applauded for her non-traditional structure and post-modern conclusions. But he's passed over as being too conventional, too staid. He finds no foothold on self-indulgent literature's bleeding edge. He finds a home in writing's hillbilly backwater, the back pages of Playboy, squeezed in between "Butts of the Southeast Conference" and an expose titled "She Went Black--How You Can Get Her Back".

Over the years, they drift apart. Girl essay flowers under the scrutiny of editors and critics. Her form is so special, her turns of phrase so clever. She scores a movie deal and moves to Hollywood. She has her flings: first with articles, then with blogs, tone poems, critiques, and of course essays (including a drunken one-nighter with an assay).

Finally, one day years later, they bump into each other in a writing anthology. Freshman Composition.

"You know, I never stopped thinking about you," she confides.

"It was really hard, seeing you go on and do all those great things, knowing that I'd been forgotten by all but a handful of pasty-faced cuckolded masturbators with an ass fetish. But you? You were everyone's Next Big Thing. Everyone's but mine"

"That's all behind me now. It seems I was no more than a fad. You know how I do that thing in the third paragraph where I use the different word-"

"You mean the homonym thing, where the word you'd expect is replaced by its homonym to add another layer of meaning? I love that about you!"

"Well, London Review of Books called it trite."

"But you had it first! Don't listen to those jerks. Everybody has a different style. But we're the same, you and me. We tell them what we're going to tell them. We tell them. And then we tell them what we told them.

We're essays. And we'll be together from now on."

So I can write about that. Or I can write about bears in who act like people. Your choice.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:51 AM on March 9, 2010 [18 favorites]


I say def. go with the Bayers thing.
posted by Mister_A at 11:57 AM on March 9, 2010


"The Analog Book of Fake threads", a la numinous. (source) People around here love making miniature fake threads to illustrate something. Forty to Fifty participants could write, color, sketch, oil paint, water color, cut-up construction paper and paste, engrave, fingerpaint, or otherwise draw up funny fake threads.

Course I guess that isn't really content the rest of the world would want to see.
posted by cashman at 12:01 PM on March 9, 2010


Idea that came to me -- we could each expand one of our comments into an essay, short story, poem, what have you.

Which is pretty much what a lot of people have been saying, I think. But just giving it a different spin.
posted by dw at 12:03 PM on March 9, 2010


poem, what have you.

This is just to say

I have collected the threads
which where on the
Metafilters

which you where probably saving
for your own enjoyment

Forgive me, they where so witty
so informative
and so fun.
posted by The Whelk at 12:08 PM on March 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


What I'd like to read is some real iron clad bean plating. The beans could be literary, popcultural, arty, historical or soico-political, but they'd have to be totally obscure or rarely overanalyzed. You could call the book Refried and i would contribute my treatise on bazooka Joe comics and Ricky Nelson. Yes it's the same essay.

Anyway I'd like to read something like that. +1 for beans.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:09 PM on March 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'd love to participate.
posted by Shepherd at 12:25 PM on March 9, 2010


Ooh, what if the book were composed entirely of parodies of "This Is Just to Say?"
posted by ludwig_van at 12:27 PM on March 9, 2010


Ooh, what if the book were composed entirely of parodies of "This Is Just to Say?"

Then I would probably shoot myself.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:28 PM on March 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


what if the book were composed entirely of parodies of "This Is Just to Say?"

This is just to say

No
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:30 PM on March 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


MAKE A CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE BOOK WHERE EACH PERSON WRITES THE NEXT PART

SERIOUSLY THIS IS A GREAT IDEA AND A LOT MORE COHESIVE THAN 100 PAGES FROM 100 RANDOM PEOPLE. AS MUCH AS I LOVE RANDOM PEOPLE/YOU GUYS, A BOOK WITH A TON OF COLLABORATORS WITHOUT STRUCTURE WILL NOT SELL WELL.

YOU'RE WELCOME
posted by Damn That Television at 12:30 PM on March 9, 2010


Then I would probably shoot myself.

This Is Just to Say
I have shot
the bullets
that were in
the gun

and which
you were probably
saving
for hunting

Forgive me
they were going to make a book of these poems
so lame
and so dumb
posted by cashman at 12:34 PM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'd love to see some sort of "Ask Metafilter Book of Best Answers", where we find the all time best answers to some of the more interesting questions.

