Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bully Pulpit: Buy some damned books, already!

This is re-hash of my last "buy books" rant along with some added thoughts.  If you think I am being rude or you just don't want to hear it again, then go away.

I know I begin to sound like a broken record when it comes to this, but I really am getting tired of people who don't buy books and then complain that nobody buys books any more.  Since I buy books, I get to talk about this and if you don't like it, that's too bad.  Her are a few rules to consider.

1.  If you know a poet, you need to buy poetry books in some of these ways.  If you are a poet, you should be willing to buy poetry books in all these ways:

Buy books your friends write.

Buy books from the presses who publish you and your friends.

Buy the books you read about on Facebook.

Buy Books from Amazon's Hot 100 List. (Yes, they are evil, so look up the books on Amazon and then buy the book directly from the press.)

Find small presses and buy year long subscriptions for all of their chapbooks.

Gift books you don't like to other poets.

Buy Books for all of your gifts.  Your nieces and nephews don't like poetry?  To hell with them.  Buy them more poetry.

Buy books and sneak them into Doctors' offices.

Spend your damned money!

2.  If you don't follow rule number 1, then you don't get to whine about nobody buying books.

That's the ball game.  If you don't think other people's books are worth your money, you don't get to be my friend and you don't get to tell me how messed up everything is.  And this isn't just for NaPoMo, either.  It's for everything. 

3.  If you don't "sell" poetry, you don't get to complain how nobody "gets" your poetry.

You have to spread the gospel of poetry.

You have to teach people to love poetry.

You have to encourage other people to write poetry.

You have to make people believe poetry can change their lives.

* * *

Another way to promote poetry is to give poetry away.  Like the above rule 1 suggests, if you have books of poetry you don't like or will no longer really go back to (admit it, you all have a few) then give them away.  I am not taking part in the Big Poetry Giveaway this year, but I have already given away at least ten books of poetry this year, so I don't feel guilty about skipping out.