Artist’s Info for Current Exhibit

Hello to my friends and family. I wanted to share my information that is posted currently at the Enfield Center Public Library on Middle Rd. in Enfield, CT. Through the end of February, some of my photos from Facets are on display in their community room. I invite all who are interested, to my presentation of the book at the library on February 24th. That is a Wednesday night and will run from 7 p.m. to around 9 p.m. Hope some will come

The Flyer that is at the library

blog header     Welcome to my current exhibit. The photos in this show are from my first published book of poetry and photography. Written under my pen name of Julyn S. Pride, the book is available through Barnes and Noble or through Amazon.com.
As a photographer, I believe that if Ansel Adams or Henri Cartier Bresson lived today they would utilize the many digital tools, to expand their working knowledge of the craft of photography. My camera is a digital Sony A35 SLR. Yes, I LOVE digital photography. All the photos I used in the book, save one, were taken digitally.
As a long time poet and aspiring writer, I am not ashamed to say that I self-published Facets on Sept. 17, 2015 through the miracle of economical websites such as Create Space. I have joined the ranks of indie (independent) authors, a recent phenomenon that saw 40% of the e-book dollars going to indie authors for the first 3 quarters of 2015. As an indie author, we are “dominating traditionally published authors” in sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller, and romance genres but — and here is the surprise – we are also taking “significant market share in all genres,” according to Publisher’s Weekly.
Self-publication is not a new phenomenon. Walt Whitman, one of America’s finest treasures, was largely self-published, including his most famous work, Leaves of Grass. The difference today is the ease of self-publication, as well as its cost effectiveness. I am proud to call myself an indie writer and am glad to be in a growing profession. I hope I can continue to be a part of that industry as it evolves and changes.
I have always wanted to find a route to join my photography and my writing. My first combining of the two occurred when I became a journalist/photojournalist for newspapers such as The Journal Inquirer and The Regional Standard. To wear both hats has become necessary to be a successful freelance journalist in modern changing markets. Thankfully I have had formal training in both genres. I received my photography training through the New York Institute of Photography, and my journalism skills through the Communications program at Manchester Community College. I was a fine arts major as well at MCC with a focus on English.
The book, Facets, is a concept piece. The poetry follows a natural flow of life, beginning with our inborn love of nature, and takes the reader through the various phases of life, right to that of spiritual awareness. The photos are my visual interpretation of some facet of each poem. The choice to use largely black and white is to continue the idea of poetry by removing the distraction of color and create a more thought provoking picture.

I hope you will find some common experience as you read the poems and view the photos. Please come to my discussion of Facets at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24. I will be talking about some of the stories behind the poems, as well as my creative processes in the writing of the book. I will read several of the poems from the book, and read a few new ones I am writing for my next collection of poetry and photography. I will have books available to purchase on February 24th ($10.00) if you would like one but do not want to go through Amazon or as a special order through Barnes and Noble. Hope to see you on Feb. 24.

_________________________________________________________________

Here is photos of the exhibit in the community room. I have about 20 photos from the book on display at the library.

SONY DSC
Front wall at the library.

 

SONY DSC
Back wall at the library.

December Newsletter – Merry Christmas

  1. Christmas_wallpaper__002931_

What a glorious time of the year to be sharing our art with each other. There are Artist’s Open Studio’s happening all over the eastern part of Connecticut. We have art fairs and holiday parties going on. It is a busy month, not only for artists but for families and local businesses. As we try to ease into Christmas, after stuffing ourselves with wonderful Thanksgiving dinners, let us remember those who don’t have the ability to pursue their creative lives due to poverty, homelessness and job losses. Think about donating some of your art to local shelters or offer your special skill to nursing homes or hospitals. As a poet, I plan on offering a reading at a Vernon nursing home, and my book, Facets, will be donated to Tri-Town Shelter. If you are a photographer, perhaps you might think about heading to a shelter and taking some portraits of the families there so they can share them with their family. There are many ways to share your art, even if it is creating decorated cakes and cookies. Food can be as much an art as painting, writing, or photography. It is the sharing of caring that we can give. We can even extend it into next year and donate our time and skill to those who face hard edges every day.