Either that or a four inch thick novel about The Wheel, by Robocop is Bleeding.
posted by bondcliff at 12:35 PM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I will be happy to contribute a short, tearful, excuse-laden essay about how I totally lamed out after enthusiastically volunteering to contribute to the project.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:36 PM on March 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


What Potomac Avenue said. The Book of Beans. BeanThinking. Something of that nature. Where selected users (user-selected users?) are invited to contribute something on the topic of the bean. Visual art, poetry, essay, memoir, puzzle, comic strip, cartoon, fashion design, photography.

Art reproduction would have to be pretty good. But it would be a nice souvenir and/or funny gift.
posted by Miko at 12:44 PM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'll contribute, I just can't promise that anything I provide will be usable. (unless you count profanity laden, grammatically poor, thinly veiled screeds against the the evils perpetrated by the tractor in the corn field down the road from me as "usable", that is.)

THAT TRACTOR KNOWS WHAT THE FUCK IT DID!!1!
posted by quin at 12:46 PM on March 9, 2010


Will it be available for the Kindle?
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:47 PM on March 9, 2010


Or ummm ... ?

200 pages. 200 EDITORS. Each EDITOR can do whatever he/she wants with their page as long as it includes NONE of their own words. That's right. They must fill it with the best stuff they can find anywhere on the site.

Otherwise, some kind of overall look/style/design would have to be established to make it all cohere.

All proceeds go to:

1. paying hard costs (printing, mailing etc)
2. some worthy charity
posted by philip-random at 12:49 PM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would definitely contribute to and/or buy at least one copy of a tastefully illustrated tome entitled MetaFilter: The Big Book of Beans.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:53 PM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


If there are any opportunities to contribute fiction, sign me up. I had too much fun with my chapter of the collaborative novel, and I'd enjoy putting together a short story here as well. Baby steps toward getting published for reals.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:55 PM on March 9, 2010


I'm in. I will contribute, edit, design the cover, whatever.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:57 PM on March 9, 2010


How about a book on Deskology?
posted by Sailormom at 1:04 PM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am going to dust off my "Ode to a Sagging Bum" and ready it for publication. Thank you for this impetus to action!
posted by maxwelton at 1:04 PM on March 9, 2010


I'm surprised Deskology isn't a book already - desks of the rich'n'famous, etc.
posted by Miko at 1:05 PM on March 9, 2010


I would very much like to contribute to this. Will you let me know if/when you get it going, or if I can help in some way with the logistics? I'd be thrilled to submit my writing, and I'm all yours if you need an extra editor.

I've long thought MeFites should publish their own book. It's a great idea.

(The thought of merging this with "Interviews of Interesting MeFites" is appealing. This book project would be like interesting writer-MeFites interviewing themselves. Awesome.)
posted by brina at 1:15 PM on March 9, 2010


Anyway I'd like to read something like that. +1 for beans.

As an aside, while it's not mefi and not really mefi-flavored, one of my favorite recurring reads is Overthinking It, as far as pop-culture stuff goes.

Ooh, what if the book were composed entirely of parodies of "This Is Just to Say?"

Jofus is already on it, kinda.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:16 PM on March 9, 2010


Everybody submit an essay defending their favorite political point of view. Must be one page or less.

Book name: MetaFilter - tl;dr

man, I kill me
posted by Pragmatica at 1:20 PM on March 9, 2010


I'd pay for a hard copy of
"7,483 Things to Do with a Lobster and a Lightly Soiled Pair of Lederhosen."
posted by xorry at 1:46 PM on March 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Everything Miko wrote.

Also, I'm in. Where do I send my essay on Fifty Things You Didn't Want To Know You Could Do With A String Bean (And An Optional Donut)?
posted by scrump at 1:49 PM on March 9, 2010


I would be willing to use one of my company's ISBNs for it and handle the printing side of things, too.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:59 PM on March 9, 2010


I vote we do this high school literary magazine style where anyone can submit poetry, prose, artwork or photography (possibly relating to a central theme) and then site members can vote and the best pieces get in!
posted by kylej at 2:03 PM on March 9, 2010


Why not make a long-form essay monthly e-zine or something? It can be posted in MeTa like the podcast is, linking to an offsite with all of the content. That way a bunch of people can contribute for a bunch of different issues without having to worry about print costs and the like. Publishing is dependent on invitations or submissions that pass editorial approval.
posted by Think_Long at 2:23 PM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would be willing to use one of my company's ISBNs for it and handle the printing side of things, too.

