The Last 48…

Posted: April 30, 2010 in General, Other Writing
Tags: , ,

So the last 48 hours have been pretty interesting. First things first of course, is yesterday’s webinar.

At 1pm I attended a Webinar, ‘How to Publish a Book of Poetry’. hosted by Robert Lee Brewer, writer of the Poetic Asides blog for Writers Digest, and editor of the book Poets Market. So he very literally wrote the book on getting your poetry published.

Anyway, the session was informative and gave good information on what a writer should do.

Ok, now the real deal. I enjoyed the session, but I felt that it was a bit general. Some of the advice that was given I feel like I’ve seen on other internet blogs or just seemed like things a writer serious about publication would know by now. Not to belittle the information however, because sometimes people don’t know. For me however, I feel like it would have been a bit more useful to me a year or so ago, when I had just decided that I would publish a book of poetry.

One of the things that I wasnt clear on before I attended the session however was the status of poems published on a blog. Apparently, that’s just what they are; published. A poem put on a blog is considered a self published work at that point, and more than likely can’t be submitted for contests and such. At this point that’s fine for me because I havent submitted for any contests, but that is also something that I need to change. A big part of starting a following and getting your name out is by submitting for contests.

There was other useful information of course but as I said, some of it to me was a bit repetitive. It did let me know however that I am at least headed in the right direction.

So, later on yesterday night I went to a poetry slam/competition (another tip given in the session was to attend events such as slams, readings, local contests), and read a piece I did which I haven’t published here at this point, but it’s called ‘Til Death’. I might include that later this month. Month meaning the next 30 days, it’s the 30th after all.  Anyway, in listening to the other poets that read before and after me, I realized that while poetry is less restrictive than other forms of expression and writing, there are still rules. I say that to mean, there are certain subjects that can be written about by women it seems, but not men. Or not as well anyway. Simply because of the perception of the words coming from the speaker. At the same time however, because of the real lack of rules in poetry, there’s a lot of leeway. Thats why I enjoy writing much more than anything else. As a writer you can take liberties that you can’t take in other disciplines because of the structure.

Finally, this morning. Another tip in the webinar yesterday was to search out publishers who take submissions of poetry. So of course I went to the all-knowing internet God whom we all worship, Google. One of the things which came up was PublishAmerica. While I feel like I had seen this website before, I was still newly intrigued by what seemed like the ease of the process for getting a book published, and their claim to be a traditional publisher.  Being just a bit seasoned in the process of writing, blogging, and searching for a publisher however, I knew the best idea was to visit Writer Beware. If you are a writer, poet, looking for an agent or publisher and don’t know about Writer Beware, please acquaint yourself with their site and their mission.

Anyway, I checked out writer beware and found out about some of their less than reputable practices which are in no way conducive to writers and their success as authors. Such as ‘suggesting’ that writers buy their own books. Not going through the process to make a book available to libraries. Paying $1 royalties. Paying %8 royalties on the first 6000 books an author sells, then moving to %50 after 6001. Having a writer sign a 7-year contract for their book.  For more information about what im talking about, check out the following links.

http://www.sfwa.org/2010/04/publishamerica-strikes-again/

http://www.lisamaliga.com/publishamericaisprintamerica.htm

http://www.lisamaliga.com/publishamericagetaway.htm

Apparently, over 30,000 Authors have fallen into the trap of PublishAmerica. This is why research is so important, especially as a writer.

Part of me feels like it’s a good thing its this hard to get published. That way, only those who are truly, absolutely serious about getting published and getting their work read will go through all the trouble to get it done. At the same time however, it discourages good writers from submitting as well because they believe it’s too much trouble for not enough reward. You clearly have to love what you’re doing to go through this whole process. And here I am, chugging along.

I think I can I think I can…

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