dispersing & reflecting light through poetry

Preparing RED to be READ

This morning has not been spent writing. Today was about the nuts and bolts of putting together a chapbook: interior layout, cover design, bio pics and logos. I published my previous chapbooks on CreateSpace.com (click on Home for a list of available titles). CreateSpace is easy to use; they walk you through the process. Working on my first book project for an hour or so in the mornings, I had a printed proof copy within a week of beginning. (Of course the home office is located in nearby Charleston, so standard delivery doesn’t take long.) And my only cost was the proof plus shipping. Now if you’re not into all of the editting and design and so forth, they do have options for professional assistance. Since my budget does not include paying for my obsession, I do it myself.

Now I know that for the longest time self-publishing has been looked down upon by the publishing world. There’s a reason it is referred to as “vanity press”. In the past, writers with the money to spend on printing their own work could bypass the review of editors, the time spent searching for publishers, the heartache of rejection. It’s still possible today. But in this digital era the rules are changing. Anyone with a laptop or tablet can be published. Writing a blog is self-publishing.

So today I prepared for the publication of RED. I set up the title as a project at CreateSpace and they assigned it an ISBN. The manuscript for RED is still unfinished, but that’s okay. I can upload revisions as necessary until I’m ready to publish and even after that I can make changes if needed (e.g. typos that get missed the twelve hundredth time you proof). I create templates for publication that just need the text added and maybe a little tweeking, so that’s what I uploaded for now.

I worked on the cover design. That included editting my personal logo to fit the color scheme, trying to select the right bio pic (though I may go in a different direction with that altogether), and adding the back cover text. CreateSpace provides free cover design templates that can be editted, as well as royalty free stock photos. If you don’t find what you need, you can upload your own, or you can pay to have it done. Options are wide open.

But what does this have to do with the process of writing works of poetry? The process of poetry is not truly complete until a reader reads and gains something from the poem. As the poet I don’t get that satisfaction unless I’m there when you read it or you are there to hear me read. Putting together the physical chapbook is a way for me to have some form of completion to the process. And it’s another step toward you receiving from the work. And when it’s finally totally printed, there’s something about holding those bound pages in your hands.

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

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