I'll second the Lightning Source part and the offer to handle printing stuff. Also, being Canadian, my ISBNs are free (minus the minor cost of depositing a copy of this seminal work into the Library and Archives of Canada, a requirement).
posted by Behemoth at 2:41 PM on March 9, 2010


ADIH in the Legume Interregnum and Ptch! - all NIFOTC (again) - was desperate for a good infodump. Overthinkers Anonymous had had an AM Pacific meeting scheduled to schedule the PM Pacific meeting, but a derail over the implications of online anonymity had broken out and they never actually got around to the bit about scheduling another meeting. Leaving Ptch! jacked in and unfulfilled and itchy for a forum.

"3ll0," Ptch! signed, logging into Meta.Filter.Gov. "My sock is Potch, and I could deepthink a heat molded soy tray of soy."

"tl;dr!" the Hivemind challenged.

"Not Long Enough; Didn't Favorite!" Ptch! replied.

"1ofUS! 1ofUS! 1ofUS!" the Hivemind buzzed.

*TBC'd....*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:57 PM on March 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


You know, I enjoy this remake of Brave New World.
posted by The Whelk at 2:58 PM on March 9, 2010


I'd participate, too. (Will there be taters? Or banjos? Actually, maybe we should all write short stories based on epic posts...)
posted by mynameisluka at 3:01 PM on March 9, 2010


Tater O. Plates In The Question Of The Haunted Bajo, A "It Is A Mystery" Book.
posted by The Whelk at 3:12 PM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Haunted Bajo

The Haunted Under? The Haunted Short?
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:35 PM on March 9, 2010


To be fair, the bajo sexto is haunting by definition.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:39 PM on March 9, 2010


a book of "how to" on various topics by MeFites

'Fixed That For You,' by Metafilter.

I'd be interested in contributing something (and given my experience trying to put together the Mefi Short Story Compilation wish you the very best of cat-herding crooks).

I too think that shorter form is better than longer form, as you'll want to have as many contributions as possible. Asking for longer material will reduce the number of people willing/able to contribute. A page might be too short, but two or three should be okay.

Given the popularity of those frequently side-barred comments that cover "Why, yes, I happen to know a lot of about that" something along the lines of Metafilter's Sum of All Knowledge could be neat.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:47 PM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would be happy to purchase this book, given the charity aspect. Not so sure that anything I wrote would be of interest.

Not to say that I wouldn't submit something.

I wish you luck in your endeavor.
posted by Splunge at 3:54 PM on March 9, 2010


I like the MeFi beanplates a topic approach. I'd submit something. And buy the book.
posted by defenestration at 3:56 PM on March 9, 2010


I like the MeFi beanplates a topic approach.

Which is why I think a series is a good idea, with a different bean to plate in every issue.
posted by Think_Long at 3:58 PM on March 9, 2010


Oh, and title-wise: Overthinking a Plate of Beans: The Metafilter Bathroom Companion
posted by Behemoth at 4:00 PM on March 9, 2010


One (of many) ideas that could be fun/interesting, sort of running with robocop's Sum Of All Knowledge but maybe more personal and less didactic in theme:

"Work". Stories about jobs, doing jobs, losing jobs, shitty jobs, awesome jobs, making bank, scraping by, etc. Shortform submissions, anywhere from a paragraph on the wee side to four or five pages on the long side, on the assumption that allowing for some significant variety there will let people write to their strengths and the weight of the story/anecdote. If everything goes great, doing followup volumes on other themes would be a natural way to proceed.

But that's just one personal idea. Clearly there's all kinds of themes and formats that, fundamentally, could work out. Ultimately, someone is going to have to take on the job of saying "this is what we're doing" and organizing the whole thing, and someone is going to have to commit to a bunch of reading/editing work.

My general feeling is that if it's worth collaborating on a collection like this, it's probably worth doing regardless of the output format—what could be a book could also be a publication on the web, and if the intent is to do a book but that part somehow falls through organizationally after folks get started on the writing and editing, that's not a terribly big deal. As a bound publication it would be a neat artifact, I'd certainly buy one to put on my shelf, sure.

But I think focusing on this as a revenue-focused project, even with that revenue going to charity, is maybe sidetracking the core "let's do something creative together" thing with money that doesn't much matter and might be a distraction to just getting our collective write on. Aiming for it as a collaborative project first and a like at-cost POD physical item second might be a lot simpler and saner.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:08 PM on March 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I like it. "Mefites On Work" "Mefites On Love" "Mefites On Money" "Mefites On Parents" and so on.
posted by The Whelk at 5:29 PM on March 9, 2010


Mefites On Beer.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:46 PM on March 9, 2010


A 10-volume set.
posted by The Whelk at 5:46 PM on March 9, 2010


Mefites on Mefi - 100 volumes and counting
posted by Think_Long at 5:47 PM on March 9, 2010


MeFites on Drugs.

