Monday, July 19, 2021

the self-publishing diaries | dark country

Monday was a full writing-devoted  day that started with a couple of new pieces, several blog entries for the week, and wrestling with adobe on my laptop to get the trailer for DARK COUNTRY under wraps, which took most of the afternoon. (it was initially more elaborate, but dealing with my laptop and my desk computer at work and their tendency to crash on me mid-editing, I decided to go simple and call it a day.) Friday I finished my formatting and margins and as soon as I upload the cover, a printed proof will be underway, which means I should have final copies if all goes well in early August.   Since all the sections were prose blocks, it was a little easier going than the design variations of FEED, and definitely more standard and less prone to error.  We shall see what she looks like--hopefully not crazy edits and a swift release. 

I do realize I no doubt have my work cut out for me getting copies into reader's hands, especially since this is just one of three I will be issuing this year (and people will be sick to death of the buy my book dance and just sick of my shit in  I could have waited and spaced them out a bit more, but it feels like there are new projects that are also beginning to queue up behind them--things that I will either submit to my publisher or self-publish when the time comes.   I feel like I should promote them, but the nice thing is that if they don't sell madly straight outta the gate (and who are we kidding, this is poetry) I am only affecting my own bottom line.  I am just ordering in small bunches, so the expense is minimal--just rolling what I made in the spring from FEED back into producing this book.  While obviously I can't move as many copies as a traditional publisher, I did alright with the last and hopefully will fare well with this one.  Truthfully, as long as they available and someone is reading them, that's enough for me. 

Since this video was pretty simple, I might do some more--similar to SEX & VIOLENCE where I had different sorts of videos to speak to each section of poems. Or at least a couple sections if not all of them. I have no idea if the trailers helped sales (that book did very well, even amid a pandemic release, or maybe because of that.) I also, if I can work some magic, may do some little shorts for instagram stories. Again, the stakes are low and there's room to experiment without a huge amount of pressure. But also, at the same time, you may lose people who just randomly happen upon your book in a publisher's catalog, the work of their publicity machine however big or small. All of which means there needs to be more hustle on your part even after the layout, editing, and design work is under wraps.  

While I plan to use B&N as my printer again, just distributing via dgp, and try to avoid Amazon, there is still a possibility that I could issue an e-book edition for Kindle. I am not an e-book sort of person, but know some folks are. I also know some self-publishing novelists have had success there--I have no idea if that translates to poetry, but it's worth investigating.  Mostly I am just feeling things out. 

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