Size Doesn’t Matter….honestly!
Just a quickie.
I was sorting through an old drawer the other day looking for nothing much in particular when I came across a very small, almost tiny, book of poetry I bought for 25 pence almost 20 years ago. Amazing what you can find among all the rusty screws, old bills, plugs, cables, fuses, coins and the bits and bobs you are saving ‘just in case I ever need one’.
However, I’m drifting off….back to the poetry book. Nothing special about a small book of poetry you might think…well, actually there is. This ‘book’ was made from a single sheet of A4 paper. The poet was a chap who wrote a kind of short, quirky, ‘sci-fi’ poetry and illustrated it himself with scratchy black and white drawings.
So, this is what he did. It was back in the pre-computer days of course. He typed up two sides of A4 and glued on his drawings. Then he nipped down to the local photocopier shop and printed both sides out. Someone told me later on that he usually copied around 200 sheets at a time, the cost in those days would be probably 2p per side.
When he arrived back home he would make up the individual books, each of which ended up as a 16 page small folded book, A7 size (105mm x 74mm). He then folded over a small lightweight card cover and fired a couple of staples down the spine to complete the book. Total cost I would imagine at around 10p per book of poetry.
Now here’s the clever marketing bit….he stuffed a hundred copies or so into a carrier bag and took the bag everywhere he went. His sales pitch was as follows…..he would approach anyone he met in the street, pub or club with a small book in his hand, hold out the book and say “Don’t even think about it, just give me 25 pence for a fabulous book of poetry”….and they did!
I did too. It worked. He sold zillions of his mini-books. Mind you, he was a very affable sort of chap, everybody immediately liked him.
He sold those little books all around the world. He was a true Global Poet. Everybody loved them. They were also very good value for money and well worth reading. I wouldn’t throw mine away….ever. There’s something about it that makes it rather special.