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DIY Poetry Publishing Cooperative

August 31, 2005

DIY Spotlight: Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs

CAConrad and the PhillySound blog present a new feature on Brenda Iijima, publisher of Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs. Check it out.

Introducing: Lame House Press!

A brand new chapbook press, by Gina Myers, who also coedits the Tiny.

Be on the look out for their first release, Sister by Gabriella Torres, coming soon.


August 17, 2005

Poems for All!

Thanks to Chad Parenteau (linked up at right under Individual Writers with Chapbooks) for pointing out the Poems for All series, by Richard Hansen and friends at 24th Street Irregular Press, out of Sacramento.

Poems for All produces mini books of single poems and distributes them free. Totally cool idea.

Check them out here.

August 15, 2005

Announcing Mark Lamoureux's Film Poems!

Katalanche Press (just added to the Chapbook Publisher links in the sidebar) will release this new chapbook by Mark Lamoureux this week, and celebrate it with party & reading in Cambridge, MA on Friday.

Copies and more info are available here.


August 12, 2005

Saints of DIY: Walt Whitman

I live in Brooklyn near Fort Greene Park, which Walt Whitman helped to found. One of the newspapers he used to work for, the Brooklyn Eagle, used to be located not far from here. These are among the many reasons I love my neighborhood; I think I've soaked up lots of Whitmanic inspiration.

Before becoming an energetic journalist and legendary poet, Whitman worked as a printer's apprentice, mastering the production methods necessary to produce newspapers and books; as a newspaperman he honed his editorial skills and reporting and learned about distribution and publicity; he even owned a bookstore briefly...all before self-publishing his first volume of poetry, Leaves of Grass in 1855, which he had printed and distributed by a local Brooklyn firm, Fowler Bros. Printing.

Whitman's DIY gumption didn't stop there. After the book's initial release he sent copies to several writers he admired, including Ralph Waldo Emerson. When Emerson wrote him a glowing letter of praise in response, Whitman published the letter as a blurb (without Emerson's permission) in the second edition. Among the disparate critical responses to Whitman's work, two absolutely gushing reviews stood out...and were later discovered to have been written by the poet himself.

Read Whitman's self reviews here and here.

CAConrad has been asking poets what they think about Whitman's bold attitude and posting their answers at the PhillySound Blog. I wrote a little answer myself that should appear soon (in case you can't already guess how I feel about old Walt!).

Check them out here.

REMINDER: Launch party for Kitchen Press tonight!

You Being You By Proxy by Justin Marks, the first release from Kitchen Press, will be published August 12th, 2005.

Pick up your copy at the celebration reading!

Justin Marks & Amy King
Brooklyn New Poets Readings
The Fall Cafe
307 Smith Street
Friday, August 12
7:30 p.m.


August 10, 2005

Call for reviews

If you've a mind to review a chapbook, zine, or micropress production, feel free to send your prose this way for public posting. [Email address in right sidebar.] Payment will be a complimentary copy of something by Half Empty/Half Full. Please include the links or ordering instructions for the presses if possible. Ideally, the publication(s) you review should be currently in print and available for purchase or swap.

This being a web ring to support and promote DIY and micropress publishers, I'd prefer the tone of any submitted reviews to reflect that mission. (That doesn't mean you can't be critical in a thoughtful, respectful manner.)

I'm also happy to link to reviews of DIY & micropress stuff that you've published on your own blog or site.


DIY Spotlight: Future Tense & Powell's in Portland, OR

Kevin Sampsell's Future Tense Books out of Portland, Oregon, publishes books & chapbooks of fiction, poetry, kink, sass & humor in pocket-sized volumes that pack plenty of punch. So cheeky! Check out their catalog here. Future Tense started as a self-publishing venture in Spokane, Washington. Read an interview with Kevin here.

Kevin also manages the small-press section at the country's favorite (blue, union-organized) indie bookstore, Powell's. The physical Powell's is a browser's dream, spanning an entire block of downtown Portland, with annex stores for technical and culinary books, and even an airport store. The online store is bibliophilia-inspiring. Read about Powell's here.

Powell's small-press section carries zines, chapbooks, and other DIY swag. For information about how to get your stuff into Powell's, contact Kevin at kevin dot sampsell at powells dot com.

