If you’re reading this, you’re one of a small number of people in the world who can read it. FEEDBACK REALLY APPRECIATED ON THIS ONE.
A prominent figure in the world of fire circles, and a published author, who shall remain nameless but whose initials are O.Z-R. just asked me if he could publish the October Full Moon Sonnet, which of course is part of this series I’ve been sending out on Mystery Tribe, the SpiritFire List, the TurtleTribe list, and elsewhere. I wrote back to him and mentioned that there was a whole series of these poems, connecting the sabbats and esbats.
And he asked for the whole set. He’s working on a book project, you see, a collection of poetry and ritual resources associated with the quarter days, cross-quarters, and Esbats, a project set to begin in January and conclude around Beltane. As he put it, “this is a small project, and there wouldn’t be a payment for any of the contributors except in authors’ copies.”
Now. On the one one hand, it’s nice to be noticed by the big boys, and to have my work singled out for publication. On the other hand, it’s more than a little aggravating to me that I’ve spent a year thinking and planning this project, and the projected reward for a year’s worth of work is “authors’ copies”, meaning that someone else gets the profit and I get shafted.
I’m a published author. OK. It’s role-playing game credits. But still, I get paid $0.05 a word, and this “Great Year” project now amounts to over 7,000 words. Another four sonnets and three other pieces in the planned collection, and it will be 8,000 words or so, fifty pages of poetry or thereabouts. O-Z’s name will sell lots of copies, and I’ll get noticed — and forgotten. And unpaid. Or I can try to save this project until it’s several years in the making, and try to get it published under my own name… and in theory, either get paid or lose my shirt.
Are these poems, as I believe, worth holding out for a united publication, as a complete “system”? Or should I allow them to be integrated into someone else’s project? Or should I give him rights to the October Sonnet alone as a way of building overall interest in my project? Anyone have any thoughts at all on this?