Long-time readers of this blog will recall my obsessive focus on nanopress publishing, aka “alternative poetry publication, with gravitas.” In June 2011, after participating in two nanopress publishing teams as author myself, and after gaining multi-format publishing experience from the Whale Sound Audio Chapbooks project, I offered free publication legwork assistance to any poet/editor teams out there interested in establishing a nanopress (an offer which stills stands, by the way). Here’s the current working definition of a nanopress:
The nanopress is a single-publication, purpose-formed poetry press that brings together, on a one-time basis, an independent editor’s judgment and gravitas and a poet’s manuscript. The combination effectively by-passes both the poetry-contest gamble and the dwindling opportunities offered by existing poetry presses, while still applying credible ‘quality control’ measures to the published work.
More information on nanopress mechanics here.
To my infinite joy, two poet/editor teams took me up on my offer and one poet/editor team went ahead on its own. They are:
These three nanopresses joined the two that were already in existence, in which I participated, for a total of FIVE nanopresses out there. Woot! The other two are:
Broiled Fish & Honeycomb Nanopress published Dark And Like A Web: Brief Notes On and To the Divine by Nic Sebastian, edited by Beth Adams, in June 2011. Editor’s process note here; author’s note here.
In the coming weeks, Very Like A Whale will be featuring interviews with the newest three nanopress teams about their experience and its outcomes, and showing how each team adapted the nanopress model to suit their own preferences. Meanwhile, I wanted to share updated stats for the Dark and Like a Web and Forever Will End On Thursday projects (as I promised I would here). Note that marketing & promotion for these two books was done entirely online, via websites & Facebook/Twitter, and supported by some awesome online blurbers and reviewers. No live readings or in-person hard copy sales went into the process. This is where the numbers are as of now:
|Full MP3 downloads||19||8|
|Total copies obtained||425||309|
|Total website views||2,522||1,300|
As I said previously, there is no way to tell whether obtaining the collection = actually reading the whole collection or even part of it – the same question one could ask concerning print copies sold – but still, the evidence indicates that 425 people in one case and 309 in the other obtained copies of the collections, presumably with the intention of reading them or listening to them. (Note: These stats don’t count the number of people who might have read the collections on their respective websites, clicking through the individual poems.)
These are not bad numbers, when you consider that in the informal poetry books sales survey we did recently, 27% of respondents reported selling less than 100 copies of their book; about 50% reported sales of less than 200 copies; and 74% less than 500 copies.
Stay tuned for the upcoming interviews with the nanopress teams.
Previous blog posts on nanopress issues can be found here.