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Why do you want to publish here at The PUBLISHER © TM? Very simple, you receive personalized attention, publisher listens to your input, and end results are high-quality work. You will not be lost in a sea of other authors waiting their turn in line. You are not passed off from one person to the other during the publication process. You are always made abreast of delays or progress. FREE minor corrections to your Kindle eBook and Printed book for a year or longer. Just read my most recent testimonials, you’ll see why authors’ publishing once return again and again. Don’t be just a dollar sign to huge over bloated corporations desiring quantity over quality. Your manuscript is your labor of love and hours, months, years even of hard dedicated work. It is your baby; you have nurtured into a child eagerly awaiting to become an adult. Don’t trust your manuscript to just anyone to save a dollar or two. I, The PUBLISHER™, work as closely with the author’s budget as possible to give them the best personal experience possible. If you are seriously interested in seeing your manuscript reach fruition as a published book . . .  go to the submission page and email your manuscript today. (Preferred submission formats are Microsoft Word .doc, .docx, .txt and for photos BMP, JPG, and.PNG)

I started Poetry Page 90 in 1985, it was originally a newsletter I typed out using a typewriter. I handcrafted in my living room with a single staple binding in the upper left-hand corner. After putting in ten to twelve-hour days. I would come home, shower and grab a bite to eat then toil over the typewriter bringing my newsletter together. Three errors or more or something didn’t line up as wanted, I pulled the sheet and began tickling those black plastic keys again. I had purchased a new portable Canon photocopier to use as my printing press. To save money and subsidize my newsletter I refilled toner cartridges myself and like an affiliate program offset a little more of the cost. I did each issue that way and printed up 50-100 copies each for a couple of years. Using discretionary money from my daily work; which, wasn’t that discretionary at the time, due to bills and student loans. I contributed poems, writing, recipes, and photos to several small press publications for many years and decided to place small adverts in them. Fortunate for me, at the time small presses networked together helping however they could. So, some advertisements were free to exchange others a reduced nominal fee. Shortly after advent placements poets gradually began submitting poems. I had more material to publish besides my own. I casually began excepting stories and my writers' list began growing. Many of the poets and writers realized publishing wasn’t inexpensive and they would make a small donation of a dollar or two, provide postage stamps, or buy a copy of the newsletter.

Everything is in the name. I thought by changing the publication’s name may help improve recognition and sells. New name, new format, and the publication was now being saddle-stitched. The five-and-a-half inches by eight-inch size was more book-like. A popular term was chapbook. Controlling page count so it didn’t require trimming the reduced number of steps needed for finished publication. Granted, it was never started to be a money maker. A hobby with high expectations of being more one day, maybe. I believe most people understand poetry is a labor of love. Not an overnight get the rich quick scheme.

Sometime around 1987, I renamed publication to On the Cutting Edge. The name seemed current, youthful, and daring. It did attract new talents but more mature ones. This wasn’t a problem as many of them knew what they wanted from their writings and they weren’t seeking fame or fortune overnight if at all. The new writers were a blessing, but it did cost more to continue my endeavor than before. I had perfected the art of bookmaking without the need for expensive printing presses. The tradeoff was it required more of my limited time.

At this point, I had never printed in any real quantity books for a single author. A professor at a major university was under review for tenure. Being published was high on the list for securing tenure. It was extremely important for the professor to have the finished manuscript published. I read the writing and it was very interesting. The problem was I couldn’t take on the full cost at that time. Therefore, I contacted the professor and discussed shared cost production. I had run the numbers and padded it twenty percent with full disclosure to the professor. I even agreed to produce a proof book before either of us proceeded. After the professor examined the proof she was most impressed, and we moved forward. Using just a computer, inkjet printer and my Canon portable copier. I produced one hundred copies of the book. All pages were hand cut and hot glue, then trimmed by hand for a finished look. It was (patting myself on the back) a fine piece of work.

