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the last of the simple joys

I've been doing more reading lately. which is a good thing, although I still inveterately pick up new books before finishing old ones, so I am in the middle of so many that I couldn't even begin to count them. the cool thing about this is that I have so many options when I want to sit and read that.. that I often throw up my hands and open a new book. :)

but so the practice of reading with a pencil to take notes for future essays is slowly fading with the memory of grad school, which would be very helpful for my desire to once again enjoy reading for its own sake, but it's just been replaced by the desire to be writing primary material myself. so now when I read poetry, for instance, I can only get so far before I have to stop and work on a poem. if I read theory I have to stop and write theory and if I read memoirs I have to stop and add to my autobiography etc. the only thing I don't write is novels so I suppose I should pick up more of those but I am drawn to more experimental forms of both literature and theory and since that is what I write, the circle goes round and round.

last night I decided I am going to self-publish a book of poetry and excerpts from my autobiography, using lulu.com, and I am going to try to place a few copies in local bookstores and sell more copies online. I do not know if I can promote a book adequately--in fact I'm fairly certain that I can't--but I'm hoping that with an eye-catching cover and a few collar-grabbing selections up front I might be able to get local bookstore browsers to pick up a copy here and there and maybe I can even get someone somewhere online to do a review or two. posting poetry online is a futile exercise it seems, although I will keep doing that and looking for ways to drive more traffic into my blog, and I'm not certain that print offers wide-ranging advantages, but it might be more useful for local exposure at least. I might also ask Lyn if she can help me out in any way, like with a blurb for the jacket or a spot at a reading that she has any hand in organizing, etc.

anyway the cost of publishing at lulu is less than the cost of xeroxing the thing off myself. I need to look more closely at how I would get hard copies of my own to sell, though. if that won't work, surely there are other online print services that could help me. or I could always go back to the xerox option, but professional binding is so much more attractive, you know.

I don't know how much potential there is in this but it feels more useful than submitting pieces to journals that no one reads for years on end until I can convince a publishing house that I've been approved in enough places that they will publish a volume for me that probably wouldn't get promoted adequately either. in the meantime I need also to pull together the autobiography and get that process moving. I just feel the need to do something more immediate than that, and the whole DIY ethic appeals to me.

ain't getting any younger, you know?


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 2nd, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
As someone who profeses to enjoy writing but never finishes anything, myself, your DIY project sounds fun. I don't know much about breaking into the publishing biz. I think it might work better to hire someone else to represent your materials. Again, I know nothing, so I could be completely off the mark, here.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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