multi-format poetry publishing!

I am beyond thrilled to see this great initiative from Dave Bonta. He has collected twelve very romantic poems into a chapbook called Twelve Simple Songs, and has made it available as:

regular PDF download
an Issuu digital chapbook
an MP3 download
– and coming up: in print from a new POD service, Peecho

How awesome is that?! We, as potential readers, are asked ‘how do you like your poetry served?’ and we get some choices. I, for one, went for the regular PDF download, because honestly, I find Issuu aggravating to use. The chapbook looks really beautiful on my iPad in my iBooks reader, and is a breeze to read. Others will prefer the Issuu version, others the MP3 audio download, and others still, the upcoming print version. Some may want more than one version. By catering to all these different preferences, and by eschewing the profit motive (digital versions are free and the print version will be sold at cost), Dave has exponentially increased his poems’ chances of getting read.

A quick suggestion: Dave might at some point want to consider putting together a mini-website for Twelve Simple Songs, a place where he can consolidate the links to the different formats for future traffic and search engine huntings. As I mentioned in this 2011 post entitled another advantage of multi-format publishing, the beauty of a website for a chapbook or collection is that you can add things to the work as they happen – if someone writes a review, for example, or expands both the work’s content and its modes of expression by making a videopoem based on one or more of the poems.

Congratulations, Dave, on this tender collection and thanks for sharing it so generously.

Other relevant multi-format publishing posts from the Very Like A Whale archive:

Want poetry readers? publish in multiple formats, some free
Multi-format poetry publishing – production steps

Published by

Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

13 thoughts on “multi-format poetry publishing!”

  1. Thanks for the plug, Nic! I’m glad you enjoyed the PDF. Though you may be right about the wisdom of creating a unique website for each chapbook, I find I’ve reached my limit in the number of sites I can maintain without ;losing my sanity. But I will at least create a page at for it, and link to that from the books page there.

    It’s actually quite liberating not to have to worry about making money from a book, or indeed — with this project — reaching any audience at all beyond the primary audience of one. But I felt moved to make it available in part to explore color printing options, since I have several other photo + poetry projects in the works. It’s always been quite a challenge to do that sort of thing well by print-on-demand while keeping it affordable.

  2. Yes, I know what you mean about maintaining multiple sites! A standing page on an existing site would do the trick, though. I look forward to seeing what you think of Peecho. Are they just print, or do they offer some form of e-publishing as well?

      1. Very interesting. If I understand it correctly, places like Lulu actually have printing hardware and infrastructure and produce orders themselves, whereas these guys are real middle-people – they have instead *relationships* with a bunch of different printing/production companies, to whom they farm out orders as they come in. Now you think about it, it was the logical next step and seems certainly to have taken some of the maddening nitpicking formatting issues one had to be so careful about with Lulu. Please do share your impressions when the product arrived. – now I’m tempted to make up a chapbook myself just to test it!

  3. Dave, this collection is inspiring! Let’s face it, none of us make money selling poems, so this model is very attractive. I also take photos and have wanted to do something like this for some time – your beautiful love letter to Rachel has inspired me to just do it!

  4. Thanks, Dave. These are beautiful poems and images. . . and also gets me thinking about this as a transmission I or others may echo. [Nic, I connected to your site due to you posting on Wompo listserve.]

  5. Laura – you are very welcome! I hope you do take up the multi-format publishing format – very happy to offer you technical support and tips based on my own experiences at any time! Best, Nic

  6. This was a real treat. I downloaded the pdf and mp3 file. I am very impressed with the imagery throughout and the emotion in Dave’s voice. Thanks Nic for sharing.

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