Sunday, February 22, 2009


Hah! A moment to CELEBRATE!

Celebrate what, Toi asks? Moi cheerfully replies after having slobbered through doing taxes:
2008 is my first profitable year as a poet!

By poet, I mean my activities not just related to my poems but in terms of what I feel I should do as a poet, e.g. Meritage Press. Anyway, check out my summary Income Statement:
TOTAL REVENUES             $9,117.92
TOTAL COSTS             $6,996.23
NET PROFIT            $2,121.69

Woot! California and federal budget deficits -- here Moi comes with taxes for your deficits! It's always us poetry publishers stepping up to the plate when Citibank and General Motors fail to stimulate us all!

And the result compares favorably with the prior year, to wit:
TOTAL REVENUES             $7,721.88
TOTAL COSTS             $14,027.17
NET LOSS             ($6,305.29)

Big improvement, yah? Particularly since I stopped all public appearances these past couple of years and, you know, such usually yields humongous reading fees (yeah, right). Anyway, I'd say I got a positive money-result because I was able to nearly halve my book production costs through the judicious use of short-run printers or print-on-demand technology. I had blogged earlier that poetry sales went down, which is the case; the higher revenues was boosted significantly by the sales of STAGE PRESENCE, a performing arts anthology that I published. But I'll take that subsidy for moi poetry titles!

So let's see what the 2009 economy brings.... I suspect my financials actually won't be that bad, but that'd be because I'm reducing the number of titles I'm likely to publish in 2009 and book production costs are always the major expense.

In any event, while I'm not pulling the plug at all on Meritage Press, I'm also in the middle of reviewing how to move it forward. The current distribution set-up for most small press poetry simply does not work. But we poet-publishers knew that, yah? That's why the non-profits among us apply for grants. But being a private press, I just opt for the wine industry to subsidize the poetry. After all, pain is always eased by...uh, wine!

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