Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness
A Perfect Blindness is drenched in music: not only do two musician friends end one band and start another, they go to clubs and dance, and listen to music on the radio, on vinyl and CDs as well; very many other songs find their way into the text of the book: some as the inspiration for the songs of White Heat and Mercurial Visions, two of their bands, play; other times some lyrics are quoted; and many times, songs were in the back of my mind as I wrote a particular sentence, so slivers of them can be extracted from the text, while the outlines of others can be discerned in some turns of phrase. In fact, the book has a soundtrack.
All the songs listened and danced to, played, or used in the text somehow have been collected and used to create a Spotify playlist as well as a YouTube playlist, both available here:
A new service opened for business around this time called 8-tracks. This is radio with 100% human-curated playlists: No algorithms, just human DJs, a perfect place for a custom book playlist, with an added bonus of being able to upload specific versions.
The Spotify and YouTube playlists were posted on FaceBook, in my stream, in the group, and on the as yet unpublished page, as well as on the APerfectBlindness.com website.
I told my Special Recognitions Board contact Laura about them, and she said she’d included both of them in the package being prepared for Barnes and Noble on the sell sheet. Later, I will recreate the same list for 8tracks.com, but use some rare 12” remixes I’ve kept since then and not merely the standard versions: With all the pops and clicks that come with vinyl. In the future, I see more unified playlists, such as one for Exit-SmartBar (harder edge goth-industrial dance sound) and for Berlin (more fluid, synth-driven dance), and all the songs about love and passion.
I had also been collecting all the locations—the bars, clubs and music venues, visited, danced or performed in. This is how I’d earlier discovered that the Agora was called the Newport Music Hall at the time Mercurial Visions was to have played there. Doing this, I found that several of the clubs featured in the book either no longer existed, or had moved, and one—Neo—has a theme party for wont of a better word in its name hosted at other venues, but in most cases there are still groups of people dedicated to the way things had been over a quarter of a century ago. Finding many images online for these clubs, I created a collection on Pinterest called A Perfect Blindness and posted them therein.
Then on FaceBook, I found a private group dedicated to Wax Trax! the Chicago label behind Ministry, the Revolting Cocks, A Split Second, Front 424, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult—the core of the early industrial scene who also discover Mercurial Visions and sign them to a contract in the book. These are many of the bands played, listened to, danced to or quoted in the book, and so featured on the playlists. Bands I loved when I lived in Chicago, and still listen to now. I asked to be a part of this private group and was accepted. In one long exchange, a contributor was saying how many kids who weren’t even born then are fascinated by this time and place. Others reminisced over the locations. A comment was tossed out that the book has a built-in readership. That would be good, for A Perfect Blindness is, definitely, an homage to a place and time, if even in a small way.
Then, I been admitted to a private group of another band featured in the book, a band I danced to and still listen to TSOM: The Sisters of Mercy.
Things seemed to be falling together. Yet that last comment the Quality Editor suggested: a proofread after it’s typeset. Makes sense, yes, but that costs more money.
Ug. Must I?
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To ask a question or follow along with the self-publishing adventure, join the “Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness” here.