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Poetry Fishbowl Perks for 2012 - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poetry Fishbowl Perks for 2012
I've finished compiling and distributing the perks for the 2011 Poetry Fishbowl project.  There were 9 k-fans, people who spent $100 or more during the year.  Interestingly, some of them were 'superfans' who spent substantially more than that and would have qualified several times over.  There were 36 donors in all.  The k-fan collection of all the fishbowl poems published during 2011 was 333 pages long, which is a LOT to work with: a full-length book manuscript, really, hand-punched and bound in a presentation folder.  Now I'm looking ahead to 2012...


Here is the structure for year-end perks that I have in mind for the coming year:
$500 -- Full-year collection
$300 -- Half-year collection
$100 -- Series collection
$50 -- Full sheet of donor bookmarks
$10 -- One donor bookmark

The full-year collection keeps getting bigger, even with my duplex printer using both sides of the paper, so I need to minimize how many of those I do.  At some point it may need a 3-ring binder.  (Seriously, you've been buying about half of the fishbowl output.  A month sold out for the first time in 2011, and if you bought ALL the poems from the fishbowl in a year, that would about double the collection size.)  New this time is the half-year collection, which will feature the donor's choice of January-June or July-December poems.  That will still contain a substantial number of poems, just a somewhat more managable size.  The collections have a flyleaf of scrapbook paper, a title page, a dedication letter with the recipient's name, and my signature along with the poems organized by monthly fishbowl sessions.  Each collection is numbered.

Also new is the series collection.  I'm going to try compiling each poetic series into its own file during the year; I don't know if I'll get them all done but I should manage at least a few so that donors will have a choice.  A series collection will include all the poems WRITTEN for that series to date, not just the published ones; and they will be in my best estimate of chronological order, not written or posted order.  This may or may not include artwork, essays, or other supporting materials -- some series have extra stuff, others don't, and it will depend on whether I can get permission to reproduce any bits that aren't my own work.  Note that a poetry chapbook typically runs 20-30 poems or 25-60 pages.  "Path of the Paladins" is already at 22 poems and 89 pages (including some of the art and an essay).  Otherwise the construction is similar to the collections described above.

The donor bookmark features a poem unique to each year, the year number, and my signature.  Most of them I slice apart with the paper cutter and mail individually.  Higher up the scale, people get a whole sheet, which I leave intact because it travels better that way -- you just cut them apart when they arrive.  I print these on whatever fancy paper I can get in packages that seems seasonally appropriate; the 2011 paper had blue and silver snowflakes.  Usually there are 4 or 5 bookmarks on a page.


General Perks

The more active the audience is, the more goodies you get during and after a Poetry Fishbowl. Sometimes I need to swap things around a bit, so check the perk list for each fishbowl. Here is the typical lineup of perks that are currently available to everyone. 

1) Just for sharing your ideas, one poem will be posted free during the fishbowl.

2) If there is at least one new prompter and/or one new donor, you get an extra freebie poem. This usually appears during the fishbowl, but sometimes shortly afterwards.

3) Right of first refusal. That's the official publishing term for my custom of letting the poetry fishbowl audience pick whatever you-all want to sponsor, before the remaining poems get added to my archive for submission to magazine editors and so forth.

4) If donations reach the $150 threshold, you get a free series poem. Everyone gets to vote on which series will have the freebie; donors get offer me prompts for it; and then it's posted for everyone to read. If there are lots of unpublished series poems, I'm likely to give you a choice from those rather than do another prompt session.

5) If donations reach the $200 threshold, you get an extra Poetry Fishbowl based on a poetic series. Once again, you'll get to pick which series. The fishbowl will probably run for a half-day instead of whole day, and you'll get a free poem posted for that series.


Donor Perks

Donors enjoy a variety of perks in appreciation of their support. (Some of these are also available to my regular prompters. I don't shout them very often because they're simple enough to do for a few people, but would tangle up if too many were stacked together.) You folks help put the beans on the table for the wordsmith and family! You are all awesome.

1) Complete list of currently scheduled dates and themes. Read the Poetry Fishbowl lineup for January-July 2012.

2) The "Poetry Fishbowl Patron" icon. See the image reserved for donors on the Poetry Fishbowl landing page. It's an orange kitten watching a goldfish, which you can use to show your support of the fishbowl.

3) Donor perk-posts. You get to read the essays I write about poetry, which are custom-locked for donors. See a menu of previous perk-posts on the Poetry Fishbowl landing page.

4) Advance prompting. If you expect to be offline the day of a fishbowl, you can contact me backchannel and leave your prompts early.  I'll jot them down for use on the fishbowl date.

5) Hold a poem. If you want to sponsor a particular poem, but won't have the funds available immediately, let me know.  I can make a note of your interest and set that one aside for you, rather than submit it to magazines.

6) Split a poem's price into two or more payments. This is especially useful for epics, if you want to sponsor one by yourself but can't fit the whole thing into your budget all at once.  Talk to me and we can probably work something out.

