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Passions in Poetry

Passions In Publishing

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Poet deVine
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0 posted 10-21-1999 09:43 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

In response to a thread in another forum:

Rhyming poetry is a favorite with the public. The publishers don't like it at all.. but then who reads/buys poetry books? Maybe we should start our own publishing company? Passions in Publishing! In fact, I'm going to copy this into the suggestion box!
Ron
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1 posted 10-21-1999 10:25 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

You remember me saying there were all these little projects I've started and never quite found the time to pursue?

This page has been sitting on the main site - unlinked and untouched - for 3 or 4 months now...

[This message has been edited by Ron (edited 10-21-1999).]
Iloveit
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2 posted 10-21-1999 10:40 AM       View Profile for Iloveit   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Iloveit

oh gosh *willing ron more time so he can finish the project* what a great idea, I think that is one book we would all buy, for ourselves and for a gift. THere are sooooo many poems and some really deserve a lot more attention than to just slip into the past, what better tribute than to be printed in a passion's poetry book.......wow!
doreen peri
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3 posted 10-21-1999 11:01 AM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

Great name for it, Ms deVine!

I mentioned this to Ron a few months ago myself and we had a lengthy discussion about it via e-mail. I was even going to do a prototype graphic layout and typeset an initial edition .... sorry I never did that, Ron.

Thyme is the problem. (but you knew that!) There's never enough Thyme. Too many Justins, but not enough Thyme.... hehehe
Nicole
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since 06-23-99
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4 posted 10-21-1999 12:12 PM       View Profile for Nicole   Email Nicole   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Nicole

Oh my goodness...what a wonderful idea! Ron, if you ever decide to pull that one off the back burner, look me up! I'll help in any way that I can!
Pepper
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since 08-19-99
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Southern Florida

Official Passions Reader
5 posted 10-21-1999 12:35 PM       View Profile for Pepper   Email Pepper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Pepper

Wonderful idea!!!!
I do so hope it becomes a reality!!!!

------------------

May your days be filled with lots of sunshine and your nights lit up by golden moonbeams
Systematic Decay
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since 09-15-99
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That place with padded walls a


6 posted 10-21-1999 06:02 PM       View Profile for Systematic Decay   Email Systematic Decay   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Systematic Decay

PdV and Ron, I think its a great idea, and I too would be happy to help in any way I can if this ever becomes reality.

------------------
"Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage."
-Billy Corgan-


[This message has been edited by Systematic Decay (edited 10-21-1999).]
Munda
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since 10-08-1999
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The Hague, The Netherlands


7 posted 10-21-1999 06:12 PM       View Profile for Munda   Email Munda   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Munda's Home Page   View IP for Munda

What a great idea ! : ) I completely agree with what "Iloveit" says, too many good poems slide into the past. If there's anything I can do to help, just let me know. : )
Nan
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8 posted 10-21-1999 07:11 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

You know I'm right beside you, m'dear... I think it's an awesome concept - Let's make it happen!!
Poet deVine
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9 posted 10-21-1999 08:49 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

What does it take to get it going? What if we have one poet that wants to publish a book of their own poetry - it would be considered a 'vanity' printing...are we equipped to do that kind of thing? What about prose? What about the myriad 'how to' ideas we have here! What about...well..sorry you got me started. I think Passions has to grow, it has a life of it's own..it's no longer just a 'place' it's a 'being'... We shall name her Passions...she is emerging from a cocoon (see the PiP worm), ready to spread her wings...and become a butterfly.. a passionate, beautiful butterfly...I am willing to do whatever it takes (packing my bags, ready to move to Michigan!) to keep her floating along, spreading her beauty throughout the world.
Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


10 posted 10-22-1999 03:27 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I'm here to help. Oh wait! I'm not a big rhyming fan. Well, I'm still here if you need me.
Ron
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11 posted 10-22-1999 03:53 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
What does it take to get it going?


