My twitterdiary “Atlas butterflies”: yours for only €14, €140 or €1400.

Atlas butterflies. Cover by Jarr Geerligs

Is it a bird? Plane?

My second book Atlas butterflies is now published. It’s fun. It’s short. And it’s a bit of an anomaly.

Atlas butterflies is a diary made up of my tweets. About a thousand of them.

Everything I experienced in 2014 and thought worth wile to share has been selected, barely edited and printed into one beautiful, paperback book.

Not in there: @replies. Or nagging.

Yes but why– are you that vain?

Scrolling through old tweets, I encountered one particular tweet:

“Toen ik een kind was, leken vlinders te zweven. Nu ik volwassen ben, zie ik hoe ze bijna vallen, bij iedere vleugelslag. Hoe ze vechten.”
“As as kid, I thought butterflies floated. Now that I’m grown up, I can see how, with each bat of the wing, they’re close to falling. How they’re fighting.”

I sent this out after a visit to Artis Zoo, december 1st, 19:35. And there was more. Ideas, character snippets, jokes, links, current events.

With Vint Cerf’s warnings in the back of my mind – we’re currently creating a digital black hole – I decided to try and make a little book of all those tweets, so haphazardly slung into the big bad world. A small protest.

piles of books, semi-haphazardly positioned on a black table

From my work on The Pirate Party campaign, to quips on the World Cup. From my writing on the downing of MH17, to commercial work. Musings on current affairs. New great sites. Dozens and dozens of links, quips, analogies, jokes, aforisms, insights and photos pulled from the digital black hole’s event horizon, safely, into a book.

We really should start saving more of what we make.

For sale? Why not!

Since it’s here, removed from that metaphysical black hole, why not try and make a penny out of it? Better yet: lots of pennies, so I can write my third book?

Atlasbutterflies is written in Dutch. Based on the Twitter format, the print edition has a run of 140 copies. The pricing too, is based on the number 140. Atlas butterflies will never be reprinted.

I will sell Atlas Butterflies in three series:

Serie A — 40 copies, each for 140 dimes

(that’s €14. Stamped, numbered. Excludes shipping)
Made for great people with little cash. Currently in stock: 35

Serie B — 99 copies, each for 140 euros

(Signed, stamped and numbered. Includes my first book, signed, shipping and a one hour visit to Artis Zoo with yours truly.)
Made for great and more affluent people, willing to support an artist.
Currently in stock: 98

Serie C — 1 copy, for 140 times ten euro.

(1400 euros. Includes shipping, both editions of my first book, a two hour visit to Artis, a lunch at Plantage Restaurant, a sponsored tweet about a subject of your choosing, and — drum roll — a pdf with clickable links! That way, you can relive those tweets and all links.)
Made for a philantropists. You got it all. But you don’t have this. Currently in stock: 1

Interested? Send me an email at sidney [at] vollmer dot nl, tell me from what series (A, B or even C) you would like a copy and where you want me to send it. (And if applicable, tell me when you’d like to visit Artis Zoo.)

Also remember that, whichever copy you will buy, you will support an artist writing his third book– a personal history on digital culture.

Much appreciated.

I put those books there.

Final words at publication

Couple weeks of work. A renewed appreciation for the beauty of 2014, the beauty of publishing, and the beauty of Twitter as a writing platform– a platform of which Hemingway surely would have approved.

Shoutouts to James Bridle who showed the way, Festina.XXX & Louise Méchain for their help, Pantheon Drukkers for their amazing print work, and of course Jarr Geerligs, for his wonderful, handmade cover.

Sidney Vollmer.

ps. Last week, as I was trying to figure out what kind of paper to use, Ai WeiWei published his tweets. On ricepaper. Excellent choice, WeiWei.

Dutch tweet with relevance.

I’m a writer and copywriter. Read about my first book here, or see this vid on my award-winning bookapp.

My third book, a personal history on digital culture, will be published in 2016. Want to know more about my commercial work? See sidneyvollmer.com

Or follow me on, er, Twitter.


ps. How I created this book from tweets

There’s tools. Tweetbook.in, for instance, or Tweetbookz. But they deliver automated processes. I wanted more control on look and feel. So I downloaded my twitter archive, put the .csv file into excel, took some of the imported data (timestamps and tweets, excluding @replies) from there into InDesign.

I know there’s probably insanely easy php scripts to do this for me. Feel free to let me know. Know that doing it by hand felt pretty good, too, after all that instant sharing on Twitter.

Would you like to have one for yourself but lack the time? I am for hire. My price is, you guessed it, €140 an hour. Special price.


Where were you, december first, 2014?