Friday, August 05, 2005

The Tour, the tensions, the times

After returning from the latest tour stops in Miami and Savannah, I confronted enough paperwork to drive a writer nuts. My email knew no bounds. The message center held greetings from a number of callers. In the middle of all this, I took a call from a person who is considering freelancing for a career. He seemed to expect me to deliver a course in Freelance 101 on the phone.

Assorted emails contain writings from various people who’ve visited my author Net site. If I critiqued them all, I’d be busy for a week and get absolutely nothing else done. Plus, if you do comment on a stranger’s work, s/he will never be satisfied unless you say something like, you are the greatest poet since Walt Whitman. Emily Dickinson is writhing with jealousy in her grave.

There were some bright spots too. The Barnes and Noble where I facilitate the Community Poetry Series invited me to be a featured author at their Tenth Anniversary Party. I had a good freelance month, with five new pieces soon-to-be released from various publications.

I'm looking forward to hosting a reading and presentation by Patricia Gray, director of Poetry at Noon at the Library of Congress. Patricia has a new book out, Rupture.

I don't know her personally, but she's swinging South on her own tour and I'm delighted to help introduce her work and LOC information session to our area poets and poetry lovers.

Book sales are strong in stores, but they’re lousy at amazon. I’m satisfied with the status at amazon, though. My publisher is a small press, and his profits and royalties from book sales there are dismal. The site crawls with used books, many of which are new and some of which were given free to reviewers who will, under no circumstances, review your book. If you’re not a top tier author, a discount site is of little benefit. Everywhere I go, I tell audiences, please do not buy my book at amazon.

Another bright spot is the retreat Dorothy Fletcher and I are planning. We found a gorgeous site for WORDSTREAM.

Thunder sounds in the background as I type.

The new book is going well; it looks like a late 2006 release. Otherwise, I’m wading through email and paperwork.

I wanted to ask the fellow on the phone, after he told me he’d decided to consider freelancing.

Are you sure you want to work that hard?

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