30 Aug 2005, 12:44pm
Poets Positive News

A Proposed Wiki for Poetry Markets

Movie trailers and posters, book or magazine covers should communicate their mood and intent proportionally. Finding what you like and what nourishes you can be a journey uphill both ways in waist high snow. I want to be a consumer informed about the whole market. Maybe my reach exceeds anyone’s grasp, but the optimist in me says there is a way and it needn’t be hard. There is a science and rules behind everything, they just need to be tapped with something other than haphazard hit and miss method. Word of mouth means excellent journals like Quills gets heard about but it’s hardly a complete market exposure saturation such as a glossy magazine like Oprah’s gets.

Sending away for sample issues or sticking with the ones available locally may work in a market when there is a choice of a couple titles, but we are now in a global metropolis of literature with e-buying to tap markets and world word commodities are at the same price, and more widely distributed than local word wares. You can only get an implicit understanding through reading a series of issues of any given poetry journal. Every magazine and journal wants your subscription and is made up of devoted passionate people. That’s no winnowing means there.

The problem is there is too many to choose from to even peruse, or else entirely too few hours in a week or year.(I suspect the latter.) The issue is, whether you are looking to add a new subscription or submit somewhere the number of options overwhelms. Even The Poet’s Market gets bigger each year. Digitally thanks to word search seems there should be a more ergonomic way to get the information you want. There is an online Writer’s Market but not a Poet’s Market. I expect that means the venture was tried and failed or is the next phase on the horizon.

It should be on the horizon. Poetry marketing overall seems to meet an indifferent market. When there’s an indifferent market, it’s not because of product or consumer but it just hasn’t been sold right yet. So what’s the solution?

Part of the multi-pronged effort may be an AllPoetry.com as a resource and “neutral marketer” that educates the public on the wares. It is in the interest of magazines to get themselves to the hands of their optimal target consumer as expediently as possible so no one wastes time searching instead of lingering with the words themselves. A possible solution, given enough volunteer effort, is modeling after allmovie.com. It has a system for rating a film so one can know to a finer degree the character of a movie. If you haven’t been there, here’s a sample of their assessment,

1 (poor) 2 (OK) 3 (good) 4 (better) 5 (best) N/A

dark, pessimistic, bitter ………. light, cheerful, sweet ……..N/A
bright, fast, dynamic ………. low key, calm, slow ………..N/A
longing, disturbing ………. content, peaceful ……………….. N/A
serious, challenging ………. light, playful, entertaining…… N/A
simple, traditional ………. sophisticated, experimental….. N/A
harsh, aggressive, cold ………. gentle, warm, soft…………..N/A
depressing, somber ………. energizing, exciting, uplifting..N/A
emotional, playful ………. sober, arranged, proper ………..N/A

Would the scale of dynamics not work as well for poetry magazines? Maybe some themes or keywords added in and notes of what forms or subjects are unwelcome. It takes an wiki effort of a lot of people to get ratings that flatten out the idiosyncratic relativity of what the editors perceive the spectrum range si and where they fit on it, to a more proportional representation. There are more moviegoers than poets but the principle looks useful.

Another grid could look at how periodic the periodical is, and response times should one want to join the team of people putting the marvelous creation together. Something like Ralan’s market response times clocked since 93 can be useful for this model.

Any volunteers?

Featured Links: Problogger has an August challenge to improve your blog in 31 days I know some principles of keyed to reader, Plain English, Scannable, such as,

  • don’t bury your point,
  • don’t introduce too many ideas

Applying is another matter. Rather than perfect the past, I’ll just plough on, lessons better learned, and recommit myself to greater clarity, coherancy and engagingness in the future.

Happinesses of the Day: Cat#2 is re-started on thyroid medication on 1/4 normal dosage with an anti-vomiting pill, hoping to build up her tolerance for it, and rebuild her strength with food for an anemic diet. With days of subcutaneous fluids she has her personality back, is littering and running about normally.

24 things checked off the to-do/to-da list in last 48 hours.

Received a postcard in the mail, then later, this morning received delivery on a package in the mail from another friend.

Conversation with a couple different friends. Mailed off a stack, ok, small stack, of envelopes to mail at the post office.

Enroute back, walked sponteneously in a hairdresser’s. Checked pockets. Money I grabbed off the table as I went out happened to add up to the right amount. Hairstylist turned out to have the same first degree as me, in applied linguistics. We talked language acquistion. Pleasant. :-)

Did anyone else feel that good karma wave sweep over the planet today?

Featured Poetry: 8 word poems

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