January 11, 2011

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Chapbook Proposals

The Poet's Haven will be launching a chapbook series in 2011. Plans are underway for the first volume to be released in April, with new books to follow every other month.

While I have spoken with several authors about this, and have some other authors in mind for upcoming releases, I would also like to open the series up to submissions. Whether you are a veteran or a newcomer to the small-press publishing world, if you're interested in having a collection of your work published I would like to read your proposal.

Here are the details for the series format, publishing schedule, and pay structure:

Chapbooks will measure 5.5" wide by 8.5" tall and will be saddle-stitched (aka stapled). The books will be 40 pages in length, including a title page (which can also include a table of contents or an introduction) and the page with copyright notices and all the other required fine-print. A full-color, cardstock cover will adorn the books. The cover price will be $5, subject to change with any drastic increases in production costs (paper prices, etc.).

The chapbooks will be kept in print for a period of 12 months. After 12 months, no additional copies of the chapbook will be printed. 13 months after the original publication, the chapbook will be made available as a free e-book download. The e-books will not be printable.

Authors will receive 20% of all printed copies. That breaks down like this: If the first print run is 100 copies, 20 of them go to the author. If the first print run sells out and a second print run of, say, 50 copies is produced, the author will receive 10 of them. If the author wants/needs to acquire additional copies, he or she can do so at a 40% discount.

I'd like to take a moment to address this pay structure. After discussing how other small-presses compensate their chapbook authors, two common flaws became apparent. With many (not all) small-presses, a chapbook is either limited to its original print run and is finished once it is sold out, or the publisher can produce as many print-runs as demand calls for but the author receives no additional payment. I have designed this pay structure to allow for multiple printings over the 12 month release window while continuing to compensate the book's author for increased sales.

What is The Poet's Haven looking for?

A collection of your poems centered around a theme, a collection of work from a certain era of your life, a series of poems that tell a narrative story... These are just a few general ideas. Also, while most chapbooks contain poems, nobody ever said that's all a chapbook could be! Surprise me!

WHO is The Poet's Haven looking for?

The Poet's Haven has always taken pride in being open to both newcomers and seasoned pros. That said, for legal reasons, chapbook authors must be at least 18 years of age or have a parent or guardian involved in the process from submission to publication. Authors who manage other small-presses are welcome to submit a proposal, but be aware that you may have a harder sell. (I'll wonder why you're not publishing the book yourself.) Also, authors who have been previously published by The Poet's Haven (whether in the online galleries or in the podcast) will probably get some preferential treatment. ;-)

How to submit a proposal:

Click the "Contact Publisher" link on PoetsHaven.com and send me an e-mail with "Chapbook Proposal" as the subject. You can also contact me via private message on Facebook. Tell me who you are if I don't know you, and tell me what your idea is for a chapbook. Include a selection of pieces that would be submitted for the chapbook in the proposal (5 pieces maximum).  If your proposal interests me, I will contact you requesting a full manuscript.

Thanks, and I look forward to your responses!

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