I’ve been reading Amanda Palmer’s book The Art of Asking lately, and it’s really been helping me evolve beyond the bonds of fear - fear that my work isn’t good enough, or that people simply won’t care about it; or that by even asking people to look at and maybe pay for it, I am somehow putting the wrong foot forward.
So here goes.
My chapbook of poetry was published in October, and since then I’ve sold several copies - a few to people I didn’t know, or didn’t know at the time. I’ve reached complete strangers with my work, and that feels really great.
I priced my chapbook purposefully as low as I could and still keep all the possible Amazon selling options open. I also included the gift of a free, DRM-less e-copy of my chapbook with the purchase of a hard copy. I did this because I know that people have limited funds, and spending twenty dollars on an unknown poets first chapbook just seemed unfair - besides, I don’t want to make a lot of money off of this, I just want people to read it.
You can help.
If you haven’t yet, feel free to check out the Amazon page for my book. You get to read the first poem for free as a sample! If you can chuck some money at a copy, do it! Let me know that you bought it by tweeting or blogging a picture of it to me and I’ll send you my personal thanks! Live near me and I’ll sign it for you! And if you can’t afford a copy, or simply don’t want to buy one, that’s okay too - just go ahead and share the link to it, or the link to my website.
If you do end up buying a copy feel free to share it with your friends, your writer’s group, your parents, your classroom. All I ask is that you continue to share it with people you know, and that you leave an honest opinion on its Amazon page.
I appreciate you all so much, and on the flip-side, if you have a project you’ve been hoping to spread the word on, tell me about it on Tumblr, Twitter, or email, and I’ll help you spread the message! Together we can keep making good art; great art, and inspiring others like us to do the same.
~Odin Hartshorn Halvorson
I'll assume there will be plenty of fanfare and pie once I become a massively successful poet and author - which should be any day now, now that my first book of poetry has been published! It's available worldwide, in both print and Kindle format, for a reasonable price (the Kindle is free if you buy the paper copy,) and I'm feeling pretty psyched about it.
Now I'm no fool - there is little chance that a chapbook off poetry will make any grand waves, but on my purely personal part, this is a pretty damn big deal. I have brought into being a creation of my own design - and that is exceedingly exciting. With this done I think the Universe might just open up for me a little more - and perhaps my creativity will feel freer to expand. It's no accident that I pushed for a publishing date just before 2014's National Novel Writing Month.
It's occurred to me that finishing things, especially creative things, has always been difficult for me - and for quite a few other people as well. There is a certain anxiety attached to the creation and release of your work - even in this day and age of social networking. It's important to explore that anxiety though, I think, and to constantly remind yourself that you need to do this for you - and that once it's done it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks, because you have created something that you needed to create, for the health of your own mind and soul.
Anyway, regardless of all that, I would be overjoyed to see my book sell - so if you would like a copy, please purchase it from the Amazon Create Space store: https://www.createspace.com/4996329
You all rock my socks,
Public project updates, author information, and the like. For more of Odin's thoughts, follow him on Twitter.