After all the work you’ve put into creating your poetry or prose, composing, redrafting it into the shape that says exactly what you intended, and then those hours of careful editing that you’ve done, the question of what happens next is tricky. Lots of us take the traditional gamble of competitions or submissions.
That means joining the other heap of writers hoping to catch the eye of the reading team or judge. If we’re going to do that properly, we should research for markets to suit our style of writing, which potentially consumes a lot of writing time.
The writing myth is that there’s an easy way round this, that some generous patron will discover us, and we’ll be whisked away on a publishing roller-coaster where we are cushioned from all the detail involved in becoming a ‘known’ writer. Then our work will not just have a market, it will be commissioned in advance, and our lives will become suddenly organised into sensible, un-challenged writing periods that are generously interspersed with relaxation activities and occasionally involve some promotional work. Sounds like a Utopia, doesn’t it?
I don’t know about you, but I’m too well read to trust in those. So what are the other options?
Well, one is to self-publish. Which is, of course, its own minefield. Who do you trust? Where do you start? How much should it cost? What can you expect for your money? The questions are endless, and if you’re interested in that road, you need to do some rigorous research. More time.
So I was interested when Katey told me the other day that she’s now posting some of her poetry on You Tube.
That’s something many of us could manage. Most phones can record sound or video files. Then all we have to do is upload them to our computers and get creative on aps or programmes, and decide where we want to appear. Once you ask a search engine about video or visual poems all sorts of advice is revealed.
And if you’re a confident reader, why not give it a try? The web is our oyster, isn’t it?
For many of us, the off-putting part is being filmed. There are ways around that:
- Use a static illustration.
- Have the text of the poem appear as you deliver it.
- Use a video of an appropriate scene.
- Sign up for one of the companies that specialise in animating your content.
That last option is what Katey has done for one of her poems, Watching The Kite. It still costs money, and requires time, but proportionately to the other self-publishing options, it involves less of both. It also ensures that your finished article has a professional gloss without the need for too much extra sweat and tears from you.
Of course, if you want your work to be ‘shared’, you need to put time into promoting. But I never promised at the outset that I was going to give you a cost-less option, did I?