Sunday, January 3, 2016
Terrapin Books: Progress Report
All the essential parts of Terrapin Books, my new small press for poetry, are now in place, and I’m making good progress on our first book, The Doll Collection, an anthology of poems about dolls. Poet Nicole Cooley is at work on the Introduction to the book. She was a perfect choice for the job as she’s written a number of poems about dolls and is writing a non-fiction book about dolls.
I received close to 400 submissions for the book with many of the poets submitting as many as 5 poems. The quality of the work was gratifyingly high, so making the selections was hard. I had to turn away many fine poems which I would have said yes to if I hadn’t wanted to keep the book to around 100-120 pages. The final count was 87 poems by 87 poets. Some of the poems go back as far as the 1970’s; others were written for the collection.
I hope to have The Doll Collection out in early spring. In the meantime, the list of poets can be seen at the Terrapin website. I think it’s pretty impressive!
I’ll be taking submissions of full-length collections from late January through February. I plan to be on Submittable by then and will be asking a minimal $12 reading fee. I hope to select 2-3 manuscripts from this first open submission period. My goal is to publish 4-6 books in 2016. Manuscripts will be carefully read. Those selected will receive editorial input. All poets will receive review copies, discounted book purchases, and royalty payments.
I hope to publish beautiful books of outstanding poetry. I also want those books to sell well and to get into the hands of many readers. Therefore, I suggest that each poet submitting a manuscript be able to say yes to the following expectations:
1. has 25-50% of the poems already published in respectable journals
2. has a dedicated website or is willing to create one prior to the book’s publication
3. has some involvement in social media
4. enjoys giving public readings and is willing to seek them out
5. will take advantage of review opportunities
In other words, there’s an expectation at the press that the poet has been actively involved in getting his/her work “out there” and will be committed to promoting the book.
The selected poets can expect that their books will not be published and then abandoned, that the publisher will be committed to promoting each book and maintaining an ongoing positive relationship with all Terrapin poets.