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Middle Island Press: Coffee in My Cup

Something happened within the industry of publishing services that left many people in a slump throughout much of this year. At the beginning of 2017, more than ever, my mailbox began getting flooded with designers, editors, illustrators, marketing agents and ebook converters looking for work. They had none, I had none. Then came September, and suddenly I received three consecutive manuscripts and am, once again, working several hours each day. I’m not sure what happened but am glad that it was only temporary. The “down time” was rejuvenating. I bounced back with fire — designed two books, cover to cover, totaling 350 pages in approximately twenty-five hours — and I filled with deep gratitude, not only for the poets who put coffee in my cup in exchange for my visual creative talents, but also for the fact that my work, my “job” is essentially sitting at this computer, designing and proofing books, and listening to my favorite music. That thought fills me with joy! We have what we need to survive in this chaotic world, and I’m most grateful for the poets, new and repeat clients, who keep me busy doing what I enjoy doing.

“Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, therein lies your vocation.” –Aristotle


(Middle Island Press: we publish poetry and short stories.)

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Posted by on October 4, 2017 in News & Reviews

 

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Poets: Keep More Money in Your Pocket.

Just a word to the wise poets out there who consider self-publishing:

Your investment will pay for itself much faster and your profit per copy can easily triple if you purchase copies directly through your publishing service-provider or printer and sell them on a personal website (a free blog with contact links works just fine).

On average, publishing through CreateSpace and selling through Amazon (with a black and white interior) gives authors approximately a quarter to a third of the list price. That’s not much, but they’re in business to make money like all businesses, and their services are very handy. Selling through CreateSpace will leave authors with just a bit over half of a title’s list price. If you must have a color interior, your profit will be much lower and the only way to make any money at all, really, is to sell your own copies.

A small book with a black and white interior generally runs between $2-3 per copy plus shipping, whereas a color interior of the same size at the author rate will be around $6 and the list price is mandated to be much higher – so high that a lot of potential buyers will turn away, which is why I encourage people to stick with black and white interiors about 95% of the time.

Also, do NOT allow “bookstores and other online sellers” to list your title or you will soon see at Amazon a junk list of your title with prices ranging from insanely low to insanely high. It’s mildly criminal, considering that sales through these channels usually yield less than $2 profit per sale, so I suspect that people are paid to list books and given a percentage of the “savings” that then belongs to the company in closest contact with the printer rather than being the profit that the author deserves.

So save yourself a bit of headache and be the one in control, and replenish your investment by selling your own or encouraging buyers to buy through the channel that pays you the most, even if it’s not the most popular eStore on the Internet.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2017 in News & Reviews

 

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Middle Island Press: Poetry Publishing

Middle Island Press

The early days of Middle Island Press looked a lot like this relaxing picture: lots of collating, folding, trimming that I took pride in and hope to return to soon, but for now, I’m enjoying the benefits of perfect-bound poetry publishing. I’m focusing on layout and design, feeling a bit less like a hands-on craft-person and a bit more like a publisher, but it’s all good.

It wasn’t so long ago that I reached timidly out to my first “stranger” who has become one of my greatest supporters over the years, and a fantastic poet and flash-fiction author (Salvatore Buttaci). One referral led to another and projects grew from quarterly to monthly, and sometimes two or more in a month, but one thing that hasn’t changed over these past seven years is the gratitude that I feel for the poets who have trusted me with their words, built me up with their praise until my head was swelling and my heart was glowing, and – I’ll say it again – kept the coffee flowing in this house.

Thank You, Poets. Your words are both my business and my pleasure!

Christina Anne Taylor

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2015 in News & Reviews

 

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Poetry Publishing: Getting It Together for a Smooth Process

(By Christina Anne Taylor of Middle Island Press)

Opportunities for poetry publishing are more promising than ever for poets who are interested in subsidy contracts or other methods of taking matters into their own hands, so to speak. This article is for those who are intimidated by the process.

Firstly, consider that poetry publishers are neither gods nor robots, but human-beings just like you. When a writer pays a publisher (micro-, subsidy, or otherwise) to put his/her words in print, the publisher is a service-provider, and the process requires a partnership of equality. Words cannot be delivered without publishers, and publishers can find another job without writers and readers, so there should be mutual respect in poetry publishing ventures. (If a publisher is busy enough to turn down work, then a respectful poet is going to get a lot further than an arrogant one, so show respect, and a respectable publisher will reciprocate and then some.)

There is also the matter of preparedness and presentation of manuscripts. Tying in with the issue of respect, manuscripts should not look like they were thrown together in fifteen minutes with some poems centered, some flushed, and varied fonts throughout. They should look neat and tidy – especially if it is your first time dealing with a particular publisher, or you will not be taken very seriously as a professional writer. Furthermore, cover images as well as biographies and all other constituents should be sent simultaneously, if possible, to avoid complicating matters that should be fairly simple.

Beyond politeness and presentation in the poetry publishing process, it is wise to respond promptly to inquiries or you just might find your project bumped as a less bumpy project sails to the finish line. Also, if you have special requests for your project, do take it upon yourself as much as possible to facilitate them without placing undo burden upon your publisher. Though you might be paying for proofreading, design, listing and so forth, you probably are not paying extra to watch your publisher jump through hoops – but back to the first point made, a little bit of respect goes a long way.

What you can expect, in turn, is that all promises made on a website that enticed you to a particular publisher in the first place are fulfilled. You can also expect ongoing support, enthusiasm in future poetry publishing contracts, and a partnership of mutual growth.

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(Middle Island Press, one of the best poetry publishers on the Internet, has been publishing chapbooks since 2008.)

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2011 in News & Reviews

 

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