Hard Edges

 

SONY DSC
On The Street

 

The flesh eating air
Begins to eat her at sunset.
There are white pines brushing
Her skin with a biting,
Spider mites or something.
They hit her skin and burn it.
The sounds of motors spinning
Are a constant.
She lays in a bed of ferns
With the sky for a roof
And watches the moon
As it makes its way
From east to west.
Below, the glaring headlights
Mask the brilliance of the moon
And it seems there are thousands
Of moons flashing across her closed eyes.
The light is never enough to read
On the dark hillside beside the bridge.
She tries to sleep,
Between 2 and 5 is the best time.
There is a brief relief then.

Exhibit Continues At Monet’s Table

Through the month of December, my photo’s from Facets will continue at Monet’s. I am planning on switching a few of the black and white photos out and replacing them with some color canvases, just to keep the exhibit fresh. Books are still available there for $10.00. Monet’s is located at 167 Tolland Stage Road, Tolland, CT. Their menu is exquisite and well worth a visit on a Wed. afternoon.

Readings and Book Signings

I will be having a reading of Facets at Fox Hill Center in Vernon, CT. the week of December 14. (Postponed until January per request of Fox Hill.) It is still up in the air when it will be, since I have to keep in mind my normal work schedule, but I will post the date when I have firmed it up.

There will also be a book signing and reading on Sunday, December 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. I will be attending the Connecticut Poetry Societies holiday party at the University of Hartford, 1265 Asylum Ave., Hartford, CT. at Butterworth Hall. Facets will be available for purchase at that time. It will be a wonderful time of food, poetry and the love of the written word.

December Open Studio cancelled

Due to the opportunity at U of H, as well as the reading at Fox Hill, I will not be able to have my open studio that I had announced last month. It is not to say I won’t have one later, but I think a better time would be when the lilacs make their annual sweet entrance, letting us know that warmer days are ahead. However, I am always open to a visit by any interested friend or fellow writer. I have the studio decorated for the holidays, complete with a tree and lights wrapped around the open beams. A few Christmas knickknacks peer down from the open wall frame, and the propane heater warms the place up very nicely.IMG_1479

Where Is Facets?

Currently, the book may be found at the following retail shops.

  • Thistle Glass Crafts
  • 50 Main St.
  • Ellington, CT.
  • 860-875-3895

 

  • The Red and White
  • 46 Tolland Green
  • Tolland, CT.
  • 860-454-0669

 

  • Monet’s Table
  • 167 Tolland Stage Rd.
  • Tolland, CT.
  • 860-875-7244

 

  • June Mita
  • 860-424-1845

The marketing will continue through the month of December, as I try to find new shops and retail outlets that might be interested in carrying Facets. I will be making a visit to Barnes and Noble next week in Manchester to find out if they would at least have me do a book signing during National Poetry Month which occurs in April. I will also be heading to their Enfield store as well. There is no harm in trying. The worse that can happen is that they say no.

Have a great holiday season, and support your local artists.

Follow my photo blog for more poetry and photography.              Connecticut Photographer

 

 

 

Marketing Facets to a Wider Audience

I have had little time to warm up to the aspect of actually marketing my book. I have already sent out several letters of intent to libraries and art organizations, with little success at responses. It is time to have a back up plan.

Marketing is a large percentage of how well your book will sell. One of the most important questions to ask is “Why would anyone want to buy my product?” So you need to market yourself as well as your book or product. Face to face contact is always good, especially when you are trying to sell a book or set up a lecture.

I do hope this will lead to lectures in libraries and senior centers, as well as at colleges and universities. So far I have received a rejection from a local library regarding my leading a discussion about Facets. Once again, I did not sell my book well enough to the library. It is quite frustrating, but once I present an analysis of one of the poems and one of the photos to the librarians, they may finally see there is more to this book than meets the initial read.

My original intent was to package my book and my photography into a combined show, and approach primarily art organizations. That was assuming they would actually agree to carry such a show. I have discovered it is much easier said then done, as the rejections from galleries and art organizations has shown. I did not properly sell my product or myself to the people I contacted, so I have hitched up my suspenders, put on some makeup, and now I shall try a different method.

I realize I need to convince my perspective targets they want my books and photos by giving them some actual reasons, primarily as a percentage of sales. I have also joined several poetry organizations that will make announcements to other members that I have a book of poetry. They in turn may seek out the vendor I leave my book at. I have to prove to that vendor there is a market, and where my connections are that may stop in to buy the book.

