Self Improvement Non-Fiction posted January 23, 2010


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Launch Your Voice Fanstorian !

by Xylok




Launch Your Voice Fanstorian !

I have been putting together a book of poems since I came to Fanstory, which I intend to publish. The name of the book is In the Midst of Good and Evil.

I have recieved several emails as of late asking about how I plan to make it available and I decided, since many of the people I'm referring to are friends of mine from Fanstory anyway, that I would simply detail how I plan to take my poems from my living room to living rooms abroad, all in one essay. I know what it's like to want to share your work but to not know how to accomplish doing that. Some of you have already begun this process and are sending in questions as well. I have included the answers to your respective inquiries forthwith :) -

After extensively researching the pros and cons of self-publication I have decided the best route as a nobody poet to take is not to self-publish at all, but to do what is called Print on Demand, because then you can send copies of your own book to real publishing companies.

Employ the option to "write a book" here on Fanstory, only make it so that each poem you add is a chapter unto itself. Choose a number of poems you want in your book, not how many pages it will end up being. I have opted for 125 poems per volume, and intend to have 125 volumes total in a compendium by the title I mentioned earlier.

You may have a lot of poems just sitting there alone in your portfolio that you are already happy with, or have been planning to touch up some. Why not touch them up and add them one chapter at a time to a book by a title of your choosing? There is an option for a prologue as well. I opted to add a poem as my prologue; a poem that sort of sums up what all my poetry is more or less going to be about. You may wish to skip the prologue or just put a dedication in its place.

Once you have filled it with the appropriate chapters, generally thirty to sixty poems (though you could do one book with five hundred or more if you really wanted to) in a given book, you have the option to click that the book is complete.

Make sure you only put poems in your book that are as good as you can make them on your own. The reviews that you'll get on each poem you post on fanstory will serve as reviews that future potential publishers may peruse if and when you get 'em to the point when they are borderline considering offering you money for the rights to your book.

Help yourself out by being the best poet you can be all the way through every chapter and listen diligently and slavishly to the advice that comes pouring in from experienced readers on this site. You know the difference between good advice and bad advice when you see it; trust your gut. Fix your poems if they're broken. If a line has been bugging you it's probably because it's a crappy line in an otherwise decent or maybe even stellar poem. Give your all to your work, and then give your work to the world.

Your next step, after you've purged your soul and given yourself to every detail, soaked up all the good advice and assimilated it and have produced your collection of poems (or short stories or a whole book of essays or a novel even) then use the option of fanstory to "publish your book" which is a link you will find at the bottom of your portfolio page. That will take you to an affiliate of fanstory called wordclay at www.wordclay.com.

The reason I am going with them is because they are free. They are free. They are...free. You don't have to pay to have your book made available for print-on-demand sales online! That means you can have your poetry put into legitimate, professional book form for free. Where the money comes in is when a person purchases the book from the website itself. If someone likes the advertisement and write up on your book they may purchase it. Wordclay will then print them their copy and sell it to them via credit card. They will then mail it to the person who ordered it.

Now, where the money comes in is in purchasing their upgrades and other services and options - the bells and whistles of the book world so to speak. You get a basic book for nothing, but you can pay them to add an ISBN number so that your book will be available for sale online at amazon.com or barnesandnobles.com and/or pretty much wherever books are sold online since they are all connected to the same ISBN system.

You can purchase a cooler cover, (I plan to have them use a photograph of me overlooking Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills of South Dakota which you can view by looking at the bottom of my bio in my profile if you're interested) and you can also add an audio cd with author's readings if you like so people can listen to your poetry recitations as they cruise down the highway in need of whatever type of fix you provide them :)

From there you will work with wordclay (you get like a five hour jam session with an agent about your book) about what illustrations you would like to add, or what effects, graphics, whatever you and the agent decide are best to suit your needs and when you're satisfied they go to work producing a prototype. If you like it; great! If you don't, fixing it is as simple as going back and fixing a poem here on fanstory because they'll have text boxes like the one I'm typing in right now in which you will be able to edit or add to whatever book people will be buying from that moment on; from that edit on.

Now, the fun begins: you have a book! You're not published...yet; but you have a book! So for those of you who don't want to publish but would love to have your book available to friends and family, you'd be done at this point, and your book will be ready for whoever is interested thereafter via ISBN number, and online at www.wordclay.com

From there, though, if you're interested in changing the world with your ideals and philosophies, or whether you're just interested in fame and fortune and prestige, the path is the same. You buy as many copies of your book as you can afford, or as many as you care to believe you can justify not getting returned to you if you never see a dime in return because from what I understand most publishers won't send the books back at all even if you pay for the postage and beg them to. They are not their to cater to you; they are there to make money. Sad, I know, but there it is. You can be an amazing poet and still not be nearly good enough for publication, so don't get your hopes up if you're not certain you rock hard your quill, but don't let statistics scare you away from chasing your dream, or from sharing them with others. Mail out copies of your book starting with Random House Publishing and work your way down the list you can google to find legitimate (Non-self-publication publishers) and mail them a really clever, catchy, creative, brief paragraph or two introducing yourself, your work by title, and give a synopsis.

Launch them and watch the rejection letters pile up like rejection letters tend to do, and wait for that one company from who-cares-where who finally says, 'whatever - why not', and takes a risk on you.

Take your book to poetry readings and sell autographed copies from a booth if you like. In the end though, it will always come down to whether the publisher's think your work is good enough, but taking your poetry seriously and soaking up the good advice fanstorians will give you every step of the way, is a great way to get a good poetry book put together, and getting a good poetry book put together is a superb way of reminding your great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren that you once walked the same soil...and to describe to them what the world was like as you did. Heck, if you're twisted enough, and I hope you are, you may just write them a poem directly and give them all kinds of stuff to think about from far beyond the grave! Anyway, I digress, whatever you decide, I hope you and your writing do well.

PS - For goodness' sake, don't forget to send the real publishing companies the link to your book on fanstory.



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