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SOLO COLLECTIVE (article first published : 1999-05-23)

A new publishing enterprise under the name of Solo Collective was recently launched on May 19 at the NSA Gallery at an entertaining evening which featured a performance by the St Mary’s DSG Choir. The current NSA exhibition which features the extraordinary burnished hides by Langa Magwa provided an exciting and stimulating backdrop for the event

Solo Collective was launched in response to what the organisers believe to be a crisis in the book world. Members of the Collective realise that many worthwhile potential books are waiting to come into print which commercial publishers can see no chance of marketing profitably. “They might be books of intense interest to a small group, books in an unfashionable genre, books on topics sidelined by the historical moment, or books of a kind generally agreed to need funding, ” said author Gertrud Strauss.

Solo Collective sees to the publishing and initial marketing of books for which the authors are able to carry the costs, or obtain the funding. If the book sells well, the investment is recovered. Since publishing according to this system has often been the subject of abuse, Solo Collective aims at the highest degree of transparency, detailing itemised estimates and summaries of expenditure, realistic estimates of probable sales, and openness about their own profit sources

The publishing company hopes to appeal to people for whom writing is a serious hobby or to professional writers whose areas of interest are the biographical, autobiographical or historical as well as to writers who want to bring out something special which they know will have a limited appeal.

The launch of Solo Collective also marked the launch of its first two publications, Gertrud Strauss's The Blood Spot and Other Stories and Trevor Cope's new dual-language edition of the Zulu classic UMamazane by R H Mthembu.

Details from Solo Collective, 4 Elgin Drive, Cowies Hills, 3610. Telephone 86-5178 or fax 262-9280. e-mail: strauss@dbn.lia.net


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