In September, local poet Lloyd Willis released his poetry collection “Dog and Fox, and Other Musings” through Amazon’s CreateSpace publishing platform and Kindle Direct Publishing.
The book is a collection of 90 haikus about subjects ranging from Midwest winters to the animal kingdom to the trials of human relationships. Each poem also has a photograph to go with it, providing a visual aid to complement the words.
“When I started thinking of putting the book together, I wanted to give readers something to interpret,” Willis says. “Some people are very visual, and as the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.”
The book is available through Amazon in both the poem-only format and the full-color deluxe book containing the photographs.
Of his decision to self-publish, Willis says, “I wanted to get the writing out there, and I’m not affiliated with any colleges that could publish through academic review, and without an agent it would be a challenge to get published. It was the best way to get my name out there and to build an audience so that eventually, at some point down the line, a publisher will say, yes, we would want a collection of your writing.”
Many of Willis’ haikus began as tweets, as it was the writers’ network on Twitter that spurred the inspiration needed to complete the book and got him published in several print and electronic anthologies.
“What really got me started was when I discovered the writing community on Twitter back in 2013,” he says. “It was an opportunity to start really focusing on my style. So it’s a matter of going through and pulling pieces out for inclusion and collections. We have several anthologies in the concept stages at this point.”
Self-publishing has become increasingly common, as it allows writers easy access to publishing mediums without dealing with rejection from bigger companies.
“The issue is that these days, publishing has changed so much from when I was growing up as a child in the ‘70s. There is a very dynamic realm of writers that are going ahead with it, in any type of field where they’re not going to be making a huge amount of money — like poetry — because very few poets make enough money to live off of until they’re dead. It’s a truism that most poets don’t become famous until they’re dead.”
As for future projects, Willis is working on his first novel and his first anthology of short stories.
Follow Willis on Twitter @TorturdCyclone.
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by Brittney Goodman
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