Ok, so the book signing will be for all five of my books, but Poetry in Black and White will be delivered tomorrow, so I might as well make a big deal out of Friday’s book signing at A Frame of Mind in Flagler Beach, FL as a poetry book signing, right? When you present a new book, said new book grabs the larger share of attention.
Poetry typically is not an easy sell when it comes to books. I learned this with my first book of poetry, Loves Lost and Found. From a layout and content standpoint, the book works very well. Loves Lost and Found comes loaded with colorful full-page pics of acrylic paintings by artist Tracy McDurmon. Her paintings depict her interpretation of the poems within the book.
Personally, I love the book. For twenty-eight years my dream for the poetry I wrote in the early 1980’s was to find an artist to interpret my written works through visual art. When Tracy and I teamed up on this project, we determined it would be a ‘labor of love’ in that we committed to producing the absolute best product possible. We understood making money on the book was a long shot. As a publisher, I contracted with an awesome printer in Michigan, 360 Digital, to produce a limited run of 30 softcover and 30 hardcover books, in full, vibrant color, on 100# high gloss paper, and in an 8.5×11 trim size.
Since I insisted on such high quality paper and the vibrant color on 8.5×11 sizing, the cost of these books came in a bit high. In order to simply recoup the investment in the books, we would have to sell through the first print run and order a second, sell through all of them, and finally the book would be profitable.
ClearView Press Inc. only has a few copies of the original print run left. Last year, I decided CVP would make Loves Lost and Found accessible on a lower ‘price point’ basis, so I released the book printed on regular 55# normal paper. To my surprise, the colors remain vibrant and I was able to reduce print costs enough to get the softcover price down to a more reasonable $16.95. So far, the book has not sold in the new paper format, but as I get out and participate in poetry book signings, my hope is to create an interest in the book.
The new poetry book, Poetry in Black and White, borrows the same premise of artistic interpretation of my poetry, this time through the lens of photographer Ella Forest. Originally, I intended the interior art to come from sketch artists. I desired pencil and charcoal art interpretations to adorn the new book. Also, the poetry in this book comes from more recent work.
Unfortunately, the three artists I requested to work on the project could not produce the work. Just when I thought the project would fade into a memory, my office manager came across a photographer who really wanted to take on the task. Skepticism ran high on my part. I could not connect the creative dots that would allow a photographer to interpret my poetry through black and white photos.
My gut told me to give it a whirl. The project basically lay dead on the floor at that point anyway. Ella came across enthusiastic and with a can-do attitude. Within six weeks, I was astounded at her eye for interpretive photography. I ‘got it’. I am amazed at how she went about depicting the poetic messages through photography. Ella does masterful work, and I am now a believer.
One last snafu snarled up the Poetry in Black and White project. When we uploaded the book to the printer, we accidentally put it on cream paper instead of the more flattering white, and some of the photos were not at the proper resolution. I felt Ella’s photos deserved better, so publication of the book was delayed nearly two months. I believe the end product is well worth the wait.
One of my other books I will be signing is my book on fatherhood titled: Fatherhood 101 – Bonding Tips for Building Loving Relationships. I wrote this book because I felt I had some credentials, namely, six children. Writing this book, my first, entailed me documenting everything I did to bond with my new baby pre-birth through 18 months. We offer this book through CVP’s website $1.50 off what Amazon and Barnes and Noble charge. Plus you get it autographed…
So now, Friday March 2, 2012, I get to unveil the new poetry book at the Flagler Beach First Friday event. I must give a huge shout out to Nadine King (no relation) at Christmas Come True for sponsoring the event signing at A Frame of Mind. Nadine does awesome work for underprivileged families with her 501(c)3 – Christmas Come True. If you happen to be looking for a worthwhile charity, please check out her organization. I’ve known Nadine for a couple of years now, and I have watched her dream of getting Christmas Come True off the ground, materialize.
Anyone local to the Flagler Beach, FL area, come on out to First Friday and make sure you stop by and see me at my poetry (and other) book signing!!! First Friday lasts from like 5:00pm until 8:00pm. Come on out!