Dead Dove Publishing Favorite 



May 5 2021


Online, Atlanta GA

User @ArmoredSuperHeavy on Twitter recently posted a master document detailing their explorations into bookbinding, fanfiction preservation, and the online gift economy. Their bookbinding venture, named Dead Dove Publishing, is a project that seeks to preserve and legitimize fanworks and celebrate the fandom gift economy. The document explains their actions and the work they have done since they began two years ago. By binding fanfiction and other underground works, they consider themselves a "guerilla publisher" and so far they have bound 90 books. For their works of fanfiction, one book goes to the author and another gets placed in their growing physical collection. Their rationale for this ongoing project has multiple angles. They seek to demonstrate the validity of fanfiction as a genre, disrupt notions of what is valuable enough to be memorialized, act against capitalism and participate in the traditional gift economy of fandom, preserve fandom history for future generations, and demonstrate against censorship in fiction.

They design their homemade books in a deliberately conservative fashion, mimicking the style of more legitimate publishing houses in a statement about the legitimacy of fanworks. They began two years ago with the goal of binding 100 works. So far, they have bound 90 books and while they are on track to meet their goal this summer, they have no intention of stopping.

On Wednesday, May 5th, ArmoredSuperHeavy posted a document, an 87 page long novel in itself, to their Twitter explaining their work and providing instructions for other fans to follow in their footsteps, teaching them how to bind books themselves.

At the end of their introduction to the bookbinding manual, they write, "If we are serious about being connected, if we would like to have each other as a modern-day "found family" in the queer tradition, rather than a bunch of randoms unified only by commercially unsavory thirst-consumerism, then we have to do the work to stay connected in an environment where nobody but us gives a fuck about our community, and none of the monetized structures we exist within online are going to go out of their way to support or enable that.

"We have to do it; it's up to us."

Posted by mmb9340 on

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How does this project help?

Timeframe For change


While the audience for this one user's work is small and their own ability to preserve fanworks is limited, the creation of this book to give others the ability to learn how to bind books themselves makes the reach of this project that much greater. The author has preserved 90 works of fanfiction already and their work in making the techniques more widely available increases their potential impact greatly.