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DIY Poetry Publishing Cooperative

April 30, 2006

Since we're also talking DIY marketing/publicity...

...in the comment thread below, now seems like a good time to mention two books I have been meaning to talk about here anyway.

The first is 101 Ways to Sell Poems by Chris Hamilton-Emery of Salt Publishing. I just got this & I've only started flipping through it. I hope to be able to share some detailed notes about it here soon, but in the meantime the catalog pages offers a description & excerpt. The book is divided into four sections: Making Poetry Submissions, Building Your Profile, Sorting Your Book & Selling Your Book. Some of the information in the first two chapters will probably be familiar to many, but assertions like "reviews don't sell books" (which is not to say you shouldn't try to get some), "most poetry is sold to women who are currently over 50 years of age" & "for most publishers the cost of 60 review copies plus their postage will wipe out the profit" might surprise. (And did you know Salt uses POD to print their books? Chris talks about POD's advantages in this interview from Jacket.)

The second book is How to Make a Living as a Poet by Gary Mex Glazner, which just happens to be published by my favorite indie press. (Ahem.) Gary has done some really amazing things to promote poetry, his own & others'. For instance, he's put his books in the nightstands & on the pillows of hotel guests. The multicity, multipoet bus tour? Gary's been there, done that, had it paid for with a liquor sponsorship & even made a documentary about it. No idea is too ridiculous for this man to consider & most of them he gets away with. Here's an interview with Gary. He's also got a blog, of course.

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  • And speaking of review copies -- I sent out a numbe, knowing that in most cases the places sent would not end up reviewing them -- but, I was surprised with places like Poetry Daily and Verse Daily -- I sent copies in January -- and they have yet to even list the book in their "complete list" of publications received.

    Will have to get that Salt book.

    By Blogger RL, at 12:26 PM  

  • yeah, i've noticed things sometimes take a while to show up on those lists. they do, eventually. imagine how many books they must get!

    i send freebies to poets house. they attempt to list and catalog every poetry book published in the US each year, have an annual showcase exhibit, & make the books available in their library here in nyc. i don't know if it makes any difference at all in terms of sales or readership. but i like the idea of the books living in their very lovely space & being archived like that.

    By Blogger shanna, at 12:34 PM  

  • Shanna, I just saw this on wom-po: chapbookfinder.com. It looks to be another useful resource.

    [And what kind of sick word verification is kxmnvxvk ? ;-)]

    By Blogger Ivy, at 2:13 PM  

  • hmm, thank ivy. that's new to me! (i'll add them to the resource links.)

    By Blogger shanna, at 2:32 PM  

  • Yes, I sent copies to Poets House and they were pretty quick about adding us to their database. If some people get to read the poems that way, that's good enough for me.

    By Blogger RL, at 5:39 PM  

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