August 05, 2005

DIY spotlight: dbqp + pdqb

Visual poet Geof Huth creates mini editions (and sometimes single copies) of handmade books, leaflets, pamphlets and other printed matter for his presses dbqp & pdqb. And they are available for miraculous prices--many less than $1!

Check out Geof's dbqp catalog for some fantastic inspiration, including alternative bindings, rubber stamping, shaped papers, miniatures, etc.

More at the pdqb blog here.

August 04, 2005

Selling your stuff: Consignment

So, some of you are ready to start looking around for places to sell your chapbooks and zines. (And I listed a few NYCentric ones to try here a few weeks ago--scroll down.)

The consignment set up goes something like this: You, the publisher, ask the bookstore to stock your zine or chap. (Many stores have special sections for zines, chaps, and other consignment items. If you're dropping by for the first time look for this shelf or rack to see what kind of things they might be into and whether you'd be a good fit.) The bookstore agrees to take a small number of copies and put them on display. You and the bookstore enter into either a written or verbal agreement about the terms. Generally they will not be responsible for lost or damaged copies. You will be required to check in on them every once in a while (perhaps according to a set schedule, either by calling or coming by) and restock as necessary, deliver new issues, etc. When you check in, if you've sold copies they will pay you a portion of the cover price for each, and keep a small percentage. (For instance, they might pay you 60% of the cover price and keep 40%.) All unsold copies will be returned to you.

Some tips: Let the store know that you will send people their way--either via your web site or annoucements at your local readings, etc. Offer them a flier, poster or a stack of postcards for the counter to draw the attention of browsers. In some cases you may want to offer a complimentary review copy and check back later, to give them a chance to check it out.

Expanding into other cities: Unless your focus is strictly local, there's no reason you can't try to market your publication in other cities. For instance:

Quimby's in Chicago is a great bookstore open to selling zines and chapbooks on consignment. Here's their info page and the form you'd need to submit to get started. (Their Consignment Terms & Form is a good example of what you might run into elsewhere.)

Atomic Books in Baltimore is another great bookstore that carries DIY zines and books. Check out their info page here. (See "consignment inquiries.")

Zine & E-Zine Resource Guide: A list of stores that carry zines, with links to their individual sites and descriptions of what they carry and how to order. Check it out.

Ask friends in other cities for their suggestions. And bookstores are not the only places you can try to interest in consignment deals. Record stores, comic book stores, vintage clothing stores, newsstands, and some coffee shops are all worth a shot too. (Chain bookstores for the most part will not be willing to work with you on consignment.)

August 01, 2005

Launch party this Friday for The Tiny!

Editors Gina Myers and Gabriella Torres invite you to join them this Friday, August 5 at 6:30 p.m. to celebrate the release of The Tiny issue #1. (They are linked in the sidebar too--go check them out.)

Readings by Jim Behrle, Erica Kaufman & Maureen Thorson
Music by I Feel Tractor (Eddie Berrigan)

Pete's Candy Store
709 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(L to Lorimer, G to Metropolitan)

Announcing the new issue of Carve and Carve chapbooks!

Issue #6 of Carve just arrived in the mail with poetry features by Bill Marsh, Clark Coolidge, Dorothea Lasky, Emma Barnes, Yuri Hodspar, & Mark Lamoureux. And in his letter from the editor, Aaron Tieger announces that CARVE Editions will begin publishing chapbooks in Fall 2005, with the release of birds for example by Jess Mynes and zing by Christopher Rizzo. (Rocking good news.)

Check out the web site here.


Announcing FlatCity Press!

Editors Adam Cole, Kelly McGuinness & Betsy Wheeler just released their first book last night. FlatCity Anthology is a hand-stitched anthology of Ohio State University poets including Sam Austin, Rebecca Barry, Drew Blanchard, Jenny Burdge, David Citino, Debbie Diemont, Angie Estes, Kathy Fagan, Sean Flanigan, Jason Gray, Gay Hadley, Andrew Hudgins, Lesley Jenike, Jill Khoury, Stephen Kuusisto, Mike Lohre, Jeredith Merrin, Dan O'Dair, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Catherine Pierce, Rita Rich, Andrea Scarpino, Natalie Shapero, Carrie Shipers, Maggie Smith, Somer Sterud, Benjamin Vogt, & Ayana Wilson.

Check out their web site (and place your order) here.