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Old 04-28-2003, 11:43 PM   #1
elSicomoro
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Sycamore the Published Poet?

A few years ago, some company out of Baltimore said they were going to publish my poetry...I have yet to see said books containing my work. Now comes this from Great Britain. What the hell...I have copyrights on my writings, so it's all good.

Office of the Publisher
Poetry Division
London, U.K.

17 April, 2003

Dear Terry,

As you may know, Noble House is one of the world’s foremost publishers of fiction
and nonfiction works by new and established authors. Our poetry division in the
U.K. has had the honour of publishing the poetry of more than 800 poets over the
past twelve years.

Recently I had the pleasure of reading the poetry that you have had published in the
United States. I congratulate you on this grand endeavour, and propose to you that
your singular talent and vision deserves appropriate recognition in Europe as well.

For this reason, I have posted this letter to request your permission to include
one of your favourite poems in Theatre of the Mind - a new poetry edition that is
being published in the U.K. by Noble House and slated for worldwide distribution . . .
a collection of poetry that is perhaps unlike any you have ever seen . . . one where each
poem is featured on its own page, and one whose quality is reminiscent of the finest
19th century antique poetry books.

Hearken back, if you will, to the days of Emily Dickinson, Alfred Lord Tennyson,
Elizabeth Barrett Browning and William Wordsworth . . the age of grand
bookmaking. Poetry editions were some of the most highly prized volumes because
of their intimate attention to detail – quality typography, fine ivory laid paper,
and colourful ornate covers. Terry, for this Edition, we've returned to the traditional
size, style, and quality of these classic 19th century antique poetry books.

Scheduled for release in early Summer 2003, Theatre of the Mind will surely
become one of your most treasured keepsakes. Your publication in this edition will
establish you as an international author and afford you the respect and admiration
attendant to such an honour. International Copyright notice for your poetic artistry
will, of course, be in your name, assuring that you will retain worldwide rights to your
work of art.

Best of all, should you decide to obtain a copy of the edition for your personal
library, or as a wonderful personalised gift (you are, naturally, under no obligation to
purchase a copy, notwithstanding the publication of your work in this edition), as you
proudly turn its pages you’ll find it one of the best values on the book market today.
At only £28.95 (U.S. $45.55) for a hardbound, 225-page edition printed in two colours
on ivory laid vellum, with a highly detailed, finely crafted, ornate cover, and a single
poem to a page, this Edition promises to exceed your expectations, and will enjoy
pride of place in your home. In fact, its quality is guaranteed. If for any reason you
are dissatisfied, your money will be completely refunded in U.S. dollars with proper
dispatch.

Terry, you may also wish to consider giving the public some insight about you and
your artistry for this poetic showcase . . . perhaps the meaning behind your poem, or
your own philosophical perspective. Because an entire page in the book is devoted to
honouring your poetry, we can feature this additional material about you and your
poetry on the recto leaf opposite your poem (you will thus have two full pages
devoted to you and your artistry).

Terry, may we have permission to publish your work in the United Kingdom?
Regardless of whether you purchase a copy or not, the international public deserves
to see more of your artistic talent. You may submit your poem and biographical
information, and give us permission all within the confines of the next page. And if you
are inclined to order a copy of Theatre of the Mind, you may also do so at the same
time.

Sincerely,

Nigel Hillary
Publisher,
Poetry Division
Noble House U.K.
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Old 04-29-2003, 12:59 AM   #2
wolf
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Wow cool!

Now, before your head inflates way to far ...

If you don't buy a copy does your poem still go into the book?
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Old 04-29-2003, 07:24 AM   #3
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Kudos. Let us know if this becomes available in the states, like at Borders or something.
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Old 04-29-2003, 08:36 AM   #4
juju
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Jesus.. I've never seen anything so melodramatic. I mean, it'd be cool to have your poetry published, but why do they have to "front" like that? And they're not going to give you a free copy of the book?? That's bullshit!!!

I think that this is an ingenious way of making money off of starving poets.

Last edited by juju; 04-29-2003 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 04-29-2003, 08:53 AM   #5
SteveDallas
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If they actually put people's poetry in their books, then it's less of a scam than some of these "honor societies" that make their $$$ by selling books & such to you and (especially) your relatives.

It'd be interesting to ask, WHERE they read your stuff... since you've never seen it in print from what you said before.


My one experience with poetry (non-)publication was actually somewhat amusing. In 9th grade English we had to write poems, an activity which for me was akin to asking a cat to swim. Our teacher further decided that we should all experience rejection (I personally felt this was futile; I already had a good bit of experience with the concept), so we had to each choose two of our poems and submit them to a literary magazine for publication. By the end of the school year everybody had duly received their rejection letters.... except me. For a brief moment, I entertained with mixed horror and pride the possibility that they were actually going to publish my dreck. But, it was obvious that my stuff had been lost or filed in the circular file in spite of the SASE.

Fast forward five years, and during my sophomore year in college I received my rejection letter and poems from Hubris (what a nice name for a magazine, I always thought). At first I had no clue what it was when I opened the envelope, but then the memory started to float up. So, that was the beginning and merciful end of my career as a poet. (I always went in more for expository writing.)
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Old 04-29-2003, 12:05 PM   #6
wolf
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Okay, so I won't be as gentle as I wanted ... Syc, I'm guessing your offer is from a vanity press house.

I've been unable to confirm this, because the the "foremost publisher of fiction and nonfiction" appears to have manged to NOT have made so much as a ripple on the web.
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Old 04-29-2003, 12:30 PM   #7
juju
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So... what's a vanity press house?
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Old 04-29-2003, 01:26 PM   #8
wolf
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You pay them money.