I may have mis-understood the concept.
posted by FishBike at 5:59 PM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


...wait, wut?
posted by The Whelk at 6:00 PM on March 9, 2010


When I go to Tater O'Plate's I can never decide between the pizzatizers and the appeteasers. Also: how did they nail that butter churn to the wall? It is a mystery.
posted by mintcake! at 6:33 PM on March 9, 2010


MeFites On MeFites. Otherwise known as frightening and unsexy porn.
posted by orange swan at 7:01 PM on March 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I would contribute a poem.
posted by exlotuseater at 7:32 PM on March 9, 2010


MeFites On MeFites. Otherwise known as frightening and unsexy porn.

Speak for yourself.
posted by The Whelk at 7:38 PM on March 9, 2010


I'd contribute something if anything I'd contribute would be deemed worthy of inclusion.
posted by Atreides at 8:47 PM on March 9, 2010


From the ideas above, I like fewer contributors, story-like writing, and a tightish theme. I would attempt to contribute, and be willing to help edit if not chosen.
posted by donnagirl at 9:01 PM on March 9, 2010


Hunh, more than once I've thought about seeing if some of MetaFilter's cartoonists, whether they be Pro, Pro-Am, Am-Pro, Aspiring Am, etc. would be interested in starting up some sort of comic anthology site with the possibility of some sort of POD quarterly publication, but then I usually get all worked up over the fact that I would not be good enough to participate and I'd end up being the Jim Valentino of the group and secretly resent everyone who would invariably be more popular than me and then I'd create my own imprint named after my crappy failed character and publish something like Bomb Queen. Then I usually wake up in the bathtub under a pile of cigarette butts and tear-stained Kleenex and yell at myself in the mirror for a half hour.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:52 PM on March 9, 2010


I've already spent hundreds of dollars I didn't really have on Metafilter accounts. Blood out of a turnip at this point.
posted by planet at 12:03 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Overthinking a Plate of Beans: A Collection Of Essays Wherein Mefites Ruminate Far To Extensively On Topics Unworthy of the Attention
posted by empath at 1:13 AM on March 10, 2010


If anyone needs book-cover design, I'd love to try my hands at a bean-collage. (Or perhaps just a collage about beans to make for easier re-printing.)

No, really.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:50 AM on March 10, 2010


*checks project leadership's posting history*

It's not going to be made out of egg cartons and empty toilet rolls, is it?
posted by pracowity at 4:27 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would really love to submit an essay for this.
posted by bwerdmuller at 5:28 AM on March 10, 2010


I'm in either for writing or book design (see the Vistor's Day collaboration, where I designed the look of the interior).
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:35 AM on March 10, 2010


Good to hear, BB. I realized last night that, besides cover art, we'd need a graphic designer to design the cover and the pages. My graphic design skills being not only extremely rusty but not up to much in the first place.
posted by orange swan at 5:38 AM on March 10, 2010


*puts on Rosy the Riverter outfit*

We Can Do It!

"Wow, this color looks good on me!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:07 AM on March 10, 2010


BB did a really nice job on the VD book.
posted by Mister_A at 6:13 AM on March 10, 2010


I would buy a book. I might also submit something if the subject is something I care about.
posted by sveskemus at 6:16 AM on March 10, 2010


Oh, and title-wise: Overthinking a Plate of Beans: The Metafilter Bathroom Companion

Nah, it should be "Thinking with Taters"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:17 AM on March 10, 2010


Oh yeah, Behemoth... I forgot, you socialists get your ISBNs free. (I kid! I kid!)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:28 AM on March 10, 2010


"Thinking with Taters"

I was thinking of "Hardcore Tater-Beaning"
posted by Forktine at 6:33 AM on March 10, 2010


This is just to say

I have borrowed
the insults
that were posted
on Metafilter

and which
you were probably
hoping
to publish

Forgive me
they were ingenious
so snarky
and so cold
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:35 AM on March 10, 2010


I think we should call it
My Humps 2: Electric Tater-Plating
From the song "My Humps, Bitches" by Alanis Morisette.
posted by Mister_A at 6:38 AM on March 10, 2010


*puts on Rosy the Riverter outfit*

We Can Do It!

