Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Chapbook Appeal

An open letter from the Editor in Chief of Folded Word, Jessi Graustein, who published my chapbook Girl, Wolf, Bones.

Please read her appeal (also pasted below), think about it, respond, buy for yourself and for friends. It is a pity that these wonderful books are produced with so much love and attention, and then nobody reads them.

November of this year marked our 2nd anniversary of producing chapbooks. We couldn’t be more proud of the titles we’ve published—titles written by authors passionate about keeping the craft of writing alive. Each one is a testament to the fact that literature is not, and will never be, dead.
I don’t know where you stand in the great e-book debate, but I personally believe that they will be critical for keeping literature open to new voices in these difficult economic times, due to their financial and physical accessibility. At Folded Word, we have made it our mission to offer 99cent e-book versions of our print chapbooks during the pre-order period because we want to make it possible for any reader to support the artistry of our authors. These e-chaps are formatted to play nice with all e-reading devices and have “speech to text” turned on for the visually impaired. We thought that with all the free e-reading apps out there, at this price and functionality our e-chaps would fly off the virtual shelves. But they haven’t.
In trying to figure out why, I’ve come up with a few questions for you:
  1. If you read chapbooks, how do you acquire them?
  2. If you don’t read chapbooks, what is the main reason for your reluctance?
  3. Do you feel that buying e-books (whether chapbook or book length) encourages publishers not to produce print books?
To weigh in on any of the questions that apply to you, either leave a comment below or send me an email (editors [at] foldedword [dot] com). I can assure you, by the way, that Folded Word is committed to keeping book craft alive—a commitment that can be seen in our signature chapbooks and broadsides. In fact, the sale of e-(chap)books makes it more possible (not less) for us to produce future print titles by increasing cash flow with few additional time demands.
We have some amazing chapbooks available that could truly use some love. If you aren’t familiar with our chapbook list, please explore our chapbook blog at If all our social-media followers/fans took a chance on just one 99cent e-chap, we could make the close of this year very merry for our chapbook authors. It could also be the highest-yield investment in the arts you’ll make in 2011.
Whether you join in the discussion or not, whether you purchase a chapbook or not, we want to thank you for being part of The Fold. We would not exist without you.
Cheers & Happy New Year,

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