The professor notified me a reviewer from the tenured department may contact to ask a question. And a tenure represented did follow up. I answered all her questions not holding back anything. When asked if this was a traditionally published book I replied, “No.” I explained it was a shared effort because I was basically a startup and taking on a project of this magnitude wouldn’t have been financially feasible. But, had it been I would have had no issue in publishing the book. She had booked in hand bragging on how well the book looked and its solid feel. That’s when I informed the tenure reviewer that each copy was hand cut and assembled. She was amazed saying, “Really?” and I replied, “Seriously. Each one is custom handcrafted. The professor received tenure and that was my first author publishing project. Something I had not even fathomed to attempted given the limited means and equipment at the time.

Then in the 1990s, I changed the name again for more familiarity to The Drury Gazette™. It is no longer a publication typed using a typewriter and no longer stapled. The Gazette sports a full-color softcover and occasionally full color but mostly black and white interior. Writers are encouraged to contribute their poetry or stories without any reading fees. There aren’t any charges for the inclusion of the author’s published piece. Publishing credit is the only compensation given. Writers should maintain copies of publications they are included in. They are NOT required to buy anything at any time. Although, they are offered the opportunity to buy printed copies from sale channels to help support my efforts. But they are never obligated to do so. A free digital download is available of The Drury Gazette © TM at www.druryspublishing.com to everyone that visits. Authors are featured in the Gazette, authors are given free book advertisement space. Everyone has consent from the publisher to distribute for FREE ONLY the FREE copy of The Drury Gazette™ provided copyright notices remain intact and there is no attempt to profit from the publication. Otherwise, it would be considered copyright infringement.

In 2000 I purchased my domain name and it just sat there empty for several months. Visitors were greeted with an UNDER-CONSTRUCTION message.  I ordered a few books on HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) and crudely made and uploaded a website and started to put up fresh content. It evolved slowly over the years as these types of things tend to do. Then in 2004, I decided to start publishing full-length single-author books. By now I had a decent list of regular contributors. I maintain anthologies to be quaint and not overwhelming to the reader. Depending on the anthology only 100 or less different authors were published. The writer would not be lost within a sea of thousands like some anthologies I had seen. Although sells weren’t in a happy medium, I was still continually losing money. I just couldn’t seem to break even and show the slightest profit. But, I was having fun sharing with others my work and theirs. It was indeed and is a lot of work with very little appreciation. So, I dropped a flyer in my next direct mailing seeking individuals that were looking to publish a collection of their own.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I sent emails to a plethora of individuals that were known to participate and buy books of collective works. Being honest with myself about how much fun and work running a press would be. If only I had someone at the time mentoring me would have been a great asset. Hands on experience and going with the flow it not only educated me but helped to ground my novice expectations with some cold hard facts. Publishing is a high stakes gamble.

I’ve learned publishing poetry is a thankless job. What began as a labor of love soured rather quickly. Despite technological advances, in hardware and software, print-on-demand, publishing books still cost money, supporting and promoting books, even creatively and with a life-support budget, costs money. Very few people, including poets eager to be published, seldom buy any poetry books. Had I sold anywhere near the number of books as I receive manuscript submissions, Drury Publishing™ would be making a marginal profit. Drury Publishing™ poetry publications are not making a profit and the red ink looks like a bloody massacre. Still, I soldier onward for the love of poetry and freedom of expression.

After the devastation of September 11, 2001, I believed everything would collapse. I was now invested in independent, shared, and traditional publishing. A few authors had book projects in the works very near completion. The events of 911 scared them rightfully so but they ghosted me leaving me to absorb the loss. The situation seemed evermore direr following the financial crises of 2005. Writers hid and refused to correspond back with any explanation. Ghosting at its all-time high. Displaying their true natures. During 2012 and 2013 I finally broke even. No debt, no profit. Even Steven. It took a great deal of creative thinking and extended hours to see that realization. Yet, I didn’t walk away. I twenty-thirteen, I informed all my authors I was attempting an Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike. I would be gone for a minimum of at least seven months. I needed a break to reenergize, find myself and see if I wanted to continue the present path. I twenty-fourteen I was on the trail resetting my life. This explains why there are no issues of The Drury Gazette™ for twenty-fourteen.

