Monday, July 14, 2014

Paid in Fool -some post-launch thoughts on my poetry's poverty


I know this shouldn't matter, and might be in bad taste to start discussing it, but here goes-  

Thanks to the generous support of people at the launch of my book last night, (between the raffle and the people buying the book), I've made back enough to completely cover the costs of this first print run.

Obviously I am not in this poetry-thing to make money (because no one else at my level/tier behaves as badly as I often do, if they're trying to make a living from it).

Instead, writing for me inhabits spaces somewhere between an itch, an exhaust valve, an outright passion and self therapy.

None of my projects have ever been financially solvent, and the ones that were in danger of getting that way, I ended up giving all the earnings for to charity  -which already includes the next book.) I do it for the love... (which means I do it for attention, basically).

So yeah, didn't expect this, and it does make a difference to me. Contrary to others lofty Utopian ideals of how the world should be, money does make a big-fat difference in people's lives, and as nice as encouraging words are, they don't inspire one to readily take the sort of risks that self-publishing entails. I was pretty bummed about how much $$$ I sank into the album last year for what came of it.

This time around I feel I've learned something, and yes I know I and we all -deserve- to get paid for our art, but getting paid and making money aren't always the same. 

There is a biting-point on those gears, between taking a risk/gamble with large amounts of your hard earned cash, versus investing in something that will bear fruit.

I've earned some income one way or another from poetry since late 2009, but usually it has been far outweighed by costs, time off work, or only come out in the wash after claiming tax exemptions. This is the first time I have clear and away made a profit. (or am at least in a position too, now that any more sales will be in the black.)

Money can be a touchy subject with some, there's a lot of pride to overcome on the artists' side. and a lot of assumptions among the ley that us performers/writers/artist should just be doing it 'for the love'. But as repellant as it might seem to some sensibilities out there, the truth is. Pats on the back and critical acclaim are great, but there's no substitute for getting paid as a form of validation.

So in summation: I just want to say huge a BIG, massive, tidal-gravity-affecting THANK YOU from the man in the pith helmet to everyone who has bought the book and/or came to Passionate Tongues last night. Hopefully you don't end up feeling like you've thrown money away either...


I'd like to do a big proper thank you about the gig, but that will need a day or two to collect my thoughts and let the dust settle. 

Meanwhile, sharp eyed readers might have noticed this morning that I've (finally) added a bio page to the blog page, complete with links and embedded video. If you have a minute, have a look HERE

And also a big ol' BUY NOW button for those of you who would like a copy of this book. Go on, find out what all the fuss is about. 



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