Starting in May, I finished and sent off my poetry manuscript to a bunch of agents and places. It was exciting and strange, and I had never written a query letter before so I'm very excited to have heard back from some places!
I have had two publishing companies contact me regarding my manuscript. One is a hybrid vanity and traditional publisher and the other is a straight-up traditional publisher. I hadn't actually known the term vanity publisher before, so in case I'm not the only one: a vanity publisher is basically one you pay to publish your work. This can cost upwards of 5k USD from what I've seen. The hybrid publisher is asking me about illustrations regarding my cover and possible illustrations in my work, something I actually hadn't put a lot of thought into before. In full disclosure they haven't offered a contract yet, but we're in talks about whether this would be a traditional or vanity type publication. The traditional publisher did send a contract, with tons of information on royalties and that was a bit overwhelming at first. Royalties are hard ya'll. So what I thought was originally 50% royalties overall, was actually 50% for other things like royalties received through book club purchases. Actual royalties are closer tooooooooo...6% net. 'Net' turns out to be a super important word by the way. And then I would only get paid out when royalties reach a minimum of 20USD. What this tells me is... poetry is not lucrative. I would likely never hit the 20USD mark more than once (if that) from what I can tell. The second I get published, I'll need to enter my work in first poetry collection type contests, harass professors that teach poetry to see if they want to get my book for their classes, find whatever book clubs enjoy reading poetry, etc..
If I lived in the US, attending poetry events and setting myself up at conferences would really be the no brainer way to go, but I do not. I haven't quite established myself in the poetry scene in my new city either, since work has been insane, so I'll need to step up my networking game. Even then though, I've been told the average poetry writer sells about 50 books, maybe a few hundred if they hustle hard and effectively. The 'effectively' part will be challenging considering I live in China... I would get 70% royalties on any dramatizations that happen, but what's the likelihood of that when this is a poetry collection? Now, I haven't signed the contract yet with the traditional publisher because I've been trying to get some of my previous professors ideas on royalties and typesetting etc.. But it seems like it's a bad time to be asking people for information. If anyone has any ideas, lemme know! Now, the weekly update: Novel: All scenes added in!!! Wooo! Gonna set it aside until mid-September and re-read the novel then and do some editing then. Seems I really got ahead of myself with this work. It's definitely been a lesson.
Poems: Wrote stuff. I watched a woman get the shit beaten out of her in a restaurant. Writing happened.
Outside of that, I was answering messages regarding contracts, contemplating illustrations, etc..
Things I need to do next week: -Subs to 30. Must happen.
-New poems must be edited. -Writing e-mail backlog. I have sooooo many writing related e-mails that I've left in the wasteland of my inbox. I literally work six days a week and am constantly just... drained this month. Heard it'll continue into September...
-I have sci-fi hopes, but make no promises on achieving this goal this week.
Until next time!