Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kristin Berkey-Abbott & The Gift of Real Mail -

Kristin Berkey-Abbott did a lovely write-up of receiving my book and the packaging of it.  You can read the whole blog post here.

She writes:

I knew that Kelli Russell Agodon was doing something special with the packaging of her latest book of poems, Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room. I ordered a copy for both me and my dad (it was his birthday, and I love giving volumes of poetry as presents), and my dad's got to him first. He mentioned how unusual the package was that came in the mail. So, I couldn't wait to see what she had done. And it impressed me so much that I decided it was worthy of a blog post.

***One thing people might not know about me is I'm a huge fan of Mail Art, sometimes called Postal Art. 

I love to send letters, postcards, and create unique packaging for what I send.  I have *always* loved receiving real mail in my mailbox.  And now, in this time of email and inboxes, I love it even more.

So when I sent out my book to people, I wanted them to feel as if they were receiving a gift.  Poetry by mail needs to be celebration and honestly, I truly appreciate people who purchase my book and support my work.  

And I feel if someone takes the time to buy their book directly from me at full price ($16) and not Amazon's reduced rate, they should be rewarded.  

I set up PayPal on my website so readers could by the book directly from me as I know when I buy a book, I like to buy it from the poet first (so I can have it signed).  

I think all authors should offer this to their readers.  It is a bit more work as the author then needs to sign it and send it out, but I think it's another way to connect with readers in a more personal way and I know, when I get a book directly from the author and it comes signed, I am such a happy camper.


Kristin also writes:
Some cool approaches to book marks. I'm guessing that she made the bookmark in the shape of Emily Dickinson. I'm still researching post cards and book marks. I can't determine whether or not it's cheaper to do these things on the home computer or to pay to have them done.

****Susan Rich and I had LONG discussions and did much research on bookmarks.  We both wanted them and weren't really sure how to go about them.  

In the end, it was that came through for both of us.  We basically took a postcard and divided it horizontally down the center creating 2 unique bookmarks.  And with Vistaprint prices, they were quite cheap (we got 100 free and just paid shipping!)

The Emily Dickinson bookmarks were something I came up with because I thought it would be kind of cool to have Emily peeking out of a book.  Those I print out on my printer at home and since I own a laminator (you can get the same one very cheap on Amazon, which is where I got mine-plus laminating sheets: Scotch(TM) Thermal Laminator)  I laminate them at home and cut them out.  They are probably my favorite bookmarks ever. 


Kristin has photos of the bookmarks and packaging over at her blog if you're interested.



  1. How fabulous that you packaged your book that way and included so many wonderful personal touches, leaving an unforgettable impression.

    I've used Vistaprint many times. Can't beat the deals there.

  2. Love this!

    I also love Vistaprint. My publisher made these fantastic post cards of my cover art with the one haiku in the book included. I try to send those when people buy directly from me. I never thought of trying the bookmark route..hmmm

  3. Ditto what Maureen says, I love mail art in its many forms. A few months back I did an Inky Letter movement and sent 10 hand written letters and homemade cards (rubber stamped, etc) to my blog readers. It was a wonderful experience, one I'd like to repeat in time.

    I completely agree that poetry needs to be a celebration!!

  4. Kelli, the way you wrapped up your book was gorgeous--many, many congratulations! xo

  5. Kelli,
    I love contacting authors personally and buying their books from them. I know they get the money for themselves, I get a signed copy (and usually a personal note), and they get to hear how the poems they let loose into the world affected a stranger in a positive way. Elaine Heveron, like you, sent a bookmark, a broadside, personal note, etc. This type of thoughtfulness is as good as reading the book.
    Paul David

  6. Book received! Delighted. Loved the special packaging, and how it was "almost impenetrable," like Emily at times, but, in this case, in order to move safely through the postal system. Thanks.


Always love to hear from you...and the anonymous option is open for those feeling shy.

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