In a world where brick and mortar book stores are being boarded up and turned into laundromats with free wifi and digital book and eBook sales are on the rise, one man has the courage, nay, the audacity to forge his own literary path. Meet Matt Prins, the creator of the site Instant Books are your Future. Matt is the writer, editor, illustrator, and constructor of dozens, if not hundreds, of tiny little one of a kind books. The stories are hilarious, heartbreaking, and even harrowing sometimes.Every one of Prins’ books can be read on his site and he even shows you how you can make your own instant books. Some say instant books are the future of publishing. Matt Prins tells us more about his media empire here:
LS: Who are you?
Hi. I’m Matt Prins.
LS: What are you?
I’m a writer man. I’m also a mailman. And then, in this order, I’m just a plain man.
LS: What are Instant Books?
Instant Books are stories written on a piece/pieces of paper folded just so to create something that resembles the form of a book. There are 6 pages inside and then there’s a cover part and back cover part. I first learned of the instant book form when I picked up a very nice book by Ester K. Smith – How to Make Books.
LS: How many Instant Books have you made/wrote/produced?
I think I’ve made around 150-160 instant books. Then there are another 46 contributions from other small book enthusiasts, mostly friends of mine (like this one).
LS: Is it difficult to make an instant book?
No, it’s pretty easy. The first few I made were all wonky but after a couple tries I got it down. The secret is not to use thick paper. It does, however, take a bit of time to put it all together depending on how fancy you want to get. I’m sure you want to get pretty fancy.
LS: Do you consider yourself a one man publishing house? Are your fingernails in good shape?
I haven’t considered that title. But I guess the site is kind of like that. I don’t know. The whole publishing world is kind of weirded up right now. It seems self-publishing is on the rise and being more accepted. There’s a lot of great stuff that people are putting out without a publisher. In the grand scheme I consider Instant Books to be a zine project. And if anything I’d consider myself to be an idiot.
My fingernails are in pretty good shape. I’ve never been a chewer. They grow so fast, these things.
LS: Can people buy your instant books?
Sometimes. I made a collection of Instant Books to purchase last spring, which revolved around the theme of sex. I called it Sexy Ones and they’ve sold out but I’m working on the next collection that will be titled “Family is Dumb.” It’ll be available at the end of November.
LS: Why would somebody want to buy your instant books?
They kind of look neat. Each instant book is different from the last, in terms of layout and style. You can also see a lot of sweat has gone into all those folded pages. I think, in passing, someone would say, “Hey this looks different,” and then they’d buy it and then they’d go home and read them and then I’d have tricked them.
LS: Do you have any favourite Instant Books that you’ve made?
I do. I really like this one called Sorry Laura which is about a scary road trip. Another one I like is called Those Who Suit Smoking. And I’m partial to the ones where my girlfriends come off looking like jerks.
LS: Can you give us a sneak preview of the subject of your next instant book?
I think I’m going to make one about this guy on my mail route that has some sort of mental illness. He’s a really funny guy and one day he screamed at me until I begrudgingly accepted the full can of warm Monster Energy Drink he wanted me to carry around.
LS: Say goodbye to the nice people.
Goodbye nice people. I love you.