Piccadilly Self Publishing Fair & Exhibition

24th Sep 2010

Piccadilly Self Publishing Fair and Exhibition

“Monsieur, with this influx of DIY events, you are really spoiling us…”

But seriously, there are so many amazing DIY / zine / self-publishing events at the moment that i’m exisitng in a state of permanent excitement. I’m taking a moment to sit down, drink some tea and tell you about one that’s coming up in Manchester.

On Sunday 3rd October, Piccadilly Self Publishing Fair will take place at The Piccadilly Place, Manchester. The fair is part of the Free For Arts Festival 2010, which is a “not-for-profit celebration of art and performance”. There will be stalls from Preston Is My Paris, Good Grief! and Cafe Royal, as well as work on show from many other individuals, small presses and collectives. On the day of the fair Manchester Libraries will be holding a mini mobile library service to sign up people to the library and allowing them to borrow books too! The Exhibition will follow, from 5th-10th October, featuring work from Ultimate Holding Company, Lucy May Schofield and the amazing collection at Salford Zine Library.

I caught up with the lovely Caitlin and Sophie who are the masterminds behind the event to find out more…

1.How did you meet and begin to work together?

We met at uni in Manchester…Our first little project was a zine called ‘Dance Picture’ of which there are only two issues! That really got us into self-publishing and doing our own projects-which is why we started Piccadilly Projects, our new collaborative art practice in which we set up creative events like the Piccadilly Self Publishing Fair and also provide creative workshops and undertake bespoke art commissions.

2. There’s so much interest in self-publishing / zines at the moment. Do you think this is a response to the economic climate or has the willingness of artists to ‘self-publish’ always been strong?

I think there has always been an undercurrent of self-publishing, particularly in the arts. Artists such as Ed Ruscha in the 60’s would print books containing their work  so it could be passed easily and cheaply from one person to the next. This was largely because he didn’t get much work in galleries in the early part of his career. It was a way for people to see his work and own it. People still self-publish for that reason now. I think the resurgence in self publishing is connected with the economic climate because big established publishers are less willing to take a risk printing an unknown artist’s/ photographers/writers book. Sites such as Blurb.com counteract this, allowing you to publish your own book via their site. I think sites such as this are also connected with the new interest in self-publishing.

3. What tips would you give to an artist or writer who wanted to self-publish but didn’t know where to start?

Sophie and I have this really great book called ‘How To Make Books’ By Esther K. Smith. It is a step by step guide to making your own books. We use this book when making our own work. Hot Bed Press in Manchester run regular book binding workshops if you really get into that whole making side of self-publishing.

The Piccadilly Self Publishing Fair takes place Sunday October 3rd, 11am-6pm, with the exhibition running 5th-10th October, 11am-4pm daily. And if you can’t wait ’til then for some DIY goodness, there’s always Camberwell College of Art and Design’s Zine Fair & Jumble Sale this Monday (27th)!

Post by Alex Herod