<HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>PoetryNOTcom - e-mail correspondence with David E. Young</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY BGCOLOR="white"> <B>His first e-mail:</B><BR> Just an FYI, most of your page has correct information, even if I believe your opinions are paranoid and ridiculous, having been to their convention and seen the prizes awarded myself. Just an FYI though - their are two pieces of misinformation on your page:<BR><BR> On your page, you say, "Their anthologies might be registered with an ISBN number, but give it a try and try to get it through a normal bookstore. You won't get it. No bookstore is able to find the ISBN numbers in their computer, and thus can't order it for you. The only way you can get your hands on poetry.com's anthologies is through their website or through their customer service."<BR><BR> This is not true. My mom bought one through Amazon - and I have a friend who had a library successfully order one 0 based on the ISBN, registered at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.<BR><BR> The second, on your page you say, "And you know what the funny thing is? If you don't purchase the anthology, you won't be published in it. If you don't purchase the anthology, the publishing of your poem will be postponed to the next anthology, and the next, and the next, until you decide to purchase it."<BR><BR> This is not true. I never bought their books, and yet my poems appeared in three. I saw copies of them while I was at the convention back in 2000.<BR><BR> Also, Times is not a basic font. The reason it has become so popular over the past 10 years is because it is easier to read than the basic fonts, Helvetica, Arial and Bookman. 20 yeas ago, Times (new roman) did not exist. Now it is on everything because it is so easy to read. I used to be a typesetter, and anyone in the printing business will laugh when they see what you wrote about typestyles. Also, the books are not printed in Times. But they ARE eye-straining to read.<BR><BR> Anyway, since you have such a thing against these people (yes, they are real, and were doing this long before they made Poetry.com, using ads in newspapers and magazines), I felt you should at least be accurate in your information, biased as it is. This way you don't make yourself look more like a fool for those who DO happen to know a bit more about the International Society of Poets than you, and what a scam really is (As apposed to someone disgruntled because a company offered to publish a bunch of other poems with his and wanted to sell him the book at a discounted rate). Heaven forbid a company make money by selling books with thousands of poems in them. A business should give thousands of copies out to all of the poets and lose all the money, right?<BR><BR> Your site is ridiculous in the first place - I just am giving you this FYI so you don't make yourself even MORE ridiculous by misinformation. Good luck in your anti-ISoP campaign.<BR><BR> You have a big road ahead. They have more supporters right now than any other literary or publishing company on earth except for Reader's Digest.<BR><BR> David E. Young <BR><BR> <B>My reply to his e-mail:</B><BR> Hi David,<BR><BR> Thanks for your feedback on the website. I do appreciate it, even if we don't share the same opinion.<BR> Before I got this mail from you I already made some adjustments to some of the information on the webpage, and with this mail I did some small adjustments still.<BR><BR> For your information: I'm a graphic specialist myself, have been for the past 10 years (and to smartass on you: the font is a serif-class font, font-family Garamond, subclass American Garamond Regular).<BR> And you must agree with me, as being a former typesetter, that the layout in the book is straight on crap. There is no, as they put it in there mail, distinctive layout.<BR> When it comes to that, Noble House Publishers deserves some credit still, because they don't try to cramp as many poems on a page as possible.<BR> Still about the Times font. I'm talking about the use of the font these days, not 10 years ago. If you bring it on like that, then neither Helvetica, nor Arial, nor Bookman are basic fonts either.<BR> Basic fonts these days are the fonts that are standard installments on every single computer and for which you don't have to pay any individual rights. And in that light Times has been a standard font for the past six or seven years already.<BR> And the thing you say about a book offered against 'discounted rate'... I must strongly disagree on that.<BR> The price of $ 59,95 for the book I bought is outragious.<BR> In my ten years of graphic experience I designed books, printed books and guided the production of books and I can tell you that the book that I received has a production price of max $ 15. And the pr and all the indirect costs that accompany that book are never in a lifetime $ 45 per book. No way!<BR><BR> And then one more thing about poetry.com:<BR> This website, as it says at the top of the page, has been made from my own personal experience, and I let everyone decide for themselves what their opinion is.<BR> But ALL those rumors, ALL those matches you find on the internet if you type 'poetry scam', and the fact that there's a law firm doing investigation after them as we speak... Are you saying that ALL those rumors are based on lies? All of them?<BR> You can tell me a lot of things, but that's a thing that I will not buy. Especially not with my own experiences.<BR><BR> Well, anyway...<BR> Again, thanks for you feedback.<BR> And for that matter, I would like your permission to put your e-mail as a link on the website (or as an entry in the guestbook), so that people can also read your opinion.<BR> I will put this reply e-mail along with that.<BR><BR> Regards,<BR> AC <BR><BR> <B>Then his response to that:</B><BR> LOL I like your style - no problem with the link or guestbook entry thing.<BR> Several law firems, as well as the FBI have been asked to do such "research" and did very well at thier work. All of them so far, including the FBI, have found no fraudulent claims or illegal or unethical activities on the part of the ISoP, and most have concluded their investigations.<BR><BR> I agree with you on one thing, the layout on many of them needs work like a firetrap needs condemning.<BR><BR> As for a printing cost of about $15.00, you feel a 250% markup is not reasonable? How much do you pay for diesel - it is a 3000% markup. Milk? 500% markup. Gasoline? 300% to 600% markup. Your average encyclopedia? 1200% markup. Your average coffee table book - 500% to 900% markup.<BR><BR> Of course, the costs of the staff is considered in the price, and the ISoP has thousands who work for them around the world. Also, the cost of packaging, and the costs of business overhead, and then the convention and prize money, and of course, what every business needs to survive - profit!