This publisher is selling local indie fiction in a Philly vending machine - Philly


Nov. 21, 2013 10:30 am

This publisher is selling local indie fiction in a Philly vending machine

The Head and the Hand Press, which operates a writers coworking space and is seeking digital art submissions for a new anthology, is launching this vending machine initiative at Elixr coffee in Rittenhouse.

This vending machine will have local independent fiction published by the Head and the Hand Press. After Dec. 5, you'll be able to find it in Elixr Coffee in Center City.

The team behind the Head and the Hand Press isn’t letting its old craft dictate an old strategy. The self-called craft publisher, which operates a writers coworking space in Fishtown we’ve profiled, is launching two new initiatives to put their writers in more local hands and a third with a decidedly tech angle:

  • Community Supported Publishing — We’ve told you before that this program will take a page from the Community Supported Agriculture programs that are utilized throughout the city with what amounts to a subscription model for its books. It starts at $50.
  • Indie fiction vending machines — short, digestible fiction called ‘chapbooks’ will be sold for $2 out of a vending machine at popular Center City coffee shop Elixr starting next month. Read how Head and the Hand founder Nic Esposito pulled it together here.
  • Asteroid Almanac — The second in its series of anthologized short works will focus on “global and interplanetary contemplation” and Esposito tells us he wants creative angles from technologists — not just written word but visualizations, designs, maps and the like. The deadline is Dec. 13 and can be submitted here.

To launch its vending machine initiative, the Head and the Hand Press is hosting a launch party 7pm Dec. 5 at Elixr, the coffee shop which will host this first trial.

The idea of putting a local spin on vending machines isn’t totally new ground: Snack Like a Local is an Old City company that puts homegrown treats in vending machines around the region.


Christopher Wink

Christopher Wink is a cofounder and Editorial Director of, the local technology news network. In that capacity, he is a co-organizer of Philly Tech Week, Baltimore Innovation Week, Delaware Innovation Week and other events that bring smart people together. Previously, Wink worked for a homeless advocacy nonprofit and was a freelance reporter for a variety of publications. He writes regularly about news innovation and best business practices on his personal blog here and curates a personal monthly newsletter of ideas and links here. The bicycle commuter loves cities, urban politics and squabbling about neighborhood boundaries.


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