It’s coming up to that time of year again when we reflect on the past year while anticipating the new one. What will it bring? And it’s the end of a decade – the last of the Noughties, the first of the Tens and Teens. I’ll probably reflect further on this, but for the moment, the first thing on my mind is that next Saturday I step down from the Board of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, after five years. I hope I’ve made a difference; I know I’ve enjoyed it. I’ll still be around, still supporting the Festival – because I love it – but in an informal capacity, just as I still support the Scottish Poetry Library, on whose Board I served before StAnza.
I really don’t know if it will give me more time and energy to give to my writing and publishing activities, but I know that I really need more time for them next year. My next collection – The floorshow at the Mad Yak Café – is coming from Red Squirrel Scotland next Spring, and I’ve got two more Calder Wood Press titles to produce before then, or around the same time.
I’ve now got 21 Calder Wood Press authors, and the job of running a fast expanding publishing house (and I didn’t anticipate growing so quickly) is taking up more of my time (and money, but that’s another story). Some of the tasks are:
- choosing who to publish, and when
- reading manuscripts, and agreeing on content and sequence with the authors
- designing covers, with the authors
- designing internal layouts
- arranging printing
- planning launches, attendance at book fairs
- checking stock, recording sales and financial info
- advertising – and I prefer to do most of this by online methods
- updating the website
- notifying Nielsen BookData and sending out legal deposit copies
- sending out review copies
- fulfilling online orders
and many more. I’m not complaining – you know I never do that – but sometimes it feels like I’m working full-time again. So I’m thinking it would be nice to have some assistance for a few hours a month. It occurred to me that I might be able to offer training in publishing in exchange for this help, since I can’t afford to pay anyone – I don’t even pay myself. So it’s a sort of internship I’m thinking about. Will it work? I don’t know. I’m so used to doing everything myself that it might not work out, but we’ll see.