Jeremiah, the founder of Books and Shovels, a traveling bookstore and publisher, sat down to give TellTell the ultimate scoop. Ya dig? (Ah. I couldn't help myself with that one!)
What exactly is Books and Shovels?Books & Shovels is a traveling bookstore and publisher I'm launching at the 2014 NYC Poetry Festival with UndergroundBooks and Nostrovia! Poetry. I'm Jeremiah Walton, founder of Nostrovia! Poetry. I'm 19 y/o, and from N.H.. Some friends and I are going to be living out of Books & Shovels, a station wagon loaded down with chapbooks, street books, paintings, all forms of art that exhibit passion, and distributing the materials as we travel cross country hitting open mics, festivals, slams, and street corners.
How and when (and what were you eating/drinking) when you guys came up with the idea for Books & Shovels? Books & Shovels was initially a frame pack full of N!P and UB titles. I distributed them while hitchhiking after I graduated high school.
What do you think Books & Shovels can offer that traditional bookstores can't offer? How many bookstore can set up shop on a street corner, or move their place of distribution from city to city at a moment's notice?
How do you guys feel about digital publications? The 21st century is an amazing time to be an artist. We can hit the eyes of 1000s of readers and supporters in a day. Nostrovia! Poetry receives over 15,000 hits per month. It was built from the ground up, with minimal start up costs. That's amazing. This is the best period of time to be an artist, a poet. Hell, most of my books are available free through Scribd and embedded onto webpages. We're pretty into it.
What do you need to make Books and Shovels a success? We need pledges to jump start the journey. This way we don't end up stuck and homeless right off the bat, which is a very potential outcome in the long term picture. If we end up stuck and broke, we'll simply work through traditional channels / run Books & Shovels locally until we have enough money to migrate.
Is there a list of places that you're going to stop? How do you decide? There's no concrete plan. The road has a habit of fucking those up.
What kind of soundtrack are you going to have on your drive? Ramshackle Glory, Rail Yard Ghosts, Days N Daze, there's a lot of wonderful music we're going to be blasting as we shoot down a sunrise highway.
Can you tell me a little bit about how Books and Shovels will work? Are you selling books? Collecting books from authors? Are you soliciting? What's the deal? Books & Shovels is nonprofit. All funds acquired are sunk back into the project, or purchasing books from independent publications and artists. None of the money goes into our pockets. We are selling books at a suggested donation price, but ultimately, the price is up to the buyer. We are collecting donations of publications from authors and publishers currently.
Why are you doing this? To murder apathy. To encourage others to be willing to bleed for their dreams. Too many folks are scared to dream. This isn't for artists. This is for anyone who is afraid to cut themselves open for what they love.