This month Joseph Robert and I had our joint collection, Realms of Man/ Metamorphosis of Woman, reviewed in Sabotage. The incisive and detailed review by Jenna Clake concludes with: “It is evident why the poets have chosen to self-publish collaboratively: their work shares enough similarities to make the pamphlet seem unified, without one over-shadowing the other or the work blending into one undefinable collection. Metamorphosis of Woman/ Realms of Man is a largely successful pamphlet, and it is entertaining at the very least.”
Jenna Clake also reviewed my other chapbook, Toebirds and Woodlice for Sabotage, which you can read here. She noted: “What is most striking about Stewart’s Toebirds and Woodlice is its difference to her other pamphlet, Metamorphosis of Woman. Granted, the strong, honest personae are still there, but this time, Stewart is concerned with the mind.”
The same reviewer, Jenna Crake, also wrote about self-publishing in Red Brick, describing it as a ‘revolution’. I have written my opinion of self-publishing in one of my earlier posts, and I would have to agree. The transition to ebooks has taken off over the past few years; it’s easier now than ever before for a first time author to skip the hassle of submitting via snail-mail to agents and publishers (never mind the fact that things can often go astray in the post – in one case the return of a manuscript that had never reached its destination, having sat in head office for one month, grr!). But, self-publishing can be a double-edged sword. As I mentioned before, there is no quality control; without any submission guidelines or editors checking the manuscript, you have to dig through a lot of coal before you come across any diamonds. There aren’t too many who can be bothered for that, on top of needing a day job to pay the bills. Such is life for us carbon- based life forms! Still the nature of self-publishing can be a rewarding one. We can’t take anything with us after we die (Long, hard sleep, anyone?), so we might as well reap the benefits of a good old slog!