I now am ready to approach gift shops in hospitals, local shops such as The Red and White in Tolland, CT., and Thistleglass Crafts in Ellington, CT. Facets is a lovely book to give to an English major, or as an uplift to someone who is hospitalized. There are poems that beg discussion between readers of the poems, and there are poems of reflection. There are several poems that celebrate women in various facets of their lives, and show some of what women endure in their journey of life, as well as the joys and balance they bring to others lives.

I have developed a sample agreement between seller and author. I do hope that it covers all contingencies, and is understandable and easy to read. I would ask that if anyone borrows my format to please notify me before using it. I would also appreciate any feedback regarding the agreement and if it seems to cover all the bases for my particular brand of marketing. Stay posted for the results of my marketing and any successes in consigning my books to local shops and hospitals. I will update locations where the book may be found.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sample Agreement.

Author/Seller Agreement

Book Title ____________________________________________
Author _______________________________________________
Address ______________________________________________
Address 2 _____________________________________________
City _______________________ State _____ Zip___________
Contact email ________________________________________
Contact Phone ________________________________________
Seller ________________________________________________
Address ______________________________________________
Address 2 _____________________________________________
City _______________________ State _____ Zip _____________
Contact email __________________________________________
Contact Phone _________________________________________
Number of Books Consigned __________________
Date of Consignment ________________________
Length of Consignment _______________________
Date of Pick-up ______________________________
Royalty Agreement

It is agreed that (Seller) ___________________________ shall retain (Percentage)__________ of each book sold. The cost
of each book shall be (Price) _____________ and the seller agrees to pay (Dollar)_________________ per book via a
valid check to (Publisher)_____________________________on the ______ of each month.
The seller agrees to keep a valid log or copy of receipts of each sale as it occurs and may request the author/publisher to supply the necessary materials to maintain accurate information.
The seller agrees to collect any and all required sales taxes and business fees required by their state.
It is the responsibility of the author to pay his/her own federal and state income taxes, and to report the amount accurately.                                     Both parties agree that the seller is not responsible for any books that may be stolen.                                                                                                                               Both parties also agree that if the books are not picked up by the publisher or author in the previously agreed allotted time, that it is not the responsibility of the seller to maintain the books and they have every right to destroy the books if pick up time is
overdue, unless they have been contacted of extenuating circumstances that cause the author or publisher to be delayed.

This agreement is made on: Date_______________________________

Seller______________________________

Publisher ____________________________

 

 

 

 

Facets and Amazon

As of Sept. 21, 2015, my book Facets is now listed on Amazon. The link to the purchase page is as follows:

http://www.amazon.com/Facets-Julyn-S-Pride/dp/0692475370/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442864326&sr=1-1&keywords=facets+julyn+pride

I received my first order. I wish I could frame my first dollar earned like most businesses, but since it is all electronic I suppose I could frame the notification.

There are many aspects of online bookselling that I did not expect. My first marketing lesson came quite quickly. As I scanned the book on Amazon, there was listed another offer. It is required to offer your book at a discounted rate to wholesalers. Of course, I am thinking physical storefronts such as Barnes and Noble. In the online market, however, anyone can set up a “storefront” with Amazon, at a fee of course. That is exactly what happened. My discounted rate to wholesalers is a whopping 55% off the cover price. One such wholesaler bought the right to sell, applying the 55% discount and almost immediately there was an offer priced far below the cover price.

Soon there were three others that had done the same thing. This was a wake up call regarding the competitive realm of web based marketing. I am still waiting to see how all that works. Do they have some sort of a consignment where there is no actual sale to them until they sell what they have? I have not seen any of those offers come my way in royalties, so I can only imagine it is all based on if they sell their virtual offer through Amazon.

As to the first few days of publication, I am still on edge, thinking I have to create PDF’s to send to Create Space or Ingram Sparks. They are done and both have their file copy, so I sit twiddling my thumbs wondering what my next step will be. I cannot just sit and wait to see if copies will actually sell. I have ordered 70 copies for myself so in case I have any interested in getting a copy, I can accommodate them quickly.

External marketing with actual storefronts will be the next order of business. I am in the process of contacting gift shops and local booksellers. I have eyes and ears everywhere in interested friends and family who are giving me other leads. I have been told of a program through Hartford Library called Author’s Table. It is a location to place a few of your books for possible sales.

