Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Review of Jen's Book on CutBank's Blog

Jen's book recently was reviewed on CutBank Poetry's blog. Check it out...


Post Card Printing

Speaking of post cards, we had ours printed at www.clubflyers.com. They'll print 5,000 post cards with full-color on both sides for under $200. That's a great deal.

A lot of online printing companies will offer one product at ridiculously low prices as a loss leader, hoping you'll like the quality and service so much that you'll buy other products, like business cards, brochures, etc. from them. You could do that, or you could shop around and find the printers that use business cards, etc., instead of post cards as loss leaders and get great pricing on those products.

Here's a list of just a few online printing companies I know about that specialize in small orders. I can't speak specifically about all these companies, except to say that people I know have used them for various projects and been satisfied with their work:

1. www.postcardpress.com
2. www.48hourprint.com
3. www.mimeo.com
4. www.vistaprint.com


No Contests, No Reading Fees, No Excuses

Here's a copy of the post card we're distributing at AWP and elsewhere. It looks blue on my browser, but the actual card is red and black. The other side has more copy on the back, but it's too light and obscure to read on my browser. It says "Red Morning Press will never fund itself through contests or reading fees./ Truly independent publishing demands it./ If you believe in the mission, then buy a book.../...or start your own press./ Ask us how."

If you want some to distribute, email me and we'll mail you some.

The longer we run RMP, the more convinced I am that writers should take a serious look at self-publishing. We receive so many manuscripts that deserve to be published, but we simply can't publish them all. It's a shame that those authors will have to keep searching for a publisher or hoping to win a contest. One of the messages we wanted to communicate on the post card is that if anyone wants to self-publish or start their own press, we're here to help. If you want tips or advice on navigating the process, we're more than willing to share what we've learned.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Self-publishing Resource

If you're thinking about self-publishing, I recommend this site, which is maintained by a company called RJ Communications. More specifically, I recommend their newsletter, Publishing Basics, which you can sign up for by clicking here.

The information is extremely practical. When CP, DC and I first talked about starting the Press, one of the hardest things to find out was how much it would cost to print a book. The pricing I researched was all over the map. But I had been getting the newsletter, and one of the articles (very timely) was basically a matrix showing how much it cost to print a book according to quantities, type of printing (offset versus digital), etc.

Now I work for a magazine that covers the printing industry, and all that information is second nature, but at the time, it was a critical resource, because the printing cost for us is the greatest expense, and we couldn't budget realistically until we knew what it would be.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Did Poetry Win the Lottery?

Check out this piece in the New Yorker about the massive amount of money that the Poetry Foundation has and how they're spending it. Here's the Poetry Foundation's response.

To summarize: The Poetry Foundation has a shit-ton of money, way more money than you ever thought poetry would attract. They are using it to publish Poetry, syndicate Ted Koosier's newspaper column, buy an office building, maintain a web site, promote poetry to nationally circulated consumer magazines, etc. A lot of people in the poetry community are annoyed, pissed or outright angry at the way the money is being spent, primarily because the Poetry Foundation takes a "do it our way/go-it-alone" approach rather than redistributing the money to the scores of independent publishers and artists who could use it.

My opinion: I'm not speaking for Dennis and Chris, but my general attitude is "Who cares?" The New Yorker sets up the story as a confrontation--People who favor the Poetry Foundation must believe in A, B, C. People who disagree with the Poetry Foundation must believe in X, Y, Z.

That's a convenient story-telling device, but it misses the point. Both sides have merit. Both sides have weaknesses. Both sides also have proponents with self-serving agendas, so they benefit by dismissing each other outright.

One joy of running Red Morning Press is that our merits and weaknesses don't matter that much. We all have jobs outside poetry, so what other publishers and poets think about our mission, our aesthetic, our fashion sense, whatever--it doesn't really concern us. We're going to publish poetry we regardless of how much money the Poetry Foundation spends or how much people rail against it.

As long as we can afford it, no one can really stop us from putting good books into the world. That's one of the reasons I encourage poets I meet to think about self-publishing. It's not that difficult or expensive, and the freedom to do it the way you want is priceless.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

DC's Literary Tradition

If you were wondering whether Washington, DC and its Metro area have a literary tradition, Washingtonian magazine provides a very, very, very short and incomplete answer to that question (featuring Charles Wright).


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The RMP Newsletter's Demise

When we started the press, one of our "great" ideas was to start a newsletter. We thought it'd be an easy way to keep in touch with the people who wanted us to keep in touch.

But it never took off. People didn't really sign up for it, and maintaining a clean email list was a pain in the ass. The need to communicate still existed, so that's what led us to blogging. The instant we think of something or make a decision, it can be recorded, and it's instantly available for anyone that wants to read about it.

So after AWP this year, say goodbye to the newsletter. And check back here to learn about our next project: The RMP Poetry Round.

Look for our Ad

We just signed up to advertise in the next three issues of the Boston Review. The first ad will be in the March/April issue and highlight the most recent book we published: Mortal by Ivy Alvarez.

Chris, Dennis and I keep having a conversation about how to get our authors' books in front of as many people as possible. Advertising seemed like a next logical step.

If you're a small press or self-publisher that's thinking of advertising, here's some advice:

1) Advertise where your audience is: Before you reserve ad space in a publication, find out who reads it and be sure you can imagine them reading and liking your books.

2) Don't expect immediate (or tangible) results: Repetition is a key part of advertising, and the benefits may not translate into direct sales. Advertising builds awareness and recognition of your brand among readers. It may be a long time down the road before you can tie increased sales to advertising efforts.

3) Support advertising with other marketing efforts: Our Boston Review ad includes our web site address, which links to this blog, which refers to our Boston Review ad. Try to create a "closed-circuit" marketing program.


RMP Announces Next Book!

Coming in 2008: Red Morning Press will publish a collection of poems by Jason Bredle, tentatively titled "Pain Fantasy."

Chris, Dennis and I first heard of
Jason Bredle while we were at George Mason. He submitted a poem to Phoebe, the University's literary journal. He blurbed Sean's book for us two years ago, and we finally met him at the AWP conference in Vancouver. Jason's first book, "Standing in Line for the Beast," was just published by New Issues.

Check this blog often to learn more about the publishing process. We'll post regularly on the production of Jason's book.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Visit our Booth at AWP

Red Morning Press will exhibit at its 3rd consecutive Associated Writing Program's Conference and Book Fair. This year, AWP is in Atlanta. If you're going, please visit us. If not, check back here for photos and a recap.


Manuscript Submission Update

Hey, if you submitted a manuscript to us before November 2006 and haven't heard back yet, email us to check on the status of it. We sent a round of rejections out to people, but something was apparently wrong with our Web hosting service, and I'm starting to find out that some people didn't receive notices.

Bascially, everything submitted before November has been rejected. Not that we didn't like many of the manuscripts we received. We did, but we only plan to publish two books in 2008, so we've had to say "No" to most of the submissions.


Welcome to Red Morning Press

We know. We suck when it comes to updating our Web site, so we're trying a blog instead. Visit us often for press news, info on independent publishing, book reviews, baby pictures (congrats CP), and whatever else we feel like posting.