Publishers are not to be trusted, and a poet (thank you, Oscar Wilde) can survive anything but a misprint. Yes, I did it again.

Publishers are not to be trusted, and a poet (thank you, Oscar Wilde) can survive anything but a misprint. Yes, I did it again.

We live in a marketing age and it is very easy for poets to get lost. It is necessary to promote them, or at least we’ve accepted that it is. Hence Twitter and tweeting, Facebook and fleeting, Blurb and bleating.

I do my best in this world of pzazz and huzza. However, I make mistakes. I blame the Fs. After all, I never had a problem with Cliff Ashby. It is because Cliff Forshaw’s second name also begins with . . . F.

But I should explain: when people arrive at the HappenStance website, they can elect to receive the email newsletter. Quite a lot do just this. The emails go out three or four times a year, with news of new publications and exciting (sic) events. From my point of view, this is a good thing, since it elicits a small skirmish of orders, and that’s what keeps the boat afloat, the flag flying and the metaphors mixing.

On the other hand, it is one more thing to do in the list of necessities for each new publication. Things such as:

  • registration with Nielsen
  • bio page and photo on website
  • scan cover for online shop
  • information data for online shop
  • open sales file and author address labels
  • do the marketing flyer and electronic flyer
  • do the review slip
  • ask poet for review addresses
  • remember dog chews for printer’s dogs
  • pick up publication from printer
  • check bank balance
  • pay printer
  • pay artist
  • post out review copies
  • post out complimentary copies
  • send to copyright libraries
  • send to Scottish Poetry Library
  • send to National Poetry Library
  • send author copies to author
  • send cheque or more copies to author
  • enter for PBS quarterly choice (3 copies)
  • send to my mother
  • create a storage space
  • include new publication in the diagram that helps me find where in the spare bedroom each publication is hiding
  • send out for Sphinx review (three reviewers who are not current authors)
  • mention in blog

So the email newsletter comes last. I don’t want it to be a straight repeat of what’s written elsewhere because that’s boring. So I write something new.

Last week it was something about Jennifer Copley’s Living Daylights, Chapter 5 of The HappenStance Story, and Cliff Forshaw’s Tiger.

Or it should have been Cliff Forshaw’s Tiger, but Cliff proved my downfall. I called him Geoff. I have a good friend called Geoff, whom I email every week. That could have had something to do with it.

I don’t think Cliff Forshaw gets the newsletter. He hasn’t said anything about it yet . . .




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