My name is Jason Pettus; I'm the sole employee of GAD, and GAD exists only to publish my creative work, which I guess technically makes it a vanity press, although I do try to take it as seriously as any other basement press. Unsurprisingly, I come from a background of self-publishing in the paper format, back in the zine world of the 1980s when I was involved with the punk community in Missouri (both St. Louis and Columbia). I cranked out a whole series of publications in those days, some of which went on to great infamy, as touring indie-rock bands would snag whole piles of copies and distribute them nationally; some of the titles that come to mind from those days include Generation of Chaos, Ka-Bang!, ...and add milk, and easily the most popular, The Lovesick Quarterly, a comical guide to my undergraduate dating misadventures.
I moved to Chicago in 1994 and took a two-year break from publishing; by 1996, though, I yet again had a completed manuscript on my hands, my first collection of monologues from my time at the local open mics. Since I had already decided by then that I would be writing short literary books on a pretty regular basis, I figured I would give a formal name to the designing and publishing "machine" that was actually putting out the copies, even if that machine was completely controlled by me; it was a way to feel more professional, which then kept the work more professional, and also a way to differentiate my "business" time from my "creative" time at the dreaded "tax" time.
From 1996 to 2001 I published GAD titles exclusively as short paper books; the print runs were done on demand at retail places like Kinko's, so were prohibitively expensive, although I do estimate that I ended up printing and distributing at least 5,000 copies of GAD titles in that time. In 2001 I received my first copy of Adobe Acrobat Professional (the software that allows a person to create PDF files); I also received my first-ever dedicated internet-server space, courtesy of fan and friend Jimi Sweet, which is when I also started converting my books into electronic format for the first time. As the costs of paper and printing have done nothing but get more expensive in that time, and the costs of electronic publishing have done nothing but get cheaper, I have shifted my publishing plans into almost exclusively electronic ones now.
It takes me quite awhile to raise the money for major full-color paper print runs; instead of spending that money on GAD and my own work anymore, I publish paper versions of artists featured at my arts organization, the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography (CCLaP). I feel that this is hard-earned money better spent on very limited resources; those who are simply interested in reading my old work can make do just fine, I believe, with the free electronic files found here (or printouts of said files done on their own end). That said, I do still continue to occasionally publish new books of personal material here at GAD, although now just for fun, as well as new compilations of old material. You can always check the main list of titles for the latest.