Saturday, 31 December 2016

changming: unpoetic experience updated

mostly poetry-related, my literary endeavours have been so unpoetic that from now on i would call them 'unpoetic experience' instead::

1. as 2016 is coming to an end, i find i have made few 'poetic breakthroughs' over the past year, perhaps except that i was nominated for the best of the net for the first time. fortunately, i have been able to write no less poetry though not to my best standard. tired of making subs, i have had much less work accepted in recent months than in my best years. in november, i got 11 acceptances, and 14 this month.

as a rule, i do not submit my individual poems or collection manuscripts to any online or traditional magazines/publishers that entail a monetary cost (be it in the form of a reading/submission fee or postage), nor do i participate in poetry contests of any kind. resulting from this idiosyncracy of mine, my poetic work is perforce unable to reach more editors/readers than i hope to. this is not because i am 'cheap' as a poetry writer, but because my poems are too 'dear'.

2. most frustrating about poetry submission and publication is the hateful fact that sometimes my work is accepted by what i consider a well established poetry outlet, but never really appears because of the un-professionalism or simply rudeness of the editors/publishers. i have privately compiled a black list for such magazines, to which i am wondering if i should now finally add glasgow review, tresspass, and wasafiri... quite noticeably, many of them are british! is this a coincidence? from a single drop of water, you can see the whole spectrum of sunlight: that's partly why the British have been falling apart?

3. in early january this year, i felt happy when i received an acceptance message saying that my chapbook ms titled my crows was to be published later this year by the publisher/editor of barometric pressures;  however, after i made my third query about its status, i did not get any response from her. instead, i got a chain email notifying the receiver that all her chapbook publication projects have been cancelled, to my great disappointment.

reflecting upon such experiences, i have come to see too much editorial un-professionalism and rudeness in the contemporary literary arena that an author has to deal with.

noticing too many poetry authors who have too many collections/chapbooks to sell or even to receive the slightest readerly attention, i see little meaning in trying to get poetry books published other than to list the titles in a bio note. such being the case, i would not submit any more poetry mss to any publishers even without having to pay a symbolic reading fee, although i have enough poems for at least 10 full-length collections, or at least another 20 for chapbooks . alas, as a poetry author, i was born simply too late or too early.

4. after much ado, the printing job for the six different sino-foreign editions of create abundance is completed successfully. everything is now ready for delivery, but the author's representative says they are unable to pay according to the payment schedule. that sandwiches me in an extremely awkward way: while the printer is demanding me to pay immediately according to our agreement, the payer says they do not have the money yet. the author's agency and i always cooperate with each other in good faith, and do not even need to sign a contract as they suggest. i hope they will not break my trust in addition to so much frustration imposed on me already. they have agreed to pay in mid-jan, and i am waiting anxiously for them to honor their words.

no matter what, for the whole year of 2016, one of my most important literary achievements is that in the first half of the year i organised and coordinated the best possible translation of create abundance from chinese into 6 different foreign languages, while in the second half i have managed to publish the six sino-foreign editions of the book and print 10,000 copies for each. this is definitely my most significant achievement as a publisher thus far.

5. after doing some research work, i realise that a typical well-established online literary magazine has 3,000 - 5,000 pageviews per month on the average; our Poetry Pacific falls exactly under this category, but for the past few months there have been some fascinating developments here: in july, our pageveiws reached a record high of 10,218, more than our usual high of 8,000; in november PP's pageviews reached a new record high of 11,995; and in this month, a third record high of 19,535 like the dow jones index. i do not know how to interpret these statistics, but i do want to keep the following statistics for record::

the ten top countries of pageviewing audience in december 2016 alone:
United States
United Kingdom
5 Nov 2016
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