"Wow, this color looks good on me!"


Brandon then unleashes a mournful howl and turns to plod after his ward, his heavy footsteps a dread bass beat to her tuneless singing.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:41 AM on March 10, 2010


i'll be glad to submit,
i.e., to wit,
i'll jot down some lines to be sold
perhaps it'll sell
maybe through Bantam Dell?
and some money i'll see when i'm old

but more likely the whole thing won't happen
or it will, but still no one will buy
i'll die just as broke as a dog in the street
excuse me now while i go cry
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:44 AM on March 10, 2010


OMG a Bioshock joke! 2 points for robocop the exsanguinatious!
posted by Mister_A at 6:44 AM on March 10, 2010


Sorry, make that exsanguinatory.
posted by Mister_A at 6:49 AM on March 10, 2010


WTF, robocop is bleeding, I told you that in confidence!

Another thought: a magazine called The Sun has a section titled Readers Write. The mag picks a particular topic, which has been anything from "Praying" to "Regret" to "A phone call", and readers write about their real life experiences with the subject.

A Metafilter book (mag, zine, website whatever) could expand on that, but not limiting it to real life stories and opening it to art and music (which would mean a digital version or more physical media).

In short, pick a topic and have members express themselves creativity about said topic.

Thoughts?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:58 AM on March 10, 2010


CreateMe?
posted by The Whelk at 6:59 AM on March 10, 2010


I like that thing that Brandon said. Web is a great format for it - people could send in photos, drawings, naughty limericks, rap songs, pr0n vids, whatever they want on a particular topic.
posted by Mister_A at 7:29 AM on March 10, 2010


Oh, what I proposed is a bit different from what orange swan seems to be proposing (a book of written material), so maybe my idea is a fork? Whatevs peeps seem up for...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:50 AM on March 10, 2010


Seriously, I think your idea is a really good one, Brandon. It seems more inclusive, allowing photographers, painters, musicians, etc. in on the action–and it's the kind of thing that you can really only do on the web, which I like.
posted by Mister_A at 8:00 AM on March 10, 2010


New idea: MetaQuilter.com

One person begins by sewing a few squares together, then mails it to the next user while photographing the progress and posting updates online. Quilt continues until shipping costs become prohibitive or my next big idea comes along*

*MetaKilter.com -- various mefites posing in their favorite utilikilts and dancing jigs, or some such nonsense.
posted by Think_Long at 8:29 AM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Okay, everyone, I've set up a project blog for the book. Come on over and make suggestions and/or email me with your submissions.

Mods, I don't know if you're willing to sidebar a link to the blog, but it would help us get the word out if you would.
posted by orange swan at 6:54 PM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've got absolutely nothing to contribute to the present topic of How to, orange swan, but you're absolutely free to look over what photographs of random quality on my flickr page for purposes of illustrating (I figure it'll be more relevant once you know what your content will be). If there is something you're interested in, just MeFi Mail me or send a message via flickr.
posted by Atreides at 7:51 PM on March 10, 2010


I'd love to contribute. Somehow I think a strict and arbitrary constraint might help -- rhyming poetry, no "e"s, palindromes, or something.
posted by msalt at 8:08 PM on March 10, 2010


Ooh, what if the book were composed entirely of parodies of "This Is Just to Say?"

Jofus is already on it, kinda.


"What did I know, what did I know / of love’s austere and lonely offices?"
posted by Jofus at 10:51 AM on March 11, 2010


Well, I dropped in my entirely-too-functional suggestion. If that's not really what we're looking for, I'm happy to do something else, but it's always scary to be the first commenter!

Also, I'm an editor, so I'll gladly volunteer to help polish things up.
posted by Madamina at 12:47 PM on March 11, 2010


How to find the path to doing what you love best (allkindsoftime)

Finding the path to doing what you love best is different for every person. The paths may appear similar (high school, college, entry-level slave, etc.), but just as each person is a special snowflake, so is each path. No one will ever be able to do what I am not purporting to do here: give you the recipe for success. At the end of the day, it will be as much for you to discover and thresh out as it will be a factor of your environment, upbringing, education, and other external factors. Finding the path is for you only - for it is your path.

I can, however, offer directions towards the trail head.

