BBFH (and Other Poetry Updates)

BBFH (and Other Poetry Updates)

I’ll be putting some of my cool photos from York up soon (if you’re following me on Instagram, you might have seen a lot of them already), but I just thought I’d update you on the status of Broken Body Fragile Heart, my third poetry collection and the only one theoretically available in paperback.

Theoretically being the key word there.

You may remember that a while back I made the decision to sell the paperback through Amazon rather than directly through Blurb, in order to improve discoverability and whatnot. That was also when I decided to go with KDP Select, so that my books would only be available on Kindle and not on Nook or Kobo, where I wasn’t selling anything anyway.

That was two months ago, and while I was told it could take anything from a few days to six weeks for that to become available, I’m still waiting. So… that sucks.

I contacted Blurb, and it seems there was some kind of error and they put it through for me again. Having just checked Amazon US and UK, it looks like the paperback is now visible, but is showing up as out of stock and with no indication of when it might reappear. Since it’s print on demand, that’s not really how it works, so that suggests it hasn’t gone all the way through yet.

On the US page it seems to be displaying fully, including a price, though I don’t know if that’s the real price because I don’t understand dollars and I’m not sure that’s what I put. It looks like, if you want the paperback, you could order it now and Amazon would eventually deliver it when they get their act together, but I’m not guaranteeing anything. If you want to have a look at it, the page is [here].

The UK page looks less confident in the book’s existence — it’s unsure whether the item will be back in stock, and doesn’t give a price, whether my price or another one. Moreover, while the US page shows the date as being the day I resubmitted the book, following the error (earlier this month), the UK page still claims publication was May 22nd, suggesting that it hasn’t caught up yet.

So, I don’t know what’s happening.

I think the US page is a good sign that it might be working this time around and soon you might be able to get the paperback from Amazon, but the UK page suggests things may not be moving very quickly. Much like my next collection, which is … progressing slowly. I mean. I have the bulk of it, in terms of number of poems, but it’s still not long enough, and I have my doubts about some of those that are currently in it, so… it could take me a while to consider it good enough for publication. I’d hoped to get it done this summer, but I’m not sure that’ll happen.

I’d rather leave it for a few months and produce something good than churn out something substandard just for the sake of meeting a self-imposed deadline, though.

While I doubt that anybody was queuing up to buy the paperback and wondering why it wasn’t on Amazon yet — my flatlining sales stats for Kindle would suggest that absolutely nobody is interested in it at all — I thought I should keep you updated so you know what’s happening. And if this has rekindled (ha) anyone’s interest in my poetry, well, that can only be a bonus.

Meanwhile, if anyone has enough experience with Blurb and Ingram distribution to Amazon to give me advice, I’d love to hear it, because I’m concerned that this isn’t happening quite as well as I was promised. On the whole I’ve been happy with Blurb: the quality of the books I received was lovely. However, this seems a less successful aspect of the process. If it doesn’t get resolved, I may defect to CreateSpace or something for future paperbacks… (shock horror! what a betrayal!)

I’ll keep you updated on that, too, in case you’re thinking of self-publishing and want my take on the two services.

Stay awesome, and I’ll be back with pictures and, hopefully, better news about the status of my poetry collections.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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