Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added)
is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.
--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Throne Jacket, goodreads, etcetera

THE BEAUTEOUS JACKET

See that? That, my dear friends and well wishers and passers-by, is the design for the hardcover jacket and the paperback cover of The Throne of Psyche (Mercer University Press, April 2011.) The smashingly lovely image is by my friend (more about books with him in an upcoming post) Clive Hicks-Jenkins. The designers seem to have manipulated it--the image is flipped, which we suggested, but it also seems to have pulled the layers apart slightly to create more of a 3-D effect. In the process, the sunflowers go softer and the levels of image separate. Interesting. (Graphic design: Burt & Burt Studio of Macon, Georgia.)

GOODREADS

The paperback is already listed at Amazon, and I found the cover first at goodreads.com. Speaking of goodreads, I joined today because my friend, the bookstore manager extraordinaire and author Erica Eisdorfer. She twisted my arm (note arm-twisting motif continued from cover.) Not sure why I avoided it earlier. Fear of trolls? Fear of even more shredding of time? Don't know. But I shall try it. See you there, maybe.

YOUR SHOPPING LIST

Be sure and buy several (or several dozen or more!) copies if you wish to save me from anxiety! Six books forthcoming: I can't figure out if that's bad or that's good in terms of getting them out in the world. It's a little intimidating.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Speaking of social media and books . . . I had come to the conclusion that facebook was a place mostly for utter frivolity and silliness (and not so much for bookishness) when I asked a question of poets about 1:00 a.m. this morning. I was working on my galleys for The Throne of Psyche. Tiny question: 145 comments. So maybe facebook is more bookish than you would think. Than I would think! However, somehow a blue paisley garter belt and a pink slip crept in before we were done. So maybe it has an insane and irretrievable bent toward the frivolous

PODCASTS, ETC.

I am making some podcasts for six poems due out at The Flea and qarrtsiluni. And am wondering: to what degree is multi-media the way to market poetry books. I hate to be thinking so much about marketing . . . and yet three poetry books will need a certain amount of push to fly off into the world, won't they? My friend Paul Tree (who is not really a Tree) tells me that multi-media is the way to go.

13 comments:

  1. I look around me, Marly, and what do I see?
    I see people reading more than ever before, but in a slightly different way than they ever did before. Text messaging and small blogs and comment boxes have become a way of life for many people who would never have put 'pen to paper' or picked up more than the daily newspaper. Reading and writing is back in fashion. Text messaging leads to comments online. Comments online lead to small blog that lead to longer articles that lead to books.
    'Books', however, are losing ground to the New Scroll. One scrolls through novels on iPads and Kindles with image and links and audio sound ranging from the spoken word to ambient sound appropriate for the text one is reading.
    Poetry is so rich in imagery; so rich in SOUND.
    Poetry is now something that people can both see and watch, as well as read. This does not appear to have been explored as much as it will be. Yet.
    Show me the poet who does not enjoy reading their poetry? (I would imagine there are a few, but on the whole....)
    Show me the poet that would not wish to hear their poetry read as THEY would wish it to be read?
    Do you really like leaving that crucial element in the reader's hands? You KNOW they will be missing stuff that you so wish to share with them!
    Make that marketable. That's what I say.

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  2. You have the Tree-wisdom, Paul! Thanks for that...

    New Scroll. Yes, that's an interesting way to consider it, isn't it?

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  3. Social media are exactly as useful as we decide to make them. Speaking of which, if the book's at Amazon and Goodreads, why do you not include links in this post? Grouch, grumble.

    Beautiful cover, though. Off to pre-order...

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  4. Hey Dave--

    Yes, I should do that... shall do that! I do think about links but failed out of sleepiness and laziness and general fecklessness!You are the king of linkmakers, and I obey your wisdom, just as soon as I finish tweaking what I am tweaking...

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  5. Oh, and thank you! Readers, devoutly to be wished!

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  6. Hello Marly! I am back! I won't be buying anything till I move to the new place, sometime in Feb., but I shall keep it in mind then.
    It is a lovely jacket indeed, and you are fortunate to have such good and gifted visual friends, which all of us word people devoutly should cultivate. Business minded folks too, since most of us have neither of these gifts.
    As to marketing, I say, with Paul, read away, on whatever media you can think of! Wish I had pull with someone to bring you out to this end of the country for a reading tour.

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  7. Robbi,

    It won't even be out till April!

    I'm afraid that I never cultivated anybody but have lived life the regular old higgledy-piggledy way! And that has resulted in friends of all sorts except I don't know many lawyers or business people.

    Nobody much pays for poet-travel (unless you're Seamus Heaney or some such), and I'd have to flog an awful lot of California copies to pay for a plane ticket! But it would be interesting.

    I was talking some time ago to a Canadian poet who sells his books door-to-door. People are enterprising... though I can't imagine doing such a thing.

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  8. Nor I, Marly. Too bad I don't have a berth at the U or anywhere, for that matter. They have the wherewithal to bring people out and arrange other readings too. I have done it myself, when I used to run a student led reading series at UCI. But those were the well-oiled days of loose cash, gone forever, I fear.

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  9. Definitely!

    Most publishing houses aren't doing tours much anymore either--another form of loose change thrown in small amounts at authors who did not have a "lead" book. Many upcoming books are just coming out with arranged reviews and interviews--a form of push that, as always, favors the "lead" book on a big house list.

    It's a curious business, at times revolving around prophecy and gut feeling.

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  10. Really eye-catching cover, Marly! Congratulations!

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  11. Hi Clare--

    Thanks! Glad you like it. The only credit I can take is a talented friend! Good artist, good designers. I'm happy.

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  12. Just ordered it through Amazon uk via Clive's place, who had a link to it but on Amazon US... but I got there!

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  13. Lucy,

    The entire realm of Poesy stands up and bows! Thank you, Lucy; I hope you like it! It is fantastically pretty, I think--haven't seen a final version yet, of course, but everything looks good. Love the way the leaves sprinkle on through the book.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.