All writers live with a dilemma, me too.
On the one hand, I want to reach an audience. For this, I need to write something that a publisher can make enough money on to justify the investment in printing, distributions, all that.
On the other hand, there are things I just plain like to write that I know will never justify publishing.
Most writers, when they write something and they can’t find some small journal to publish it, they put it in their desks and when they die their grandchildren take a look at it and say, “Huh, weird, I didn’t know he wrote this stuff”, and that’s the end of it.
These “unpublishable” works can never replace the joy and urgency of writing for a broad audience - writing to be read, but there are still ideas, statements, characters and arguments that just don’t go away. Once they get inside my head, I have to write them down. Until now I would have had to file my unpublishable texts away in a desk drawer somewhere and forget about it.
E-publishing changed all that. For the first time, it’s possible for to write small texts and sell them online to a small audience without the expensive apparatus of a print publisher. If only three people read it, that’s fine - that’s why he wrote it, for these three people.
I founded Hula Ink to take advantage of that innovation in the marketplace.
Hula Ink will publish short or otherwise difficult texts by a handful of friends: Ernie Poodle, who only ever wrote weird stuff and never tried to publish in his lifetime; Keiki Kailua, who writes her stories of Hawaiian gods and her sad and personal youth novel “The Boy With Green Hair” without thinking of getting published; and if we can manage, Astrid Ule and I will write some dark crime stories.
I will contribute essays and other short works of non-fiction and satire — too long for the newspaper, too short for print.
As much as possible, all works will be published in English and German (I am an American ex-pat living and writing in Germany — I write in both languages.)
Hula Ink is a micropublisher. We have no marketing budget, no press people, our books will never be reviewed in the papers. The project is designed to publish small works of a small audience, and I know it will not make money.
But I will be publishing texts I love.
- Eric T. Hansen