Friday, February 17, 2006

The smell of ink

I really thought the publishing world had caught up with me today. Every writer gets exited when they read an email from someone who introduces themselves as "publishers of fiction and nonfiction works by new and established authors today" and go on to say, "Recently, I had the pleasure of reading the poetry that you have had published in the United States." I think they may be referring to my profile of poems and articles at Faithwriters, although other internet sites also have some of my poems. I have also made it into one or two anthologies published by Faithwriters. They were asking permission to publish a poem in anthology called "Songs of Honour". The letter went on to tell me about the quality of the paper, the size and style of the font and the fact that I had a page all to myself in the anthology and there was room for some author's notes about the poem.

The book itself would be over 200 pages, hard backed, and cost me £26.18. I have had offers like this before and in one book, which I did not buy, there is one of my poems called "The Fly" submitted many years ago.

Some of my friends from Faithwriters tend to keep their distance from these kinds of offers. I think it is partly due to not knowing what other kinds of poems will appear in the anthology. When it comes to the Faithwriters anthologies, I have read many of the other articles and poems on line. I want to be associated with the high quality, not just of the standards of grammar, but the inspirational subject matter.

I am not sure I have the same confidence with other publishers. Do they really think my work is that good or do they have a few pages they would like to fill, and the chance of another customer buying the book? They don't want to pay me for my poem and I don't receive any royalties.

But then I also think about the chance to witness. Many of my poems are a response of faith. That someone might read the poem, in amongst a whole lot of other kinds of poems, and be encouraged, or read my author's notes and be built up would be a good thing. I don't loose copyright of the poem, and it costs me nothing.

Can offers like this do more harm than good? The jury is out at the moment!

1 comment:

meljkerr said...

The jury is in. The verdict is leave well alone!

It would appear that although they do apparently publish your poem in their anthology, it doesn't get published into every copy of the book - only the ones you buy!

So the idea of everyone who buys a copy of the book being able to read your poem and your author's notes doea not hold true! Your poem might not be in other people's copies of the anthology.