<BR><BR> Is $59.95 such a high price for a book with thousands of poems in it? That is in fact a discounted price, as the normal cost is $79.95 (which is what people who do not write poems in the book pay). Nothing requires them to take off $20.00 multiplied by however many thousands of poets wrote for an issue. According to your own calculations, that would be a pretty heavy loss for a business.<BR><BR> Business are here to make money - money that is paid to their services and employees and thus, service offered in their communities when they spend the money they earn (including the owners, who also spend their money), and into societies, including ours. This is the purpose and reason of business - of ANY type - make money.<BR><BR> The founders of the ISoP and their other businesses in poetry and photography, wanted to create a business that could harness the talents of poets and photographers around the world who had trouble getting published. Originally, they were picky about who they published, but they felt bad about rejecting so many people, so they came up with an idea.<BR><BR> In the poetry businesses, they published any poem sent to them with the idea of encouraging creativity of all types, making someone feel good about themselves, and thus hopefully improve or continue to submit to other publishers until they succeed. At the same time, they are in business to make money, and when they offered the books free to the poets, they came up with too little to print as much as they desired. So they changed the policy to give discounts to the poets and the families of poets.<BR><BR> Over a period of years, they perfected the process of finding submissions, and they have had their awards program since the early 1980's. They now publish more poems and have more people submitting than any other publisher in history.<BR><BR> When I attended their convention, they had about 30,000 poets there. I did not run into any that I did not like. There are millions of submissions each year since they opened Poetry.com, yet only a total of 50,000 invitations are sent to the convention. They expect around 15,000 to show up, they told me, and were actually surprised at the turn-out the year I went. We booked all of the hotels in DC just about! <BR><BR>They do have a large board of readers who go through the poems and vote on which ones will be finalists for the prize, and most of the crap that they print does not make it past this board. At the convention, it is the poets themselves who vote over a period of 5 days, narrowing it down to a top 10. Of those top 10, the board of the ISoP decide the top 3. Then the poets vote for the top 3 for the annual grand prize winner.<BR><BR> It is really quite interesting. And I am still in contact with many of the poets I met there today. Many have books of their own out, and some write for greeting card companies or more recognized literary magazines. These are not the crap at the bottom of the barrel, but poets who I take my hat off to.<BR><BR> Having looked into this business, I have a feeling that this legal investigation you refer to will end up the same as the others, finding that the ISoP is doing legitimate business. I still say they do need to hire a new layout team though.<BR><BR> David E. Young <BR><BR> <B>To which I responded the following (and after this I didn't get a reply anymore):</B><BR> If you know a bit about the graphic business, then you know that the only 250% markup goes on commercial printed matter. Books are mostly sold with as low a markup as possible, max 10-15%.<BR> So No, I don't think that 250% markup is reasonable. And as for the encyclopedia, that's a whole different story, because there we're talking about article rights, research rights, references, etc. etc. So it's difficult to compare them with 'normal' books.<BR> And Yes, I DO think that 250% markup would be reasonable if they would pay the featured poets their royalties or if they would send the featured poets a free copy. But that's not the case.<BR> And when it comes to the costs of post and packaging... I had to pay that seperately for my copy of the anthology. And that was indeed a shitload of money extra (excuse my my french). If I would send an equally heavy parcel to poetry.com, I would have it done for one third of the price that I paid.<BR><BR> You seem to know quite some about poetry.com. Almost like an insider.<BR> If you say they changed their strategy, then I think they lost a teeny bit of their reputation with it. If you read the poem that I put on the website, see its contents and quality, then you know what I'm refering to. Those kind of poems should not be selected for publishment ANYwhere.<BR> There are loads of those poems, those crap poems, that are selected and published.<BR> And I think that's a big part of how poetry.com got its present reputation.<BR><BR> When it comes to motivating poets... I think we're mixing up motivation with moral here, but that's a personal view again.<BR> Poetry.com doesn't motivate people, they abuse their position of being a known institute by telling people lies about their abilities. I'm talking about that 95% that will never get anywhere with their writings.<BR> Even if poetry.com knows that they will not get 'it' anywhere, just because they don't have what 'it' takes, they still come up with those unpersonal, commercialized, personalized e-mails (I think you know what I mean here), just to pull those people to poetry.com's side of the line to buy the book.<BR> Now to me you sound like a down-to-earth person. And I am also. We are able to see things in the right perspective. But suppose you come across someone who doesn't. S/he finds out that there might be something not completely right with poetry.com (I'll leave it floating whether this is true or not), and s/he interprets this whole thing and his/her poem being published as one big lie and freaks out (to nicely put it)?<BR><BR> The conventions are probably fantastic. I will believe you on your word, I haven't been there. But you pay dearly for it. And with that kind of payment I think it's self evident that you get your awards and your prizes. But still I think that you don't get those prizes because you earned them for your skills (some maybe might, but most don't), but because you paid for them yourself.<BR> That's not what I call motivation.<BR> I also believe you on your word that you are still in contact with a lot of poets you met on that convention. That might be the only honest thing that flows out from this thing. The contacts with fellow poets that remain after all the dust has settled.<BR><BR> And even if social contacts are very important to me, I would not pay the amout of money the ISoP requests for it...<BR><BR> As ever,<BR> AC <BR><BR><BR> <CENTER><A HREF='JavaScript:parent.window.close()'><B>close this window</B></A></CENTER><BR> </BODY> </HTML>
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