How do writers find readers?
It’s an age-old quandary that hasn’t been resolved by electronic communication. We can broadcast our blogs and when they are out there we have no idea who, if any, are reading our wonderful contributions to human enlightenment.
So, while we may never really know who is reading what we write, there are some tried and tested ways of reaching people who share our love of communicating.
I discovered my favorite way some forty years ago--way before the personal computer and blogging became essential features of modern life. And during those forty-plus years of writing for others, my life has been enriched in ways I never dared dream might happen. I was introduced to the American Amateur Press Association (AAPA) quite by chance when I stopped into an old-time print shop in St. Paul. I was intrigued with letterpress printing so made my pilgrimage to this fellow’s shop several times and during one of my visits he handed me a “bundle” of publications that members of the association received every month.
He said, quiet prophetically, that I might enjoy belonging to the association.
With that bundle in my hand I was on the road to a writing (and reading) adventure that I came to share with a great group of people from across the globe--though most members are in the United States.
The AAPA is a bunch of people who are attracted to amateur journalism. The organization was begun in the heydays of letterpress printing and many of the young people who started AAPA were also amateur printers who combined their passion to write with their devotion to turning their creations into printed pieces. But AAPA also included people who had no way to get into print, writers who relied on the AAPA Manuscript Bureau to find printers who would print for them.
Over the years printing technology changed dramatically and then along came the internet and personal printers and the whole world of electronic communication. With these changes, AAPA adapted, too, and today a handful of letterpress printers are joined by many others who use today’s technology to get their work into “print.” The same devotion to writing has remained and every month members continue to receive the AAPA Bundle--a collection of items members submit to the organization’s “mailer.” The mailer, in turn, collects each publication into a packet and sends those contributions to each member.
Whenever I contribute to the Bundle and see my pamphlet, or poem, or article tucked in with all those others, I am reminded there are readers out there who just as enthusiastically tear into each Bundle. It’s a great feeling to be part of a community that values writing and publishing.
As part of AAPA’s transition into the 21st Century, the organization also has gotten involved in electronic publishing and has an extensive collection of e-journals.
If you enjoy writing and publishing as I do, you will find AAPA a welcoming home and a ready audience for your writing.
If interested, contact for a sample Bundle. Membership is only $25 per year--the money going to pay postage expenses related to mailing the monthly Bundle pieces. For more information, follow the "Join AAPA" link below.
Amateur journalism is a unique activity. Amateur journalists publish journals on paper & online & come from many perspectives: from deluxe letterpress printed journals, to Xeroxed newsletters, to artistically designed cards and ephemera. We embrace the spirit of being amateurs – loving what we do for pure joy and not financial gain – while creating top quality journals, zines, and homemade publications.