been a dream for quite some time now—to make The Smoking Poet (TSP) into a business, a revenue source,
one which can pay at least a small wage to our hard-working and talented editors, and a small stipend to our many contributing
writers and artists.
sending out cash awards to the winners of our third annual short story contest, one of our winners graciously returned a sizeable
portion of the prize money with a note: “In support of The Smoking Poet.” What a compliment! Surely a
sign that it is time—time to repay the faith our growing number of readers have in TSP to continue to offer the highest
quality art, both visual and literary, along with insightful book reviews, music reviews, cigar reviews, an expanding page
of links and resources, and a spotlight on the arts community of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and beyond—covering the entire Great Lakes state. We also spotlight good causes, people and organizations working
to make a positive difference in our world.
It is indeed
time. With that seed money from one of our writers, we opened up our pages to donations. A “Donate” button now
appears on the home page and other pages throughout the ezine. It is a safe and secure way to make donations to TSP, using
PayPal, cash, or a major credit card. Each and every gift goes toward creating higher quality pages that reach an ever expanding
audience. Each gift contributes to a pool from which we hope to soon begin paying a stipend to everyone who contributes as
a writer, editor or artist to our pages.
a second matching gift came in from another contributing writer. We were stunned—and deeply honored. So where do your
gifts to TSP go? First, we purchased a second domain. Now, along with our well-known www.thesmokingpoet.net , we can also be found at www.thesmokingpoet.com . Gradually, we plan to convert to that domain entirely, but for now, both links will take you to our pages.
Second, we are currently in the process of acquiring LLC status—as a limited liability company. That will enable us
to operate as a business, and to make investments so that we can begin to pay our staff and contributors.
With the LLC
status in place, we will begin to accept advertising. Our goal is to include relevant and appropriate ads on our pages without
interrupting the flow of the creative work we feature here. We hope to enhance our readers’ experience by offering a
connection to products and services that may be of interest.
If you are
interested in featuring your product, service, or Web site on TSP, please contact our editor-in-chief, Zinta Aistars, for pricing information and to discuss placement and format.
We hope our
readers and writers will be as thrilled about this next important step in our growth as we are. We hope you will consider
a gift to The Smoking Poet. Or, to become a quality advertiser on our pages.
What kind of
ads will we consider? Examples include fine cigars and products of interest to cigar aficionados, and products or
services that are useful to writers and artists. If you're not sure if your business, service or product are a good fit with
TSP, ask! We'll be happy to tell you about our readership and traffic statistics. We will not feature any marketing that is discriminatory
to gender, religion, or ethnic background.
to The Smoking Poet will help finance:
so that we can begin to operate as a business
and expansion of the Web site
pool from which writers and editors can be paid for their work
efforts to promote TSP across the Web and in southwest Michigan
by contributing TSP authors
in print of TSP's best work, targeted for our fifth anniversary in 2011
Thank you for
helping us to achieve this next important step in our continued growth. How heartening to know that others are as enthused
and committed to supporting the arts as we are! With your gift, we intend to continue into our fifth year of providing
a respected platform for the finest writers and artists to share work with a global audience.