7) Suggest a theme. A couple times a year, usually, I ask folks for theme ideas and then put those into a poll to determine the most popular ones.  But if you have a good idea, you don't have to wait for that -- just send me your suggestion, and if it sounds promising, I'll schedule it or save it for a poll.

8) Nonexclusive reprint rights. If you sponsor a specific poem for publication in The Wordsmith's Forge, then you have the option to repost it on your own blog or website, as long as you keep the credit intact.

9) Polling perks. Donors get extra votes in some polls, such as the selection of future themes. Donors also get access to some polls or calls for prompts that aren't open to the general audience, such as an extra serial poem.


Further details about this project appear on the Poetry Fishbowl landing page.

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11 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: December 30th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
>>The full-year collection keeps getting bigger, even with my duplex printer using both sides of the paper,...<<

Yes, this year's collection was quite a bit heftier than last year's.

Thank you so very much for everything you put into making and sending those out! They really area a treasure. :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 30th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

>>Yes, this year's collection was quite a bit heftier than last year's.<<

The 2010 collection was 192 pages, compared to 2011's heap of 333.

The covers I found this year were rated for 300 sheets of paper, but I'm a bit dubious of that since they have folded rather than flat spines. That tends to leave part of the flyleaf uncovered. They'll hold somewhat more than I put in this year, but probably not a lot. That's why I'm keeping an eye on the 3-ring binder option, but those are unfortunately a lot more expensive and also heavier.

>> Thank you so very much for everything you put into making and sending those out! They really area a treasure. <<

*bow, flourish* Happy to be of service. I want to do something awesome for my main supporters, so I'm glad that you enjoy the collections.
haikujaguar From: haikujaguar Date: December 30th, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Instead of printing out all the poems and binding them, why not consider printing them through someplace like Createspace or Lulu? All you'd need is a document with all of them in order, and then you can just order them for fairly cheap and send them out instead of having to do the printing yourself.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 31st, 2011 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

I have considered taking the collections to a print shop or online service, when they get to be too much for me to handle individually.

Among the reasons for not doing that from the beginning:
* It probably costs more than making them myself.
* I think people appreciate having something handmade and unique. If the collections come from a printer, they'll all be the same. Right now, each has a different flyleaf paper design and a dedication letter with the recipient's name on it.
* Handmade copies make it clear that this isn't "publication" in the official sense. It's in the same realm as handing out a few copies of a manuscript to first-readers. So there's less likelihood of getting into an argument over rights if I later decide to issue a collection of poetry as a regular book.
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: December 31st, 2011 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Very, very exciting. The perks for 2012 sound great to me.

Elizabeth, I shudder to think of the mailing fee to ship this year's collection over here... I'll try to come up with some ideas for different options.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 31st, 2011 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>>Very, very exciting. The perks for 2012 sound great to me.<<

Yay! I'm happy to hear that.

>>Elizabeth, I shudder to think of the mailing fee to ship this year's collection over here... I'll try to come up with some ideas for different options.<<

We managed to find a mailing option that was doable. It's not cheap to send things overseas, but not hopelessly unreasonable. Besides, over the years I've spent more on total postage to magazines that never bought anything from me -- and the Poetry Fishbowl is my second-biggest market. It very nearly matched the Llewellyn annuals this year, which is impressive. So it's worth what support I can manage in return.

Other options are worth considering too, though, if you come up with any good ideas.
ravan From: ravan Date: December 31st, 2011 07:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I guess I'm going to have to budget more $$$ for you this year. As long as I'm working, I can do it, unless my bills bite me in the butt again.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 31st, 2011 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

That would be awesome, if you can manage it. If not, I'll understand; money is tight for most folks these days. What kind of stuff did you have your eye on?
natf From: natf Date: January 2nd, 2012 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is there any way that I could buy something like this from you or via lulu/etc. or actually preferably the whole thing as an eBook/Smashwords/etc. when I get birthday money in August? I used all of my giftmas money on my iPad (YAY!) and my weekly benefits pay the bills.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 3rd, 2012 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Well...

I've opened up a whole discussion on this topic here:
http://ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com/2078906.html
If there's enough interest and the details can be made to work, it's possible.

In general though, remember that people can reach donation thresholds by contributing a little at a time or all at once if they have windfalls. I have k-fans of both kinds. Sponsoring one $10 poem a month will do it, and even $5 a month will get you more than halfway to k-fan status. One or two epics can do it, too, if you want to think in bigger chunks.

Feel free to check back with me in August to see what options are available.
natf From: natf Date: January 3rd, 2012 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

Sadly we cannot afford even $1 per month right now. I am forever grateful that you allow us to read your poems for free or once someone else has sponsored them. Also, I find reading on paper very hard and so would prefer to buy an eBook/PDF with gift money now and again. I will try to chime in over on the other thread. (copy/paste)
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