Unspecified – Goodreads giveaway

Just a quick post to let you know that 1) the Kickstarter fundraiser did complete successfully, 2) the proof copy met expectations and everything is underway to get the print and eBook editions out by the first week of October, and 3) I’ve posted a giveaway for 5 copies of the paperback edition of Unspecified at Goodreads:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Unspecified by Yoshira Marbel


by Yoshira Marbel

Giveaway ends October 07, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

If you’re interested in reading Unspecified, but can’t afford a few dollars to get a copy & don’t want to wait for the free eBook, this is a good opportunity for you. Also, I’m looking for a few book bloggers who might be interested in reading and reviewing this poetry collection, so if you are one or if you know one, please let me know and I’ll send you a copy of the book in your preferred format (print, or any of half a dozen eBook formats), ASAP.

Unspecified – Kickstarter fundraiser

I meant to post about it here sooner, say, a week and a half ago when I started the fundraiser, or last Thursday & Friday when I was having a bit of an emotional breakdown (visible here and there, depending on whether you’re my friend on Facebook or Google+, or happened to see me in person) which related directly to the experience of running a Kickstarter fundraiser… the emotionality of which led directly to my not posting anything about it over the weekend. Then something began to come together (more on what, below) which led me to not post or say much about the whole project until today. Anyway, here we go:

The new poetry collection, Unspecified by Yoshira Marbel, which I’ve been posting about for the last couple of weeks, is currently trying to raise funds to cover the costs of creating a print edition of the book. I posted a little bit about the costs involved in that (setup, proofs, initial printing, shipping to me, shipping to South Africa, ISBNs, et cetera) and in running the Kickstarter project itself (shipping rewards to backers, Kickstarter takes 5%, Amazon takes a few % to process payments), but I guessed I’d need $330. I decided to run a shorter Kickstarter fundraiser than average, since statistically most pledges come in the first few days and on the last day, only about two weeks long, ending at 9PM MST, Friday September 16th, 2011.

As of last night, we reached our funding goal. (This is presuming no one removes their pledge in the next two days.) There are still two days for you and your friends and family and pets to pledge to the project, knowing confidently that the book will have a print edition which should be delivered to me by the first week of October and then forwarded on to you post-haste. Knowing that Yoshira’s dream is coming true and her poetry and message will be reaching people who never would have had a chance to have contact with it otherwise, and that as a backer, you are contributing to that dream fulfillment (and you’ll have your name in the book’s Special Thanks section in acknowledgement of that).

Continue reading Unspecified – Kickstarter fundraiser

‘Unspecified’ book cover, et cetera

This is, tentatively, the book cover for Unspecified. (See my last post for more information on this heart-wrenching poetry collection and the paintings I’m trying to sell to raise funds for a print edition.)

Click to see it a little bigger. That, of course, is the full wraparound cover. This is the front cover by itself:

Continue reading ‘Unspecified’ book cover, et cetera

Some poetry from ‘Unspecified’

As I hope you already know, I’m working with South African poet Yoshira Marbel to publish a collection of her work, entitled Unspecified. (I blogged about it here.) We’re getting nearer to being finished with the production of the book itself; I think we’ve got the order of the poems in place, the pages laid out, eBook formatting set up, front and end matter written, and I’m nearly done with the cover design. (I’ll post the cover soon.) It looks like the print edition (if/when we can raise sufficient funds to print it) will come in at 66 or 68 pages. (68 pages if I need to include an extra Special Thanks section with a long list of Kickstarter backers.) As I posted before, If I can find a buyer in the next couple of days for either of the paintings we’re using for fundraising, we won’t have to do a full-on Kickstarter fundraiser, which would be a load off my mind, and we could send the book to the printer next week instead of a month from now.

To give you some idea of what sort of poetry you’ll find in the collection (what you’ll be helping share with the world through your purchase of the art or, later, the book itself), I’m going to share a poem or three from it, along with the (current version of the) description I’ve written for the book.

Released Pain

Tiny slit
Sweet release
Blood droplets
Hypnotize me
A fountain of blood
Dancing on the crystal water
Floating away
Darkness has destroyed the pain
End is near
Now free
Blood has released me

I picked that poem to start because it speaks to one of the recurring motifs of the collection, something also addressed by one of the paintings we’re hoping you’ll buy, ‘without you’.

We’re asking just $239 (plus tax & shipping) for this original work of art, and the buyer will also receive a copy of the finished paperback book. It’s mostly acrylic on canvas, though technically, because of the real razor blades which are cutting into (and affixed securely to) the canvas, it’s really “mixed media” artwork. The purchase price of this piece would nearly cover all the costs of publishing a print edition of Unspecified; close enough that I’d be able to send it to my printer immediately.

Continue reading Some poetry from ‘Unspecified’

Preparing to publish a new book of poetry

Exciting news: After nearly a year without a response (hopefully, people saw my submission guidelines & took my advice about going the self-publishing route for electronic publication), Modern Evil Press finally received its first submission, and it was a good one. A poetry collection. Within just a few minutes of reading the poems, I immediately thought to myself, “Hey, I think this person actually read my submission guidelines – this is just the sort of poetry I’d publish! This reminds me of my own depressing poetry!” (My guidelines include things like “read my books” and “know what I publish” before getting to anything like technical requirements.) I continued reading, and continued to appreciate what I saw, and have been going back and forth with the author for the last several days, and it looks like I’ll be publishing a new collection of poetry soon. The title is Unspecified, the author is Yoshira Marbel of South Africa, and the poetry cuts deep.

As you probably know if you’ve been following my work (or this blog) at all, my publishing model (to be sure books are, if not profitable, at least don’t lose money) has two parts: 1) Electronic publishing, which doesn’t cost me much money, and I’ll do for any book I publish (eBooks and audiobooks, for free and for sale), and 2) Print publishing, which costs a couple/few hundred dollars for setup & initial printing), and I’ll only initiate printing after I’ve raised sufficient capital to pay those up-front costs, usually through the sale of the original artwork I design for each book’s cover. The time and effort it takes to get the book ready for publication is roughly the same whether I’m only doing one or I do both, and since I only publish books I either love or wrote (preferably both), I don’t count the time & effort spent to publish a book against its profitability. (Yet. Perhaps someday I’ll sell enough books to be able to pay myself a salary. Heh.)

As it is with my own books, so it goes with the new one. Yoshira and I would really like to do a print version of the collection, so while we’re still selecting poems and crafting their order, polishing the front matter and end matter, designing the cover and writing the copy, I’m getting started on the fundraising. Immediately upon reading her poetry, which hews toward themes of heartbreak and sadness, I knew I could use my painting ‘without you’ to raise at least part of the funds.

If you haven’t seen it before, yes, those are real razor blades. They really cut into the canvas. I actually forced red paint (no, not blood) through the cut canvas to get the drips just right. I painted it specifically to capture an emotion I was sure razor blades were the only answer to. Alas, it was not really appropriate for the cover of this collection… Still, it matches well enough with the book that proceeds from its sale are definitely earmarked for covering the costs of printing this collection. Continue reading Preparing to publish a new book of poetry