Thanks for your concerns. Yes you have heard a part truth. We have just asked writers to donate some money to the press to help offset the the cost of the printing of the book. I did send this letter to a 30 folk with the hopes of getting 15 people. No scams at all. It is done in the spirit of co-operation and in the 3 days since we asked folks for this, we raised $3,000. There is no requirement, I offered to publish their book next year for no donation or make an ebook / Kindle title out of this instead. There were many offered options but one poet was more than a bit upset. So this wind storm.
To briefly explain, we just lost a major donor this year and I want to publish these books, but it takes some money to do so. It takes $2000 to make a book and I am asking a few folks who’s books are very very good to help in the publication cost of that book. So far a lot have taken me up on this deal, as this is a fine way of doing things. As I said, our major funder could not help us this year due to a recent financial collapse, their money is gone. So I am asking folks to help out in the publication costs. Of the 530 manuscripts I received I choose 30 books to publish from this lot. There was a real system in choosing these texts and in my opinion this is better than me holding a contest. I have been in that room before and I am not fond of people paying $40 to have a fist year grad student pick through a box of manuscripts to find something they like. This way, we choose good books and if they can help pay 12% of the total $2000 it takes to get a title into print. I am sure that there are better ways to do this but in our turbulent times it is hard to get people to fund poetry and experimental fiction. I am sorry if this upsetting and I understand completely. But this is in the spirit of a co-op and without money nothing can be done.
I do understand your concern but the books that have been choose went through a rigorous look through and in the past this has proved more than successful. One book went on to be chosen by the National Book Critics Circle for excellence. So hurray.
We will rescind this program immediately and I am sorry for the troubles it has caused.