Monday, April 21, 2014

Springtime book news roundup

Clive Hicks-Jenkins,
interior vignette for Glimmerglass

Phoenicia Publishing news: they are having a spring sale in honor of National Poetry Month. I posted about this earlier, or go straight to Phoenicia. Please share a link and information. Small presses need your help to find new audience. Yes, you!

Mary Meriam's Irresistible Sonnets is out from Headmistress Press, and fits the title--many wonderful poems and much variety. Here is the anthology as featured at Lady Word of Mouth.  Please support the book by spreading the word and/or by a purchase.

Thanks to those who commented on RT's poetry questions here and at facebook--take a look if you haven't seen them, and feel free to toss in your two cents.

The Big Poetry Giveaway is on through the end of the month; if you want to toss your name in the hat for one of my books (and a second book by another writer), leave a note in the comments here.

I expect to declare the patreon experiment a failure (same three as the first day!) fairly soon, as I don't have the right personality to drum up supporters. Perhaps I thought the whole thing would work by magic, but I am confronted with my own refusal to bang the drum. I suppose that's a good thing to realize, though why I didn't know it clearly enough already is a mystery.

Ever since the Entertainment Weekly piece that included my novel Catherwood, out-of-print copies of that book have been steadily selling at various used-book websites, and doing much better than any single one of my in-print books from the looks of things. I'd better get working on an ebook and paperback for that one. FYI, my in-print books are the recent A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage, Thaliad, The Foliate Head, and The Throne of Psyche (see tabs above for information and links.)

is the Mercer pipeline and will be out in fall...


  1. For what it's worth, I expect I'll be interested in your Patreon efforts—but between holding down two jobs and a few other personal issues lately, I simply haven't had a chance to figure out what it's all about.

    Happy Easter!

    1. I hardly have either--should post a few more times before I make a final decision. But I have realized that I have a huge deficit in the area of marketing. I just can't do certain things. My Southern ancestors forbid it! Violation of courtesy...

    2. And a very happy Easter to you, too, Jeff--you have medievalized my American landscape (you and the builders of the two Cooperstown castles, that is...)

  2. Then it's official, is it? Spring is here! (BTW, self-promotion marketing is a somewhat touchy enterprise, isn't it? But, when you think about it, aren't all writers -- except for the curmudgeonly recluses -- always called upon for marketing and promotion?)

    1. I hope spring is here. I have crocuses and snowdrops and scilla and some Lenten roses (very close to the ground, those, as yet!) But the latest Yankee snow I've seen here was May 25th, and that was 30 inches... Killed all the Japanese magnolia blooms.

      It's the fact that almost all writers must do the work of marketing that makes self-publishing so appealing. That is, one has an illusion that the publisher will take care of things and push a book, and that illusion is wrong except in the case of lead books.

      Perhaps I'm just weird--I find some aspects of marketing to be simple to do, others to be mortifying. But I've always had to do some marketing. I've published hardcovers or paperback reprints with some of the best big publishers, and not one has ever surprised me with wonderful marketing.

      The NYC publisher chooses what book (or very few books) the marketers believe will sell and promotes it/them as lead books. A lead book on the same list as my first book with them had 3 full-time marketers on for three months before the book came out, and then for some time afterward. Or so I was told. What's leftover of available pie (crumbs, I suppose) is divided unequally among the rest. I've always shared a marketer with other writers. It's just the way it is.

  3. But self-publishing leaves your book totally unsupported in any way--unlisted except by yourself, and without the eye of an editor or editors, unless you hire one. That's not good.
    Though some publishers don't pay much attention to the books they accept, others do. It behooves us to find the ones that commit to these books.

    1. Robbi,

      Robbi, I do think that you're over-estimating what a publisher will do. And I'm not without thanks for what mine have done. But the truth is that unless you have a lead book with a big NYC publisher or a real far-out "black swan" piece of luck, what is done will be rather limited and not have big results.

      "Catherwood" is already selling in larger numbers as a used book because of the EW piece, and I have the promise of a national radio piece when it returns to print. I've had a good number of publishers say that they would like to reprint, but I think that this is one I may well do myself. It has already been edited, long ago, and I'm not the sort of person who needs a lot of editing, anyway.

      So what exactly am I supposed to gain by letting a publisher manage a reprint? I'm not sure I see the benefit in letting go of my rights.

      My new books are coming out with publishers... I just don't see the advantage for a reprint.

    2. P. S. Sorry about the double "Robbi"! And I hope that wasn't too bleak... I think we writers are lured to have illusions, and if we believe in them, most of us will be disappointed when we are published. I write because I have joy in making things, and I have no illusions.


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.