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Consider self-publication.

Les Barker puts out his own chapbooks. He had 67 of these small books of poetry that he had self-published at the time of his being interviewed for this book. He has the covers printed commercially, then runs the pages off a laser printer from his computer and staples them together himself. His chapbooks consist of the cover on cardstock, an index or table of contents sheet, and nine sheets with poetry. The book is formatted as approximately 8-1/2” x 5-1/2”, so each sheet is folded in two and has two sides, giving 36 pages of poetry in the chapbook.

Lou and Peter Berryman are also advocates of self-publication and self-production. According to Peter, “Over the years, in coming out with three songbooks and twelve recordings, we have leaned more and more toward doing everything ourselves. We now are our own recording engineers, have our own studio (such as it is), do our own mixing, mastering, photography, layout, marketing, distributing, advertising, credit card processing, mail order, web design, booking, grant writing, and almost everything else you can think of (including writing and singing the darn stuff in the first place) except for the physical manufacturing of the CDs and songbooks. This works for us partly because we’ve found ways to make it all fun, but certainly may not work for everyone.”

Self-publication is nowhere nearly as prestigious as having a major publisher put out your book; however, it is in reach of the average poet, and it costs much less than it used to cost. With the modern era changing the publishing business, there are also publishing companies that are now specializing in helping writers self-publish their works. One example that was highlighted in the July 22-28, 2002 Crain's Detroit Business is the Philadelphia-based Xlibris (http://www.xlibris.com/). It is a company that helps writers publish their books and get them listed with distribution channels through print-on-demand technology. There are many others, too. Caveat: Research before investing your money.

 
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