BY NELSON NG
其中有一位朋友，剛好在我家那條街上開了間果汁店，看到《LOST》後就提出說想合作出一本關於果農的小雜誌。這樣的主題讓我一個人做肯定做不來，但既然我的朋友是個拿手的文案，最後還是決定試一下。我和朋友一同去了鄉下，跟農夫住了幾天，記錄了當時的經歷 — 朋友用了文字，我用了相機 — 最後形成了《果簍小刊》。後來因為雙方都覺得效果不錯，也做出了第二期。
也因為這樣，一年前就開始計劃成立一個出版平臺，叫 volume press。它是《LOST》背後的出版工作室，同時也是一個尋找和其他人合作的出版平臺。中文叫“本聲書社”，“本聲”的意思是“書本的聲音”，指的其實是內容，也希望通過合作和出版能把作者的故事和聲音傳達出去。這其實也是回到《LOST》的最初精神，通過出版把不同人的故事分享出去。volume press 的網站今天也終於正式上線了，大家歡迎去看看：volume-press.com
回到標題，一個尋找合作的出版平臺意味著大量的工作，也意味著需要更多的幫手，也因為這個原因最近搬到新的工作室。是的，我們在尋找更多同伴，如果你對出版有興趣，喜歡書籍和雜誌，喜歡創造內容，喜歡爵士樂，喜歡吃苦，也許可以發個郵件到 firstname.lastname@example.org 認識一下！
– 喜歡出版，想了解獨立出版 （其實是很苦的！）
2. (中文）文案/ 編輯 (freelance)
In the past 5 years, there were a few articles (mostly in China) that described LOST as a one-man publication: from editorial to translations to design to photography to retouching to layouts to proofreading to print production to distribution to website coding and design to online content to social media to even packing boxes for delivery, which were all done by one person.
Actually, this is a misunderstanding.
From the very first issue, LOST was never completed by one person alone. Since the early stages of conception, LOST was always meant to be a platform for travellers to share their own personal travel stories. Every issue of LOST consisted of stories and photographs from 10 or more different travellers all over the world, and it was precisely these different perspectives and voices on travel that gave LOST its breadth of content. A single author alone could never have presented so many different facets of travel, let alone capture so much beautiful photography. LOST had and will always be a symphony of content.
On the other hand, because my first language wasn’t Chinese, for convenience’s sake, LOST was originally intended to be in English only. But later on, thanks to the help of many good friends who worked long hours on the translations, the magazine eventually became bilingual in English and Chinese. Translation work is really not easy and it takes a really long time; a huge chunk of our publication process is actually spent on translations. The fact that LOST is able to be bilingual, and to be read and accepted by Chinese audiences, is completely due to the kindness and persistence of these friends.
Without the help and collaborative efforts of everyone involved, LOST would never have existed. It was never solely one person’s effort but the accumulation of energy and goodwill from many different people. Till this day, every new issue of LOST feels like a miracle.
While running the magazine, besides realising the limits of a single person, I’ve also learned about the power of collaboration. Even though every single copy of LOST is mailed out from our studio, we still depend very much on the shops in every city or area to promote and sell the magazine. But the happiest thing from all this is meeting like-minded friends along the process.
A friend of mine happened to open a fruit juice shop on the street that I used to live in. Of course he was happy to stock LOST in his shop, but upon seeing the magazine, he had this idea to work together on a new zine about fruit farmers. A topic like that would have been unmanageable on my own, but since my friend was a talented copywriter, and since he had an unrivalled enthusiasm for farmers, we decided to try it out. My friend and I travelled to the countryside, lived with some farmers for a few days, and documented our experiences there; my friend used the pen, while I used my camera, and eventually we published ‘Grooow’, a zine about life in the countryside. Later on, since we were both quite satisfied with the outcome, we went on to publish a second issue.
While LOST Issue Three was in the works, I met a young couple who really liked LOST and wanted to sell the magazine in their space. But they also wanted to work together with me on starting a new magazine. At the time, they were thinking of creating a photography brand, one that would let photography relate to our lives, and they felt that a magazine would help uncover stories behind the still images. Even though I was dealing with photography on a daily basis because of work, I wouldn’t claim to be an expert on photography, but I was inspired by their commitment and attitude towards photography, so I eventually decided to take it on. And just like that, we published ‘Brownie’, a magazine about how photography changes our life. Eventually the young couple went on to open a photography gallery store in Shanghai, which turned photography into a lifestyle, and we also went on to publish the second volume.
These two unexpected projects demonstrated the infinite possibilities of collaborative work. A solo pianist might perform in a certain way, but if he plays with another guitarist, the entire song could sound very different. Before publishing ‘Grooow’ or ‘Brownie’, I would never expect to produce this sort of work, but because I worked with other people, the final product was surprising even for myself.
And so because of this, over a year ago I decided to set up a publishing label called ‘volume press’, which would become the publishing studio behind ‘LOST’, but also a platform where I could collaborate with other people to work on other publications. The name ‘volume’ actually means the ‘voice of print’, which actually refers to the content inside each publication, in hopes that we can amplify the author’s content or voice through the publishing process. This actually goes back to the original spirit of LOST, where the initial aim was to spread and amplify the stories of different people through the medium of print. The volume press website is finally up today, and you can check it out here: volume-press.com
Going back to the title of the article, a publishing label means a lot more work, which also means a lot more help is needed, and it’s because of this that we’ve recently moved to a new studio space. Yes, we’re looking for more companions to join our cause, so if you’re interested in publishing, love books and magazines, love creating content, love jazz and love hard work, you could drop us an email about yourself at email@example.com!