image: something appropriate to break up the text

I’ve decided, finally, to look at my poetry to see if I can throw a collection together, one that might interest a publisher.

There are complications, such as that this site will stay up, and the poetry (not the collection) will remain here under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Licence permitting derivation, sharing and reuse of the poems. I’m not scared of home recording technology for books & literature, I’m looking forward to it. It’s done immense good in music, there’s far greater access to choice for consumers and musicians. There’s great opportunities for all the industry: consider Radiohead’s In Rainbows. The only losers, by their own hand, are the tyrannosaurs, with their idiotic suing of prospective customers for listening to what are now marketing channels.

The primary product is no longer what someone buys, they get that free; you sell them extras. Listen to an MP3, like it, buy a better MP3, buy a CD, buy a gig ticket, buy a T–shirt. Read a poem, like it, buy a book, buy a T–shirt (you just wait!), go hear the MP3. Hear a poem, like it, buy a better MP3, buy a CD, buy a book, buy a T–shirt! Run software, like it, buy extras, buy support, buy the box, buy a T–shirt, buy a stuffed Tux.

See a poem on a website, a fairly badly presented website to be honest, go buy a beautiful book? The poem is not what people buy, it’s the book, the poem’s the hook to buy the book. Put that hook out there, out everywhere you can, don’t hide it in artificial scarcity. Would you refuse to put an advert out because lots of people might see it?

As an aside, I’m getting nearly enough visitors here for advertising (maybe 420,000 hits this year, doubling every year or so, that’s approaching the magic million). The poem’s the free content to attract the paid for advert, an established Internet funding mechanism. With the Internet and digital copies, the poem is no longer the thing you buy, it’s the hook to the book, the MP3, the T–shirt, the gig …. Mind you, what will probably stop me taking adverts is animation, movement, intentional distraction. I won’t accept that, it’s rude, it’s the stink bomb in the lift. I appreciate the people who come to my site, I won’t annoy them.

Now, I’ve got music on this website, photography, as well as poetry. You know which content gets the most hits? The photos? No. The photos of beautiful woman sans clothing? No (which surprises me). The written poetry? No. The music? Well, sometimes. The recitals? Yes, it’s usually recorded poetry, my recitals, recently tin rush :: po, this month it’s an engineering rush (i) :: the argument. Now, given I’m not well known, this could be the artefact of the MP3 indexes that refer users here, but, every month, people come, they return. I think it’s more than just random links. The poetry, the recordings of the poetry in particular, bring the success. You can bet, incidentally, I’ll be doing something about that: watch out tunecore. I just need the time.

I wonder if I can find a publisher who’ll get this. Or at least who’ll risk it.

So, anyway, the collection. I went back through my old poems expecting to find they were pretty awful, and most should be dropped. What I actually found is most are pretty good. There are indeed some crap ones, and one or two seriously dire, but most are pretty good. Obviously this is my opinion, and I wrote the dratted things, so I might just be very biased, but, whatever, I was surprised by what I found.

So instead of assembling a possible collection, I’ve assembled a possible seven collections. Urk.

This ignores my existing home made chapbooks, and their assembly into three existing apparent collections. But those collections don’t count; they’re home made (they’re not even self-published), they’re not selected, they’ve not been edited independently.

There’s a lot of work to do with these possible collections. The poems need tightening, some with thumbscrews, before I let them near any editor. They need ordering, some more than others. But they’ve taken a basic form. So wish me luck …