Shebeen Club June 15 Independent Publishing: Fab or Folly?

Posted on June 1, 2009


Since from day to day it looks like I will/won’t be in town for the Shebeen Club meeting on June the 15th, I’ve asked Ian Alexander Martin to take over in my stead. Naturally, should I be in town on the evening in question, I’ll expect him to give up the scepter of leadership but retain all obligations to inform and/or entertain people.
Atomic Fez

Atomic Fez

  • What: Launching an Independent Publishing House: Fab or Folly?
  • Who: The Shebeen Club and Atomic Fez Publishing
  • When: Monday, June 15TH, 6:00–9:00 pm
  • Where: The Shebeen, behind the Irish Heather, 212 Carrall Street in Gastown
  • Details: $15 cash only, includes dinner and one drink (pint). No minors, please.
  • Blather: follows


The proprietor of Atomic Fez Publishing will engage the public in an all singing, all dancing event at The Shebeen Whisky House behind the Irish Heather Gastro-Pub in Vancouver’s Gastown district.

Ian Alexander Martin is expected to discuss his reasoning behind beginning a Small Press Publishing house in these days of financial turmoil which have seen several international houses drastically scale back their structures, frequently closing sub-imprints and selling off their intellectual assets like so much scrap iron. Likewise, when even local publisher Raincoast Books scales downsize their operation following the completion of the ‘Harry Potter…’ series, is there any point in trying to enter the market?

Additional topics will include:

  • why be a small-press publisher if you’re not also a writer?
  • what sort of books does Atomic Fez select?
  • the answer to the question “dead tree books or electronic books” is “YES!”
  • whither the future of independent bookshop?
  • why can’t people buy any small-press books at Chapters or Smith’s
  • why shouldn’t authors just self-publish and go straight to the readers and their money?
  • just how insane are you?

Come and hear a 20-minute talk about what Mr. Martin’s approaches are, and what he thinks the state of publishing is today. A question and answer session with follow the presentation after a short break.

Ian Alexander Martin

Ian Alexander Martin


For three years Ian Alexander Martin was a Director in Humdrumming, Limited—a very tiny publishing company registered in England & Wales—during the last ten months of which was acting as President and C.E.O., Managing and Editorial Director, plus also being responsible for the contracting, editing, typesetting, publishing, and marketing of twenty different titles. Meanwhile, Humdrumming continually earned the respect and admiration of writers and readers alike, as well as seven ‘short-list’ nominations from the prestigious British Fantasy Society’s annual awards (and more to come in a few months).

In addition to the above, Mr. Martin has previously been an arts journalist; editor; professional photographer; photo-finishing store owner; web-site designer and consultant; theatre actor and director, as well as being the Founding Editor and Publisher of the theatre web-zine The Boards. If you had told him at the turn of the millennium that he would have accomplished these things, he would have laughed so hard he would have been physically ill at your feet.

He lives in Burnaby with his wife and two cats, all three of whom frequently succeed in dragging him kicking and screaming from the computer keyboard.

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