On 17th April I went to the launch of Fiona Moore's pamphlet. Now, less than 2 months later, it's sold out. Recently in his blog another Happenstance pamphleteer, Matthew Stewart, wrote about selling books at readings. His "Inventing Truth" has nearly gone too. So poetry does sell!
Other than quality, what's the secret? Matthew's done 8 readings. Fiona surely hasn't had time for that many, though I think she's done 2 or 3. Are they infernal bloggers/tweeters? No. Have they had glowing reviews? Well Matthew's had some decent ones in print. Fiona's had none yet as far as I know, though some online reviews have been very encouraging. Is the poetry accessible? Well it's not obscure, but it makes no concessions. I'd say it belongs to the literary mainstream but it's not easy reading by any means. Maybe living in London helps? Fiona lives there, but Matthew works much of the time in Spain!
Happenstance authors might well buy each others' publications, and there are many Happenstance authors around nowadays, but that's only part of the story. Several Happenstance pamphlets are in short supply. I think last year's "After the Creel Fleet" by Niall Campbell has gone already, so I guess you should visit the happenstance shop and grab what you like before it's too late.
And my other publisher, Nine Arches Press, has 2 poetry collections nominated for the 2013 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize - Alistair Noon's Earth Records and Maria Taylor's Melanchrini are both on sale from Inpress. Bloodaxe and Carcanet are amongst the competition.