Being a small site has its disadvantages. Among many, one of them is that you can sometimes get taken advantage of by bigger sites with more power. Did this recently happen to us? Yeah, it kinda did, maybe not intentionally but nevertheless it did. But I chose not to get upset over it and am not interested in starting a beef by mentioning a name.
But being a small site has its advantages as well. Among the best of these is that you can actually cultivate relationships with people. This includes various artists and creators you get to meet and cover, and a number of artists I’ve written about have become genuine friends who mean a lot to me. It also includes your own writers if you’re a multi-author site like we are. And in Pop Mythology’s two years I’m proud to say that although writers have come and gone I’ve had good, positive relationships with them all.
But some writers stay for a while, and cultivating long-term relationships with them based on respect and trust can result in something that the big sites might not always have and that is loyalty. Loyalty doesn’t mean these writers will stick around forever, but it does mean that for as long as they’re here they’ll treat the site as if it were their own and be happy when something good happens to it—angry when something bad happens to it.
As the editor and owner of a very small site I don’t have much, professionally speaking. Hell, I don’t even have much on a personal level either. But you know what, I’ve got loyalty. I’ve got my writers’ trust and respect and I didn’t get it by using pressure or intimidation; I earned that s**t. And because my writers trust and respect me they happily contribute their efforts for as long as they’re able despite the fact that I can’t afford to pay them. In return, I do everything that I can to help them in ways that don’t involve money be it hooking them up with neat perks like review copies or free passes to events, linking them with artists and celebrities they admire, or plugging the hell out of any of their own personal projects.
Like this one. VΩX is a new collection of performance poetry by my multi-talented writer and movie reviewer (not to mention good friend) Jess Kroll. So get this: barely a year ago he published his first literary novel, Land of Smiles (see review). Since then he’s been hard at work on a multi-book YA series, banging out nearly a volume a month to meet contractual deadlines. And now he’s put out this e-book collection of powerful poems which you can pick up for just 99 cents (you can’t even get a cup of coffee at McDonald’s anymore for 99 cents!). All the while contributing kickass film reviews (like this one for Interstellar or this one for Birdman) and incisive analyses (like this one discussing the importance of Guardians of the Galaxy in Marvel’s overarching plans).
Such hard work and loyalty should be rewarded. Placing people first, not profit, should be rewarded. But I can’t reward my writers as much as they deserve all by myself. Do you, as consumers, appreciate small businesses and operations focused on people and homespun goodness over unbridled growth? If so, then just for today opt for a Tall sized mocha latte instead of your usual Grande and spend the buck you save on this poetry e-book. None of the royalties go to me so that’s not why I’m pushing it. I’m pushing it because Jess deserves it.
And you deserve good poetry. Which this book has. Wanna sample? One of the poems happens to have been posted on this site way back when it was just getting off the ground. It’s called “This Little Light” and it’s quite beautiful. Check it out and if you like it, toss a buck into Jess’s hat by getting the full e-book here.