The first is to be open. Embrace the world, humanity, the environment, politics in your country of origin, international on-goings, spirituality, sexuality, business, media, sport, entertainment, travel, whatever. Open yourself up to the world, allow your soul to be touched and changed by those things that most appeal to the arc that your life is taking - or that you would like it to take. Explore, learn, investigate, listen.

The two best ways that you can do this are to 1) read, and 2) ask questions.

Read. Read books, read magazines, read newspapers - while you still can. Read online - read the media outlets, read the never-ending universe of blogs, read for information and read for pleasure. Never stop reading. The written word and its world-wide dissemination is one of the crowning achievements of our species, and its all out there - an endless sea of information - waiting for you to set sail.

Ask questions. Ask your parents. Ask old people about their experiences. Ask experienced people about their paths. Ask your boss. Ask your colleague. Ask teachers and counselors. Ask leaders, but remember to ask those who serve as well. Ask the internet. Ask Metafilter. Never be afraid or too proud to admit your lack of knowledge - in the vast majority of cases, the best answer and most professional approach is to say "I don't know, but I will find out and get back to you." And then, to find out...you may just have to ask someone. Asking questions shows that you are interested. If nothing else, it proves that you are concerned enough to ask, that you at least have the gears turning to create the thought.

Many will say that there is "no such thing as a dumb question." I would submit that the only dumb question is the one you have to ask again. When you get an answer, if you need to, write it down. Then add it to the list of things that you can read. Think before you ask your questions, too - the better your question is, the better your answers will typically return.

The last is to throw yourself. Once armed with the knowledge, at some point in every path, a person comes to a point where they must make a great leap. Otherwise the path is one of mediocrity, and which of us could find that to be doing what we love best? Risk, in all its myriad forms, will at some point impede your path. The only question will be whether or not you decide to jump. That one, reader, I will not seek to advise you on further than to point you to the words of John Steinbeck: "A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us."

It should be acknowledged that doing what you love best is not always easy. Like a fire, it can warm a cold room, but also become an all-consuming force of destruction. When you find what it is you best love doing, you will love it, but you may also come to hate it, if you do not manage your love for it. See it for what it is: just another thing in your life. A good thing, something that you can give some primacy to, but not an ultimate thing. Your work - or more broadly: what you do with your life - no matter how important, can not be your ultimate source of meaning and purpose. Work is good, but its not that important.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:00 AM on March 12, 2010


Also, what cortex said. In my experience, words written for money are shite compared to those written for the passion of writing them.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:39 AM on March 12, 2010


I'd be interested in contributing. Essay, story, etc.

Also, I was thinking like, if Metafilter could only produce ONE BOOK, what would I personally want it to be? This is thinking along the lines not of an outside audience, but something aimed squarely at the pleasure ganglia of Mefites. Personally, I would enjoy some combination of a few ideas we've had: interviews with interesting members (suggested in MeTa not too long ago), plus maybe like an essay or a few ON Metafilter, plus some of the ideas here.

Actually, now that I think of it, this might have the advantage of being even more accessible to outsiders. Because if you don't know what Metafilter is, what do you care about what they're saying? A sort of general book on, and an exhibition of, seems most interesting to me.
posted by skwt at 5:02 PM on March 12, 2010


For whatever reason, I can't get Blogger to properly log me in so I can comment on the blog. Here's what I was going to say there:

I'm interested in copy-editing submitted text and/or proofreading laid-out copy. That's what I do for a living (I'm a magazine editor), and I'd love to help ensure our how-tos are as clearly expressed as possible. (And that our copy is as nicely fitted as can be!)
posted by limeonaire at 10:18 PM on March 12, 2010


I'd like to contribute! I could also do some illustrations or artwork for the cover
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:47 PM on March 13, 2010


hey, I was just thinking that I'd like to submit something that has both text and illustrations - to design the way the two of those would interact, it would be really helpful to know what size each page of the printed book will be.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:05 PM on March 13, 2010


I'd contribute and buy, I think it would be cool. I do think it would be better to have more, shorter submissions. A mix-mash of short stories, essays, how-to pieces, poems, short jokes/ancedotes and art would be a cool coffee table book.
posted by spaltavian at 9:57 AM on March 14, 2010


it would be really helpful to know what size each page of the printed book will be.

Yes, it would be. I don't have an answer for you on that one though right now. I'll have to talk to the person who has volunteered to help me with the printing side of things.
posted by orange swan at 7:49 PM on March 15, 2010


I'm interested in writing, illustrating, and purchasing.
posted by teej at 8:46 PM on March 16, 2010


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