Actually, a lot has already been done. The database that updates the main site has already been modified to literally write a book (using MS Word templates), the printer has been selected, amazon.com has agreed to carry the book, I have the papers for applying for an ISBN number, a few promo screens have been laid out...

In short, producing the book is workable. What we're lacking is bascially a full-blown e-commerce solution so people have a way of paying, and a shipping department (the printer won't drop-ship - I asked!) so they have a way of getting it. Details, but still time-consuming details.

quote:
Oh wait! I'm not a big rhyming fan.


Even though PdV started this thread in response to a question about rhyming poetry, that certainly doesn't mean the book would be devoted to any specific style or theme. Any more than Passions has ever been so.

I want to thank everyone for your offers and, especially, for your motivation! I promise I won't let this languish forever, especially now that I've seen I'm not the only one with such an interest. Remind me again when the main site has been updated with 2,000 poems and the new forums software is running...
Sally S.
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since 06-07-99
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12 posted 10-22-1999 01:08 PM       View Profile for Sally S.   Email Sally S.   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sally S.

Wahoo! Sounds great... Count me in, I'd love to help any way I can.
Alwye
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In the space between moments


13 posted 10-22-1999 09:20 PM       View Profile for Alwye   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alwye

Oohh, awesome idea! I'm sure every last one of us would be running to our local book stores and buying loads of the book...I do hope this becomes a reality! Let me know if I can help in any way!

------------------
*Krista Knutson*

I walk with the multitude, yet alone am I in their midst. -- Daniel L. Miller

Elizabeth
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
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America the beautiful


14 posted 10-23-1999 06:08 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

What makes the best the best?

------------------
*Elizabeth*

"Dwelt a maid belov'd and cherish'd by high and low,
But with autumn leaf she perish'd, long time ago..."

"Something sweet, something sort of grandish, sweeps my soul when thou art near..."

IsabelleSkye
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since 06-27-99
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15 posted 10-23-1999 08:51 PM       View Profile for IsabelleSkye   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for IsabelleSkye

Just a FYI note.....I work for a printing/publishing company as their office manager! LOL
Call me for an estimate!
If the book is typeset first it'll save HUGE amounts of money!
My father also works for a company who has a 6 color press that could do incredible covers! And I am friends with the owner...just ask me if ya want my help!
Izzzzzzzzzy

[This message has been edited by IsabelleSkye (edited 10-23-1999).]
DreamEvil
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16 posted 10-23-1999 09:32 PM       View Profile for DreamEvil   Email DreamEvil   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit DreamEvil's Home Page   View IP for DreamEvil

'Twould indeed be a good thing for the public and for Passions. I will also add my own voice to those which state they are willing to help with this enterprise. I would be honored to aid such an endeavour.

------------------
Now and forever, my heart hears ~one voice~.
DreamEvilŠ

RainbowGirl
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since 07-31-99
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United Kingdom


17 posted 10-24-1999 04:59 AM       View Profile for RainbowGirl   Email RainbowGirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit RainbowGirl's Home Page   View IP for RainbowGirl

Super idea...:-))

HUGS

------------------
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

Sunshine
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18 posted 10-24-1999 08:46 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Ok, some questions, as I am in favor of all of the above.

Who gets to contribute?

What is everyone's individual expense?

What if someone starts involvement within PiP [oops Ron, there's that silly acronym again...]and then feels because of such a wonderful response [i.e., dollars back] and wants to go out on their own, and take what of theirs what "has" been published to add to their other stuff...is there a copyright attached?

Or, do all dollars coming in on sales go into purchasing an even bigger server, one that will "take over the world?" While I'm asking all of these questions, here's one for Ron: Is your middle name "Philanthropist?" [That's asked with a grin and a wink - the time and effort you spend on this place, with no advertising, must cost something, and I've yet to find an explanation how you underwrite all of this - I know, a separate question, but if you can squeeze in the answer somewhere, many minds who don't, would like to know...]

Of course this spins off many more questions, but this is a good start.

