Oh, my goodness! I hadn’t realised how long it was since I last posted anything on this blog. May, it was, and now it’s September. The summer we’ve had has been and gone and it’s not long till the autumn equinox. In fact it feels so long since I last wrote here that I’ve almost forgotten how to do it. My blog book has sold all of twenty copies – to kind friends and fellow writers – but never mind. What I’m writing about now is a real book, one that’s been published by a publisher. I think it looks rather splendid, I must say, kind of mysterious and enigmatic.
A House of Empty Rooms is published by Indigo Dreams. The trade publication date is 11th September (perhaps not the most auspicious of dates) but copies are already available from me and from the publisher. If you want to see some sample poems (and incidentally a picture of me), you can find them here.
As I’m sure many people know, the way poetry publishing works is that the author buys copies from the publisher at a reduced price and sells them at full price, which means it is possible to make a profit. The poet also gets a royalty on any copies sold by the publisher, which adds a little more. People who are familiar with other types of publishing will know that often the author gets an advance on royalties upfront, but poetry publishers aren’t usually in a position to work in that way. And unless you’re the likes of Seamus Heaney or Carol Ann Duffy, a poetry collection will sell in pretty small numbers, certainly hundreds rather than thousands. The people who buy poetry collections are more likely to be poets and poetry aficionados than members of the general reading public, and unfortunately some people still regard poetry as something difficult and arcane which isn’t for them. All of this means that the onus is on the poet to publicise her/his work as widely as possible, through launches and readings and on the internet. All of which is really rather fun, especially if it’s your first book and an opportunity to get known more widely as a poet.
Speaking of which, I’ve got two launches coming up down here in Devon, with two very fine local poets. The first one is with Julie-ann Rowell, whose pamphlet of poems about Joan of Arc, Voices in the Garden, is published by Lapwing Poetry, and the second is with Ian Royce Chamberlain, whose collection Vertigo & Beeswax is published by Oversteps Books. Reviews of both books will appear on this blog shortly, and I can assure you they are both very well worth buying. In case anyone out there is interested in coming to either launch, here are the flyers. I’ve just discovered a wonderful website called Canva which enables you to design posters and flyers of all sorts and have put the flyers in here because I was rather pleased with them. Even if you can’t come to the launches, I do hope you will consider buying the books.