A Process Post: Money

It’s one thing to read online literary journals and to think Hell, I could do something like that, and it is entirely another to actually do it. Everyday I flip on my computer, or my phone honestly, and I’m faced with more emails than I used to get in a week. There is also the increasingly interesting problem of how to talk about what this space is. First, it is working to become a fine little house for some beautifully simple poems. Second, and this is the snag that my husband and concerned loved ones mention, is that one day it will have to become a self-sufficient business venture.

Self-sufficient, ok. But what does that mean in the online world for teeny tiny websites? For me it does NOT include charging for general submissions. When I go to submit my poetry I have to have a damn good reason to pay to submit to a general submission. I’ll pay for contests, and I will buy a year long subscription to submit. But to just hand over money to read 5 of my poem? Not so much. Like many out there money is tight in my house as well, so I see no reason to ask for money for general submissions. Later on, if it is right for us, we will have paid contests (with, fingers crossed, lovely guest judges).

To be self-sufficient means to be able to care for one’s self though, and like all ventures, this one too requires money, right? Truthfully, right now, no. Straight Forward is only costing me my time, which I gladly give over to the poetry mistress. Eventually though, this will one day cost me money. I’d like to actually own the domain name, thus getting rid of the happy little “.wordpress” addition to our web address. As the staff grows we will also need to increase our submission manager space, which costs cash.

Ultimately I want Straight Forward to be able to put out books, ink and paper, hug um to your chest, sign your name with pride, books. Sadly, a bit more money is required there too.

The solution is forcing more creativity out of me than I thought it would. To start with we have set up a Partnership with Powell’s Visit Powells.com.

It costs you nothing extra, just use the link on our page to buy the books you already wanted. I have even put together a bookshelf (linked on the right side of our website in the blogroll as well) of books I love. Most of the books listed are poetry, but I slipped in some of my general favorites as well. I’ll be updating this bookshelf as I read, discover, or remember more books.

There other great places I am hunting out, and there is no rush for money right now. When I first plotted how to run this journal I thought that getting submissions would be the hard part, but Poets, who always surprise me with their bravery and generosity, have been wonderful. We get a handful of submissions everyday, more than I had even hoped for this early in the game. I feel more confident in this journal every day. I can’t wait to publish our first issue and to see it grow, in becoming self-sufficient and in doing justice to the submissions we receive.

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