Thanks, and as I said before, YES, I would like to be involved, if I may.

------------------
Sunshine
Look, then, into thine heart, and write ~~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028
Virginia


19 posted 10-24-1999 11:15 AM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

Izzy & Sunshine,
These were the types of things I had also discussed with Ron some time back via e-mail. As a matter of fact, the planning of the Unmasquerade event here in DC was to include discussion about these publishing issues when we all got together. The poster said, "Talk about publishing your work" or something like that. (It never happened, btw. We were too busy having fun)

As some of you know, I work as a graphic designer and typesetter. So, I am not a stranger to the work necessary to carry out such a project. Printers, as Izzy is aware, prefer to work with Macinotosh files in QuarkXpress. Layout in Microsoft Word is not true typesetting and the appearance of the book will reflect that. This is probably why the printer Ron spoke with requested camera-ready work, since he preferred not to work with PC Word files. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Ron). Plus, layout and typesetting cost money.... and someone needs to proofread and flightcheck the files. All of this is costly.

Sunshine, we also discussed your questions such as which works will get published and who will select the works to be published.
And of course, cost. That's the real big one. If Passions is self-publishing (meaning there is no Publisher who has reviewed a manuscript and who is ready to invest in publication), then all of the above production costs plus costs for printing and binding need to be paid by Passions. There either DOES need to be a philanthropist (lol) or those who are having their works published need to contribute evenly to the cost. Something like that. And then there's issues like: How many copies should be printed? How much should they cost per copy, etc.? What about copyrights? Can the author republish their work elsewhere? If there are profits, who keeps them?

Ron had some ideas about all of these issues when we originally discussed them.

Clearly, this is no small project. I think we all get a little spoiled by being able to push "submit" and the next thing we know we have our work "published" on the internet and an audience, to boot. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE the idea! Love it, love it, love it! AND, I will help in any way I can.

If this project proceeds (which I hope it will), please keep me in mind as cover designer! I'd be happy to show you my portfolio and samples of my work (hehehe). If you decide not to use Microsoft Word for PC, but instead have the book or periodical truly typeset, let me know about that, too. Perhaps I can help.

I hope my comments here don't seem too negative, as it would be FABULOUS to be part of this project and, just like everybody else, I'd sure would like to see a poem or two of mine published along with yours. Working in the industry does make me aware of certain concerns and work that needs to take place, though, so I thought I'd spin off from Sunshine's comment....

thanks for listening

dp
Ron
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20 posted 10-24-1999 03:07 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Hey, ya'll were supposed to remind me of this after I get caught up on our other big projects! LOL

Okay, lest confusion run rampant (more so than usual, I mean), I'll try to briefly answer some of these questions. As I indicated before, virtually all of the publishing details have been worked out to my satisfaction (which still doesn't mean they're necessarily carved in stone), and it's the other very time-consuming details that have put the project on temporary hold. Once the web site and forums are running smoothly again with new updates, then I can devote some time to ironing out those problems. And knowing I have so many wonderful offers of help makes that seem a much less daunting task!

Rather than take all the questions in order, let's start with the hard one. My middle name isn't Phil, Sunshine, it's Alex. But those who've been around since the beginning, or even those who've spent a lot of time at the main site, will tell you I didn't start Passions to make money, nor have I ever really put a lot of effort into making money. Which is probably just as well because poetry isn't a real big market, either on the Internet or in real life. On the other hands, I am a businessman from way back and if the web site can produce enough income to at least cover its own costs, I'll certainly try to do that. Okay, it hasn't happened yet, and the new server makes it even tougher (Ceres, or more accurately the bandwidth she uses, costs more per month than my mortgage). The main site has been running banner ads for a few months, and that helps some. The new update of the main site will include a User Survey (and free poetry screen savers to entice visitors to participate), because we'll be able to charge more for those banner ads if we have some demographics (right now, we're making about .00075 cents per banner). And, yea, the new forums software is also going to include banner ads - and I'm hoping we get a lot more click-thrus here than we do on the main site.