I’ve done a plethora of things knowing I was losing money because I believe in the writer and their work, it’s important to promote the books I publish. It’s imperative to educate people regarding independent-publishing, publishing in general and poetry. But it’s taxing, very taxing . . . People will drop seven dollars for a cup of coffee several times per day. But, won’t drop a $20 on a book they could have and enjoy for a lifetime. The new generation of entitlements, wanting everything free will collapse and when it does the devastation will be mindboggling. Everything can’t be free and when it is someone somewhere is paying for it.

If you don’t take away anything else today. Know the cold hard fact -- poetry books do not sell many copies -- this just may be the most important lesson you learn today.

Drury Publishing™ best-selling title published in 2005 PROCULA a novel (not poetry) hasn’t broken even after thirteen years even though it was considered for a documentary or movie which both never saw fruition because of the author. This is by an author whose work I believed in so much that I published five other titles. Under her promise to promote her books and perform book signings. How many copies must sell to be the best-selling title at Drury Publishing™? 301. No. That is not a mistake or a typo. This number doesn’t include what the author has sold herself, probably around 500 copies on her own. The press doesn’t earn money on author sales. Authors do not earn royalties on copies they purchase. I know this information is about poetry, but I want authors to know it’s hard to sell other books as well, that it much harder to sell poetry. Writing your book regardless of genre is merely the start of things. It takes an enormous amount of effort in this marathon to make any book a success. Especially, starting out as an unknown. Don’t be disillusioned into thinking the publisher will do all the work. An author not eagerly promoting continually his or her book. Who’s going to want it?

If that’s a best seller what’s considered a flop? 300 sales after thirteen years (this number doesn’t reflect what the author sold on her own, which was maybe 400 or so). Each press determines what’s a success by their goals. I believe if you sell a single copy you are a best-seller. Because that is an achievement. Poetry isn’t about financial gain it’s about sharing experiences. Although, a profit would be truly welcomed. Google searches reveal, “Books by new emerging authors sell between 25–30 copies.” The majority of those sells are by family, friends, and colleagues. Shocking indeed? If you don’t know that first thing about publishing poetry.

Unfortunately, this is the reality of poetry publishing. There are presses that unquestionably sell more poetry books. But small, independent presses, frequently ran by one or even a few people, seldom see those kinds of significant sales. Publishing houses with a stable of established names with bookstore chains, solid distribution, and strong reputations. Can offset their losses and subsidized their charity poetry titles

Welcome to the cold harsh truth about poetry publishing, but not one most unpublished poets know. Drury Publishing™ has published 30 poetry books out of a total of 35 published books since 2005. Some have sold reasonably well, others not so much. That doesn’t necessarily define them as successful. Each one I publish was because there was something genuine about the manuscript I wanted to share with readers. I have enjoyed working on all the books Drury Publishing™ has published and each has been a uniquely satisfying experience. I don’t want to extinguish the dream or discourage anyone. Rather, I hope it prospers an ongoing conversation about poetry publishing. And provides new innovative ways poetry publishers can take chances today and improve book sales by accessing more poetry readers.

Publishing poetry anthologies, The Drury Gazette™ quarterly, and single-authored poetry books. I have believed in every manuscript I published. I believe in its author even when they have doubts themselves. I believe everyone has a right to be heard and share their life experiences in hopes it may help someone somewhere. Even if only a single copy is sold, if it helped one person that book is a success. No question about it! I’m not in it for any financial reward. If I were, I would have abandon ship several years ago when it was sinking. But, I have remained steadfast, steering course against the furious crushing waves. Now, I wade in the ocean trying to avoid drowning in the ever-changing tides of uncertainty.

Dream big but be realistic.