Haven’t I said here I go again? I think I have said that more times than I want to imagine. Yes, I have started another new blog on another site and this is my fourth such post here. This page is supposed to be in regard to my writing life. And I am going to try my darndest to write about…writing! Okay, maybe every now and then I’ll write about my cats, or coffee, or whatever pleases on any given day.
This blog is going to be ever so slightly different, not totally personal, but, more or less, my writing life and all that accompanies the aspects of writing. I will probably include things like, writing reviews to books, movies whatever pops into my mind the day I am writing.
Right now I am focused on getting my third books of poems finished, marketed and sold. This means I am going to have to get my web site up and running again. I had to end the last site because it was costing too much and as my daughter said, it was kind of obsolete in so many ways. Nevertheless, I do have a couple of novels and screenplays finished, but a big re-write has to take place before I get ready to publish them. So, the poetry is being worked on now.
I am hearing that if you are not a big name or have a boat-load of money; poetry is one of the hardest things to publish, or for that matter, finding a manager or an agent to help you get published. You know that old saying; you can’t get published if you don’t have an agent and you can’t get an agent if you are not published.
Also, during this decade, I had been in contact with four or five Print-On-Demand (POD) publishers. Heck they called at least twice a month to find out what was going on with my manuscript. The only problem I have with PODs, they want anywhere from $599 to $16,000 to publish my manuscript.
And, on top of that, they all seemed to a-la-Carte everything which in turn drives the price up considerably. As it is I am one of those poor starving artists (writer). In fact my lunch, today, was a-la-carte, PB&J, some fries and lots of water…
A few years ago I set about trying to self-publish my book of poems. I had finally compiled all of my poems, and those of my nephews and nieces, and made a large format book, 8.5 by 11 sizes. That, in its self was quite a lot of work, so I ended up completing 20 books and sending them to my family members.
After all were sent I noticed quite a few errors. And the problem, well it starts with me and ends with me, but, I had given the manuscript to a few “friends” to have them read it and check for errors. They returned them, with the errors checked in red. So, I rewrote the manuscript and printed up a batch, then mailed them off.
It was then I noticed more errors. I should have checked and re-checked the final manuscript more than once, or I guess I was just being way too lazy. I have noticed, in my past, proofing wasn’t one of my main suits, but I am making headways, getting way better in that department.
For that manuscript, I let my neighbor read it; she gave me an opinion and let me know what she thought about it. And she did a very good job. Of course I did catch a few she missed, but she/I got the job done.
Another hold up for me was the pictures!? I had read, after I had put all of my pictures and clip art in to my manuscript that Microsoft states that I cannot use any picture or clip art for commercial purposes, even though I had purchased the program, MS Publisher or Word. Meaning, I can produce 10,000 flyers, brochures or whatever, with the pictures and clip art as long as I don’t sell em.
So, I had to re-format my manuscript, uh, take all of the pictures out. So, the first edition only has pictures of my mother and siblings, and I think a picture of a tree, a picture I took.
That also meant that I had to go and polish up my camera and take some of the pictures I needed. I needed a picture for the cover of my book and I had taken a few pictures years ago, but I couldn’t find them, still can’t find them to this day.
I was out jogging in my neighborhood one day (I do this every day) and I happened to see the perfect picture for my cover. But it would be a few weeks before I got up the nerve to go up and knock on my neighbor’s door and ask if I could take a picture of their garden. One day they were having a garage sale and the door opened for me. I got the perfect picture.
One day, a couple of years ago, I was on Amazon.com and I clicked a button, I don’t remember clicking anything, but I was directed to a site called CreateSpaces. I read into it and found out it was a publishing site, connected with Amazon.com, and they would publish my manuscript for free! Well, for $39.95 if you get the Pro version.
I think I read everything on the site about 5 times, just make sure it was true. Not really a catch, though, but they would get about 60% of the profit, meaning on a $10 sale, I would get about $3.85. This was fine with me, because I didn’t have to pay up front.
Anyway, I went through with everything and in2010 my first book of poems was there for all to see on Amazon.com. Now, I just have to get people to buy it. But, I only sold 40 or so books in these past four years. Marketing, it would seem, isn’t my cup of tea.
It’s kind of funny, because I am on quite a few social media pages with over a thousand online “friends”. For the longest time I have heard people ask when I was going to publish my book. Well, it’s here!! I guess I am going to have to send an invite to everyone on my pages, separately, so they become aware that my book is on sale.
I know I am not going to make any money off of the sale of my book, but it was written from the heart, for my mother and what she did for me in my lifetime. But, hey, 300 sales wouldn’t hurt! I’m just saying…
In this new age of publishing one has to have at least a web site. Well, it’s coming, again. I have been doing a lot of reading trying figure out the marketing aspect of this game. I have flyers, bookmarks and a couple of other things that I plan to mail, email and add to my web site, soon. Hopefully I will get the hang of this marketing thing.
And of course it wouldn’t hurt to mention the second book of poems I just published this past June. As mentioned above, it’s coming around, slowly, but it’s coming.
Manager, agent, or not, I am going to get this done. I am looking at steak and Lobster in the future…