So why do I do it? Tough question! And I'm not sure I have any real answer, not one that would make sense to everyone. Why do you do it? Why do you spend hours every day writing poetry and returning to Passions to share it with your friends? Hidden deeply within the bowels of Passions is a page I put up shortly after Passions started that, maybe, makes some attempt to explain my motivations. It's a year out of date, but you might find some small answers here.

Okay, let's talk about the book and some of the easier questions asked.

quote:
What makes the best the best? Who gets to contribute?


The genesis of the book idea came about before the forums were even a glint in anyone's eye, so obviously the original intent was to use poetry from the main site. And being very much a coward, I didn't want the criteria of "what makes the best the best" to be subjective. Fortunately, I have thousands and thousands of visitor votes that tell me, without any doubts, what the most popular poems are at Passions. PdV's poem, "Lover's Dance," is number one, and Michael has two of his in the top five, just as examples of what I mean. That doesn't mean that I like those poems (though I do), but rather that there are thousands of Internet visitors that have liked them enough to vote and write comments about them. Popularity isn't the only criteria, but it's the main one. (My own "When Best Friends Love" is popular, but much too long for the book).

Again, this was decided long before the forums and our family became a reality. It might change. But it might not need to change either. I'll give away a bit of a secret: one of the features of the new forum software is the ability to click and automatically submit your forum poetry to the main site. That's one of the reasons I'm struggling to get the main site updated even before we start running the new software.

quote:
What is everyone's individual expense?


Nada. Zip. Ziltch. I wouldn't and won't do the book unless I think it can pay for itself. In fact, I'll carry that a step farther: I won't do the book unless I'm convinced the poets can make money on the book. Most of the cost in printing is labor and setup, not paper and ink. That means the more copies that are printed, the lower the per-book cost. We need to be able to sell X copies of the books at a price of Y dollars to be able to break even. My goal has always been to keep X and Y as low as possible, especially on the first book. And, yea, when I say the "first" book I am definitely inferring there will be more than one. We have a lot of poets and a ton of great poetry. Quarterly would be easy, and monthly would not be out of the question.

quote:
Is there a copyright attached?


Yea - yours! All of the poems at Passions are copyrighted by the authors, not by Passions. The book will be no different. What we will have is perpetual publication rights, which simply means you can't force us to take the book of the market because your poem is in it. If you want to sell your poetry elsewhere, that's fine. If you want to print your own books, that's fine, too. In fact, I'll be more than happy to help you market it through Passions.

quote:
Or, do all dollars coming in on sales go into purchasing an even bigger server, one that will "take over the world?"


Cool Idea!

But, more seriously, the marketing is, uh, a bit convoluted. Remember that the goal is for the poets to make money and Passions not to lose money. One of the first problems that surfaced when this idea took hold was how to distribute royalties if it was successful. Again, I would not consider the book if it was going to be simple vanity publishing, with the poets getting nothing beyond seeing their names in print. To be honest, I don't think that does anyone any good. Being a "published author" is meaningless if you bought your way into publication. The only way it has validity is if, one, inclusion is based on merit, and two, the book is successful.

The whole concept of royalties, however, was a problem because I really don't want to become a full-time publisher. Royalties meant all sales and costs had to be meticulously tracked, profits divided between all the authors by some arcane system, hundreds of royalty checks cut every quarter and mailed, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Sorry, but life is too short for that!

So, I came up with the idea of cooperative marketing. Yes, Passions will market the book, both through the main site where we get thousands of visitors a day and through amazon.com (though our agreement with them is tentative, based on the quality of the book, I see no real problem with making it happen). If Passions can make any money from that (and amazon require a STEEP discount), the profit will go towards the next book - when perhaps sales don't quite cover costs.

