The book can be of any kind, real paper or online-only, commercial or self-published. We only have one restriction: The poet must have been published in two mainstream journals, by which we mean journals that are discriminating.
Our launches may prove to be more effective than are the traditional restaurant or library launches, for several reasons.
First, we will post a batch of the poet’s previously-published poems so that readers can really sink their teeth into the author’s work, as opposed to only hearing them once as at a normal launch. And these poems will be linked directly to whomever is selling the books - a publisher or the poet’s own website.
Second, the launch will include, along with a photo and bio, an interview with the poet, which will also be linked to the poems and to the book source.
Consequently, the book launch will be relatively easy for us to do, not take too much time, and will not cost us anything (except $6.00 to promote it on Facebook).
Yet, if it precedes the poet’s own normal launch, it could significantly increase the public’s interest. Which means that more poets might succeed with their local launches.
But the largest benefit will likely come from increasing the size of the community itself.
Poets living in a relatively small city like London have to deal with the problem of percentages. Of 300,000 people, maybe 1% (3,000) have any interest at all in poetry, and, of that, maybe 10% (300) have any interest in regional or local poetry, and, of that, maybe 10% (30) would ever go to a book launch, and, of that, maybe 10% (3) would buy a book there.
Obviously the problem is the size of the starting community. The only way for local poets to increase that size, without moving to Toronto, is to use the internet, especially something like Facebook. When our Open Mic Night page spends $6 to 'promote’ a post on Facebook, as we will with each launch, that post goes to not just our own page’s ‘friends’, but also to many of the 'friends’ of 'friends’, and so is, at this point, ‘seen’ by 600 to 1000 people, and growing rapidly. These are mainly people who are into literature because the initial 'friends’ of our own page are. And they are all across Canada, not just local. So our online launches will essentially bring all these people into the restaurant at the local launching. No matter where they are, they will all be able to read the poems we post and buy the book equally well. Our market won’t be just us locals anymore.
In other words, our online launches would help to make the names of our local poets national in scope.
As for the $6.00, the poets who benefit can drop it in our Donation Jar at the next event. Hopefully they will: It’s our only source of revenue.
Online launches or not, we are still going to try to launch as many books as possible at our open mic/reading events. This month we will begin scheduling readers for our second season, but first we are going to ask all the poets whom we’ve already asked to read, but who have not yet read, to inform us of any pending book release dates. We want those poets to read soon after their release dates, and we will do an online launch at the same time, but with a more substancial interview. Then we will fill in the other events with the other poets.
Online books and ipads are the future. Online launches fit right in there. Publishers like Smashwords.com don’t make paper books unless there is a demand from the author. Moreso all the time, ebooks are being downloaded directly. They are cheaper to buy, and now we can supply the readers.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a poetry book or chapbook pending.