I was intrigued by the brain child of Leyton Attens or Stanley Notte (one of those is a pen name or pseudonym, I think) and signed up to the system. ‘One Short Story to be Told’ provides a single copy of each story in the collection. This copy is passed around, via snail mail, preceded by awesome contracts and warnings. ‘Followers’ have to contact each other or Leyton to stand a chance of being the next recipient. There are five stories doing the rounds at the moment and they have travelled from their native Eire as far afield as California and Australia. I was lucky enough to get custody of Wink this month.
It’s fascinating to know you hold the only printed copy of a book. The book itself has a delightful cover, showing a peaceful scene with presumably the same book resting on a bench. If we could see the cover of the miniature book we would probably find a further picture of a book on a bench, and so on. Leyton encourages people to send photographic evidence of the story’s safe arrival and he then publishes the results in a blog. Readers then choose the next recipient and before posting the book, add their comments in the space left at the back of the volume.
The story itself is well written and interesting, quite good enough for inclusion in any anthology of modern short stories. It is raised out of the vast sea of competent stories by the ‘one copy’ concept. It’s a mainstream story, addressing family relationships, and might very easily sink in a large slushpile. Equally, normal self-publishing might fail to attract attention as there is no special genre to advertise. Instead, the author has chosen to make a small but unique mark on the publishing map with his quirky but delightful idea. The result is publicity for the stories themselves and also great enjoyment of the story of the stories.
I asked permission to publish a photograph of Wink here, and was told publication on blogs was actively encouraged.
If you’re interested in Wink and its fellow stories, or just in following their fortunes, here’s the place to find out more.