But the bulk of the selling will be done by the authors. Being willing and able to sell the books is not a prerequisite for participation - but if too many authors are unwilling to help sell it, we're gonna fall on our face. Any author can buy copies of the book at printer's cost, then sell it for retail. Any author who can't sell the copies they purchase gets a guaranteed return, minus shipping (and if that happens too often, there simply won't be future books ). Depending on volume, the authors should be able to make between $5 to $10 per copy.

How do they sell the book? Some, I'm sure, will never go beyond friends and relatives. But I've come up with two other venues that perhaps offer a bit more opportunity. And, of course, a bit more work.

1. Every author will get their own web site at Passions (unless they already have one and prefer to use it). I'll set up the web site and the e-commerce solution to accept payments. What the author will do it take care of shipping. Perhaps most importantly, what the author will be selling is a personally autographed copy of the book. That's why I don't expect to sell a lot of the books at the main site. When one of our thousands of visitors is interested in purchasing the book, they'll have the opportunity to select the author they'd like to have sign the book and be directed to their web site.

2. I have a database of every newspaper and book store in the United States (those outside the US will have to provide me with those details). When the book is published, a press release will be sent to your home town newspaper. And trust me, having been in that business I can practically guarantee you that 99 percent of the newspapers will print it (even the largest papers love hometown news). The author's web site, of course, will be prominently mentioned. Following on the heels of that publicity, all the bookstores in your immediate and surrounding area will get an invitation to participate in a book signing. I intend to push this hard and hope the authors will help with follow-up. Again, even the large book chains love to have local celebrities. And as with the concept of the web sites, the whole key is personalization: a book signed by one of the authors is worth much more to the public than the book alone.


Okay, guys, I hope that answers some of your questions and give you something to ponder. You can see that I've given this more than a little thought and already done more than a bit of research. I think it's a workable idea, and more importantly, I think it's a worthwhile idea.


[This message has been edited by Ron (edited 10-24-1999).]
Denise
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21 posted 10-24-1999 03:26 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Sounds great to me!
(Ron, so you're not only a smart computer guy and a wonderful poet, but also have a head for business! How do you juggle it all?!)

------------------
Denise
IsabelleSkye
Member
since 06-27-99
Posts 262


22 posted 10-24-1999 04:15 PM       View Profile for IsabelleSkye   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for IsabelleSkye

Funny thing is I also am the head proofreader....I would love to help proofread, as long as no-one takes it personally! LOL (atm we are publishing a book at my work and we are NOT allowed to edit, proof etc it...the author gets very offended...problem is she cannot spell at ALL! And doesn't use complete sentences, or correct punctuation...needless to say it's a nightmare.)
Yes, we use QuarkXpress 4.0 at my work, Mac format. Microsoft Word really isn 't a true publishing type software. Quark can set it into book format easily. There are many talented hands here....we should use (and abuse) them to the fullest possible extent! I do think if we have a graphic designer available we should use her. Etc etc etc. Same with my skills, I offer them to be used as needed. If there's paper quality questions or hmmm just anything, like pricing etc....I can get info. and quotes and ideas... We have stacks of paper books at work! (Do I sound excited???LOL)
Luv Izzzzzzzzzy
hoot_owl_rn
Member Patricius
since 07-05-99
Posts 11105
Glen Hope, PA USA


23 posted 10-24-1999 08:18 PM       View Profile for hoot_owl_rn   Email hoot_owl_rn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hoot_owl_rn's Home Page   View IP for hoot_owl_rn

Hey, this sounds great...count me in
DreamEvil
Member Elite
since 06-22-99
Posts 2442


24 posted 10-24-1999 08:27 PM       View Profile for DreamEvil   Email DreamEvil   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit DreamEvil's Home Page   View IP for DreamEvil

One question do I have, what of those poets that are not listed on the main site as it has not been taking new submissions? I understand the submission button, but that would take time to accumulate and edit the new posts.

------------------
Now and forever, my heart hears ~one voice~.
DreamEvilŠ



[This message has been edited by DreamEvil (edited 10-24-1999).]
 
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