For better or worse, we are a market-driven organization. We don’t receive grants or any significant donations. Each of our projects has to pay for itself. All of the books that we produce have to earn back their cost. The membership fees pay for our writers’ forum, contests and some of our infrastructure. Without these things, the well runs dry and the number of cool things we can do and support in Central Ohio rapidly shrinks to zero.
We have a small problem, but you can help. People have been begging us for three years to do a poetry book. Finally, earlier this year, with the help of the very talented Hannah Stephenson who served as editor, we put together a wonderful book of poetry, The Ides of March. With the help of the very talented Yao Cheng we designed a beautiful cover and offered it for sale at a reasonable price. I haven’t gotten to the problem yet, it’s a magnificent book.
We haven’t sold very many copies of this book. In fact, aside from the authors who bought copies for themselves, their friends and family, we’ve sold pretty close to no copies. We’ve run sales, we’ve done promotions, we’ve done events for the book — no dice.
The conclusion that I’m drawing is that there’s very little interest in poetry books. It seems like there’s virtually zero market demand for it. That doesn’t mean it’s not valuable as an art form or that people shouldn’t continue to express themselves through poetry, but it does mean that it will be impossible for us to justify investing our very limited resources into another poetry book in the future.
So, here’s what I’m asking. We need to put this up to a vote. If you believe that we should consider more poetry projects in the future, you can cast a vote by purchasing a copy of The Ides of March, which today is on sale for $8, but on Monday will cost $14.95. If you don’t believe we should consider future poetry projects, you can cast a vote by doing nothing.
I’m sorry that a vote costs money. We listened to a lot of voices and that’s why we created The Ides of March, now we need some people to step up and back up those voices.
I should clarify, we don’t produce these books to make money, we spend every dime of revenue that comes in back on the organization and the artists, supporting the arts and specifically the written word in Central Ohio. But, books take a tremendous amount of money (among other things) to produce, so we do need to recover our costs or the train derails.
If we don’t sell another copy of The Ides of March, nothing bad will happen. We’ll be fine, and we’ll continue to offer this poetry book for sale indefinitely. We just won’t be able to justify devoting resources to poetry projects in the future.
I would love to do more poetry projects in the future. If you agree, please vote by purchasing a copy of The Ides of March (click here), which is available on all major online retailers, and as an e-book on all major digital markets. It’s currently available through our website here for only $8, through Saturday.
It’s up to you to support poetry in Central Ohio, if you’re so inclined.