They publish your work.

Traditional vanity press involves people paying to have their (usually horrible and unpublishable) novels printed and bound in a lovely hardback edition, with the author receiving enough copies (typically the entire print run) which may then be distributed to family and friends, allowing the individual to describe him/herself as a published author without perjuring themselves. Since most poets do not produce sufficient work to fill an entire volume, that's why they came up with the "you get two pages in our book" version ... (they sometimes solicit poetry through a 'contest' if you submit, you get a solicitation letter congratulating you for your honorable mention prize, but also request some amount of money for a copy of the book), the writers are really financing the production of the volume. The money is made on these things by the extra copies that are sold for additional family members.

The newest version of this is "on demand publishing" ... you upload a PDF file of your book to the "publishing house" to which you pay fees for various packages (hard/softback, standard or premium coverart, additional charges for interior illustrations, do your own layout or let them 'set' the book for you, etc.) ... If anybody wants to buy a copy the on-demand printer outputs a copy of the book, binds it in softcover or hardcover depending on the premium level selected, and mails it out.

It's supposed to be the "cutting edge" of publishing. (A friend of mine worked as a programmer for one of these on-demand publishers which found there wasn't sufficient demand for their concept. He has been unemployed for close to two years now.) It's a great idea, because all the inventory is electronic until requested ... no remainders.

It doesn't seem to be working out, though.
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Old 04-29-2003, 03:10 PM   #9
elSicomoro
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Don't worry Wolf...you're not crushing my dreams.

In the music industry, if you really want to make yourself known, you have to spend a bit of dinero: $500-2000 to record some tracks at a local studio. Of course, you could always be "found" by someone who is willing to "invest" in you...Sycamore had such an opportunity in late '93. A local producer in St. Louis wanted to record us, and was going to pay for the studio time. We turned it down...why? Lack of control...we would have had no control over the production of our music. Fuck that...I don't mind input, b/c I don't know everything, but I'll be damned if I'm going to completely give up one of the most important parts of the creative process. And I don't feel bad about that decision one damned bit. Hell, if Sycamore were to be put back together now, we could do every piece of the process on our own. An 8-track recorder isn't that expensive anymore, we could produce it ourselves, then put the shit out on the net and burn our own CDs. And me being the self-promotion nut that I am, I'd hit every damned radio station that would be open to our musical style.

The print publishing industry sorta works the same way. If I really wanted to make a statement in the literary world, I would have to immerse myself in the "scene," both here in Philadelphia and in New York City. Hiring an agent would
help, and it probably wouldn't hurt to put a book together. But that cost dinero...a couple of thousand easily, which el sicómoro doesn't quite have at the moment.

I'm in a good spot though: I have a website that has featured my poetry for 4 years now and a national site that has several of my works. Not to mention, an audience of perhaps thousands here on the Cellar. (Though judging from the views of my most recent work I posted here, nobody cared. ) I'm also fortunate that I live in a city with some of the nation's finest colleges, and live near one of the biggest publishing centers (if not the biggest) in the world--New York City. Not to mention, technology today allows people to do the DIY method with print publishing as well.

Now, regarding this vanity press house, I didn't take a lot of stock in it to begin with...you'll notice that that e-mail was sent to me almost 2 weeks ago. I dealt with a similar situation called the International Library of Poetry in suburban Baltimore a couple of years ago. They kept saying they would publish me, and I kept looking for the book, but surprise, surprise, I've never seen it on Amazon or B&N. And they wanted my money too--not only to buy a book, but to publish a short biography of myself. (They both wanted $25 extra for that shit.) I'm from the Show-Me State, you gotta show me.

So, I'll keep writing, and maybe I can finally make some things happen, especially now that I'm out of work again. I happen to think I'm a pretty good writer, and perhaps some day, someone important will think so too.

Hubris (hopefully he'll read this)...how about the next time I'm in Baltimore, we head over to this joint in Owings Mills to see if they're truly legit...would you mind bringing your Desert Eagle along?
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Old 04-29-2003, 04:31 PM   #10
xoxoxoBruce
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Roses are red
Violets are blue
If they think Syc's stupid
They ain't got a clue!
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Old 04-29-2003, 08:50 PM   #11
elSicomoro
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Hey look! A haiku!

I am Sycamore
Sent down from the heavens to
Stir shit up on Earth

Written by T L Blastenbrei
©2003 Screaming Notebook Publishing
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Old 04-29-2003, 09:40 PM   #12
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i like it. mostly because you used the word 'shit' in a haiku. think you can do one consisting of over 60% swear words?

~james
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Old 04-29-2003, 10:02 PM   #13
elSicomoro
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Fucking ballsac bitch
Radar, bastard, piece of shit
Cuntface, dumbfuck, blecch!

7 of 11 words are inappropriate...almost 64%...how's that?
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Old 04-29-2003, 10:36 PM   #14
perth
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Quote:
Originally posted by sycamore
Fucking ballsac bitch
Radar, bastard, piece of shit
Cuntface, dumbfuck, blecch!

7 of 11 words are inappropriate...almost 64%...how's that?
out-fucking-standing. bonus points for making about radar.

~james
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Old 04-30-2003, 12:32 AM   #15
Cam
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Quote:
Originally posted by sycamore
Fucking ballsac bitch
Radar, bastard, piece of shit
Cuntface, dumbfuck, blecch!

7 of 11 words are inappropriate...almost 64%...how's that?
Classic, that needs a place of honor in the cellar
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