Hello YBP Family!
Publishing your poetry can be a daunting task, as a writer. Should I approach major publishers? I want to be famous! Should I use an independent — “inde” — publisher? Will anyone find my stuff this way? Heck, should I just do the #$%^ thing myself?! I’ll make sure errbody and they mama know who I am! This is a common cranial war that wreaks havoc on many a poet’s brain. Today Christopher K.P. Brown — co-founder of the unique publishing company 2 Pens & Lint — will help lay our minds to rest. Lyrical ladies and gents, I present to you Christopher K.P. Brown.
1.) Please briefly share with the YBP community how you came to be a man of poetry and how long you’ve been in the business.
I began writing poetry when I was 14 years old (1999). The first poem I ever wrote won 1st place at a poetry competition at a university back home in Arkansas. I’ve unofficially been in the business since then. I sold 200 copies of my first book when I was 16. I self-published the book using a printer and a computer my folks had purchased for me. I’ve officially been in the business since November 2008. Currently, 2 Pens & Lint publishes chapbooks for poets and we also run the website, Poetry247.com which promotes spoken word events in Philly, NYC, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Washington, DC.
2.) As one of the founders of 2 Pens & Lint LLC., will you please inform our readers of how your company helps poets like us through the production of chapbooks? What is a chapbook?
We publish chapbooks for poets. We’re pretty open to what we publish, however we don’t publish erotic poetry. Our service allows poets to put out new product and double their money while doing so. One of the main goals of our company is to put money directly into poets’ pockets. Chapbooks are a small booklet of poetry. Our chapbooks normally consist of 20-25. Traditionally, a poet would produce their own chapbook but the process can be very expensive and very time consuming which is where we come in. We do all of the work for the poet and we do it at a low price. This allows the poet to focus on performing and writing.
3.) Compared to the competitors of 2 Pens & Lint LLC., what sets your company apart? What benefits do you offer that would encourage writers to use your company over others or set aside self-publishing?
We’re more personal. To this day our poets still know they can call me at 2:00 AM in the morning, and I’ll answer my phone regarding their chapbook. We’re a small company with a small staff which allows us to be much more organized. This allows us to actually communicate with our clients on a regular basis and see what their particular goals are regarding poetry and their chapbook. With this in mind we’ll normally offer suggestions and tips to our poets about how to go about achieving those goals. One major plus for us as a company is that we work directly with poets on a lot of major poetry scenes. We actually attend open mics and other poetry events so we’re more in tune with the scene than most larger companies are. As far as self-publishing, as I mentioned before we save our poets both time and money so they can stay focused on the poetry.
4.) Even beyond chapbooks, what would you say are the top three ways poets and spoken word artists can promote themselves and their work?
The top three ways right now are video, performing at open mics regularly, and building up a strong online presence (website, Facebook, and Twitter at least).
5.) What would you say is the number one thing to avoid doing while trying to build a career as a poet, and why?
Don’t forget to write good poetry. Seems simple but I see it all the time. People promote, build connections, save up money for projects but forget that none of that matters if you’re not taking the time to continuously become a better writer.
6.) Where can readers learn even more about you and check out some of your poetry?
Currently, the best way is through my personal website – www.dancingwithscars.com. I have quite a bit posted there, and I will be using that site from here on out for all things Christopher K.P. Brown.
Thank you so much for sharing your time and expertise with the YBP community. We appreciate you!
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Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer pursuing her graduate degrees in dramatic writing and acting. To see her writings and services, click here. To have Ayvaunn Penn feature your original poetry on Your Black Poets, click here. To like Your Black Poets on Facebook, click here.