It’s been a little over two years since my last blog post. A lot has happened since then. The Kindle has become a preferred reading device for millions of people, Smashwords has become the leading distributor of independent e-books online, Barnes & Noble has introduced a competitive device to Amazon’s Kindle called Nook, Apple has entered the e-book competition, and there are more poetry and literature blogs online than ever before. In fact, online literary magazines are proliferating.
When I started World Class Poetry in 2005 I wanted to build more than a run-of-the-mill website that publishes poetry or lives off grant money and endowments while catering to a small group of specialists within a certain circle. I wanted it to be informational and broad, but helpful.
I started the World Class Poetry Blog in 2007 in order to accomplish a number of things as I worked toward my publishing goals:
- First, I wanted to promote my own poetry without simply offering poems as blog posts. There were enough poets taking that route.
- Secondly, I wanted to foster a serious discussion of poetics across a broad spectrum.
- And thirdly, I wanted to promote the main website as I worked toward building a publishing platform.
This plan worked out well for a couple of years until I decided I wanted to merge the blog and website into one entity on a third domain. It was supposed to take two months, but it ended up being two years fraught with frustration after frustration.
How I Convinced Myself To Give Up
My plan with World Class Poetry all along was to build a publishing platform, not just for my own writing but also to help others promote theirs. Unfortunately, I got derailed by my own ambition.
For two months in 2009 I worked feverishly to move all of my content from an HTML site into WordPress at the new domain. All was going well until one day I hit a design snag that obliterated much of what I had worked toward. I’m still not sure what happened. It took me a couple more months to figure out how to fix the problem. Meanwhile, I continued to blog.
Once I fixed that issue I moved my blog to the new domain and was about to go live when another snafu occurred. Again, I spent months trying to fix it. This time I stopped blogging because I wasn’t sure how long it would take to fix the issue and because I didn’t want two blogs at two separate virtual locations with different content. While this was going on the blog was hacked and that made me want to move it to another domain all the more. Virtual publishing has its own unique challenges.
Long story short, for two years I’ve fought with three domains to get one little issue after another solved. I’d fix one and another one would pop up. As I worked on the new domain, the current domain began to fall apart – like an old house that no one tends to. Finally, I admitted defeat and just moved my blog to this domain (the original home of WCP) and did some cleaning up.
I hate to lose. The tenacious fool in me refused to admit defeat. At one point I grew so despondent I just didn’t do anything for several months. Whenever that happens, I take to writing. But instead of writing poetry, I wrote fiction. I even managed to get a few pieces published here, here, and here (a mere sampling, but be forewarned: these are pretty weird). I also found a home for this epic opus, which you can also find in my collection “Rumsfeld’s Sandbox.”
Still, publishing credits aside, the last two years have been a frustrating endeavor for me as a publisher. Alas, I have realized that my goals for World Class Poetry are too big for me to handle alone, so it’s time to ask for some help.
Let’s Build A Team
I have had to humble myself to confront my weaknesses. While I am well-versed enough in HTML and CSS to get the job done, I am not by any means a web designer. And I am by no stretch of imagination a web developer. I’m a writer, and I prefer that.
Web designer alert
Therefore, I’m looking for someone who has the design skills and development skills to fill in for my lack. If you have what it takes or want to join something great, contact me for more details.
Of course, this is a labor of love, not an enterprise. In other words, I can’t pay a bucket of gold for Rolls Royce wheels when I’m driving a volkswagen. But I believe in fairness and I have some improvements to the site that need to be made. As you can see by milling around, there are a few design inconsistencies that need to be fixed and some bells and whistles that could be added for effect. There is definitely work to do. I’d rather spend my time writing and editing content, which is what I do best.
Writers, come to the fountain
Besides some design issues, there is a lot of content that needs to be written. I can’t write it all. There are sections of the website that need additional pages and some content that needs updating. Additionally, I’d be excited to discuss guest blogging opportunities with anyone interested in contributing to the blog.
While World Class Poetry is profitable in a technical sense (it earns a few pennies in AdSense money each day), it isn’t earning me a full-time income (that would be a dream!). But I am willing to pay a writer fairly for content and to help me take WCP to the next level. If interested, contact me and tell me what you think needs to be done to improve the site.
Like my logo? Yeah, I’m not married to it either. I also think the site could use more graphics overall. I could entertain the idea of adding cartoons to some of the pages. I’d be open to other suggestions. If you have any ideas or if you’re a graphic artist and you think you can help with some of these, then contact me. Let me know what you want and what you’re willing and able to offer.
Did I leave anything out? Got other ideas? Contact me. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
Let’s Build A Community Together
I have no idea where I’m going from here. I believe the community can build itself around the talents of the people who respond to my call. So let me know what you have to offer.
If you have sent me a book review in the last couple of years, I apologize for not being able to follow through. I will be getting back to reading books and reviewing them soon. But since that is a time intensive task that provides little return other than the enjoyment of finding a good read in the slush pile, that just illustrates another reason why I can use some help with the site.
There are improvements and additions to WCP that I’ve been planning since the very beginning. I still have not wavered on most of them. I still have plans to do some digital chapbook publishing, a project I was just beginning to get underway when the aforementioned troubles started. I will pick up where I left off on that plan very soon.
Obviously, I cannot do all of this alone. I need a team. If you love the idea of using your talents to promote poetry, want to join a progressive and forward-thinking team focused on bringing 21st century poetry alive, don’t mind putting up with my temperament, and believe you can improve the World Class Poetry website and community, I’d like hear from you. Contact me. A volunteer spirit is appreciated, but compensation based on contributions and resources available is my mantra. I’m hoping you’ll see the opportunity and respond. Any takers?
Image credit: Jonwatson
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