I started biyuti publishing mostly as a way to self publish some of my writing and, well, it kind of snowballed from there as other twoc asked if I could help them. I wanted to.
The interest and responses I got from people made it clear that twoc needed a platform to be heard. A place where we could publishing something other than memoirs.
This platform is still needed.
I just can’t be the one to provide it, as much as I’d love to.
There were a lot of things I wanted to do, regarding how to run biyuti publishing. I quickly realized that, well, what I wanted to do was impossible in a capitalist system.
At the very beginning, I insisted that people were compensated for their labour. Certainly not as much as they were worth and what they deserved but something. I also wanted writers to reap the whole benefits of their labour, which is why there was a 100% royalty policy.
It’s funny (but not). I tried my best to mainly work with twoc (or trans poc). The biggest barrier with this was… everyone was poor and working too hard. Very little energy or time to work for what, frankly, wasn’t enough money. It’s a cycle that feeds itself.
I honestly hated trying to run a business. I didn’t want to think about profits and all that stuff. I especially hated the reality that it truly impossible to run an ethical business in a capitalist system. No matter what I tried, someone’s labour was going to be exploited. Since I refused to push that on anyone else, I was that that someone.
This was, in a way, supposed to be less of a traditional publishing operation and more as a way to guide twoc through self-publishing. It’s why I picked pressbooks as the backbone for the site. It was supposed to do the hard work of book layouts.
In reality, I ended up being a site manager, book editor, graphic designer, and book designer. With some other stuff. Ultimately, publishing what books we did required a great deal of uncompensated labour on my part. At a time in my life when I was struggling with money and disability.
As time went on, my disabilities became harder to manage, as well as acquiring a brand new one that involved chronic pain. I was struggling to hold down my day job, much less having the capacity for extra, uncompensated work. At this point, I’m on disability and unable to do work of any kind. Even as I write this, my head is throbbing and I’m having trouble focusing.
I tried to hold on for as long as possible, particularly as I’d been working on a particular project that is super important.
But… I just can’t.
So… there you have it. Why we haven’t published anything in years and why this project failed.
I’ve cancelled the membership system. It never generated a huge amount of money to begin with. What money is left will be used to pay the hosting costs for the website, so that it can stay up.
— biyuti, aka b. binaohan, aka mxbees