Through the Connecticut Poetry Society and Hartford Library, they have partnered to present readings of poetry with first preference going to Hartford writers. There is no harm inquiring. I do need to set up a reading somewhere, and soon. I am hopeful that Tolland Library will say yes to that possibility before the holidays set in.

Other approaches may include contacting local senior centers to set up readings and a lecture on self publication. I am considered a senior citizen at the ripe old age of 58. There are others who have put off pursuing writing a novel or memoir until retirement, or near retirement. My experience may be of help to someone who hasn’t gone as far as I have on this publishing trek.

As I begin to set up dates for my external marketing, I will place it here on the blog. Right now there is very little to tell. It is far too soon to convey much news on my future accomplishments regarding Facets.

There is a poem I included in Facets called “To The Family Farm.” It is a poem written about generational farms. It began as an article for a newsletter that used to be published in Tolland, CT. I never did submit the original article, which was based on the farm run by my grandmother’s kin over in Ellington, CT. Many weekends we visited the farm. It is still run by the Aborns on Meadowbrook Rd. in Ellington. So I share with you now a little essay about the farm, and where the original seed for “To The Family Farm” came from.

Part of The Land

SCAN0004
The Aborn Farm in Ellington, CT. ca. 1941.

Behind the weathered red barn, streaks of gray become more prevalent in the worn barn wood. I look out to pastures dappled with Holsteins. The milking pen is just steps away. To my right is a flat white barn which blocks the unappealing view of modern McMansions. I lean against the tar papered and shingled chicken coop, the low murmer of a flock of hens gently rising to my ears. Milking will begin in about an hour.

I can’t hear the cows, but their scent permeates the air. I breath in its familiarity deeply. It wraps around me like the soft featherbed I sink into after an unusually hard day. I accept it with welcome comfort. My lungs are always clear when I visit my cousins farm in the Connecticut Valley.

All sounds of modern life are muffled in this sheltered corner of Roaring Brook Farm. There is no plane drone from the local airport and the barn wood and fieldstone apartments across the street do not exist. I like to forget they are there. It used to be another farm owned by a local family that had to sell the land to pay the ever increasing taxes of many New England towns. As I sit in the shadow of the coop, it is only the land and myself. The weathered wood of the fences are so close I could almost touch them if I just lifted my hand.

It is a trick of the eye due to distant slopes, but the fields of the 55 acre farm seem expansive. They are my delight, though the view is always tinged with fear of how long the rental fields beyond my cousins will be available. There are only 3 dairy farms left in the town, down from nearly 15 when I was a child.

I sit on my hillock of grass and come back to myself. The corporate juggle disappears. The impermanence and non-essential purpose of time and things which burden me lift lightly and is exhausted into the rich soil below me. Showplaces, cocktail parties, last week’s tennis score become a laughable entity as the seriousness and necessity of the land, its giving nature and wonder, fill my grateful heart.

They say the land gets in your blood. It enters your every pore, your soul. They are right. If it were not for the steadiness and dedication of these honest, hard working cousins and their sharing nature, the land and its caretakers would become extinct, and we would never see the wide expanse of field and farm. I am wracked with intense sadness, however, because one of my cousins must move away from the Connecticut Valley because land is too expensive, and he cannot support his growing family with the annual receipts from Roaring Brook Farm. It is the way of many generational farms in the area. I will sit at their table tonight, and feel honored and happy as we partake of one last family gathering before the day tomorrow when the trucks will come to take half the herd to New York.

I will always need the farm. I will always need to be reminded that glitz and shine rust and dim, and that our outer appearance is only temporary. Our purposeless ambitions disappear when we do, and the reason farm and land awes and inspires me and invades every nerve ending is because that is where we are nurtured in life and where we go in the end. We trade one body for another. Each cleared forest and shrunken field is a loss of the bigger piece. It is an amputation of our true body.

A familiar sound reaches my ears. Above me I hear the trumpeting cries of migrating Canadian Geese. I peer into the blue sky and see nothing but a black string wriggling and writhing. It floats closer, blown by an invisible wind. The string becomes a mass of moving hairs, then becomes outlines of wings and graceful necks. It is part of the quiet unhurried place I absorb, the place where the consistancy and predictability of our world and its perpetual nature is seen, felt, lived daily while it’s here . . . . the endangered family farm.