More important for beginning writers are the specialist poetry magazines and poetry presses, the heart of the poetry scene. A collection of poetry might well only sell a few hundred copies. Few will make a profit.
In nearly all cases, these presses will only pick up a new poet if they have a track record of publication in the poetry magazines. As a rule, you should aim to have had 6-8 individual poems published in magazines before it makes sense to try and publish a collection.
Set up a reading (and/or a book signing) at a local cafe, bookshop, gallery, school, college, church, fraternal organization, library, or another local gathering place. Do it alone, or recruit some other local poets (or musicians) for a bigger crowd & more sales opportunities. Create an event!
Having your own website can be a very useful tool for selling books. It allows you to tell your potential readers a bit about yourself, publish sample poems from your book, and tell folks where they can buy it. (You can even sell your book through the website.) You can share photos, links, and recent news and tell everyone about upcoming events. You can add a mailing list, message board, or blog (or, the entire site can be set up as a blog).
Poetry books can make money if you have the right publisher, or you can publish them yourself. Some of your earnings might go to the publisher, but their expertise and connections may be worth the cost. You also need to know your target audience to successfully promote your book.
If you can show the publisher why your poetry book will be successful, they will be more likely to work with you. You can show this by highlighting who will buy your book and if you have an audience for your work already, like on a website or through social media.
But, the benefit is that you keep up to 100% of the profits from your sales since there is no publishing company earning commissions. Another benefit of self-publishing your poetry book is that you can design it and format it how you like, which is important in poetry.
If your target audience is not aware of your poetry book, you will not be very successful in selling it. A publisher can help you find and sell to your target audience, and they may have ways to advertise your book.
They can help you advertise through other books they publish or events they hold, or promotional events. They can also send your book to bookstores and reviewers to review and get the name out there.
You can make money from poetry books if you have a publisher who understands your needs and you think can help you sell your book. You will share the profits with them, but you can avoid this if you want to self-publish your book.
Self-publishing poets should generally follow the same guidelines as other self-publishing authors; and if they take the time to establish a following, and ride the explosion of popularity that online poetry is currently enjoying, they may have less to risk and more to gain than the average author.
Every day millions of words pour onto almost every social platform, even visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram and YouTube, carrying the hashtag #poetry. Yet comparatively few of these poets are self-publishing poetry books.
Almost half (47 percent) of poetry books sold in the U.S. last year were written by Instapoets. According to global information company The NPD Group, 12 of the top 20 bestselling poetry authors in 2017 were Instapoets, who combine their poems with images, creating highly shareable posts.
Some of these poets have hundreds of thousands of followers (some have a multi-million following). They are clearly well placed to be as successful in publishing books as they have been in publishing posts. But they are either not publishing at all, or opting to trade-publish, presumably when approached by trade publishers who spot their large and engaged followings.
But the traditional poetry world and the indie work do not gel well. There is an underground divide with the populist spoken word performance poets, rappers and Instapoets on one side and the traditional review outlets, literary magazines and universities on the others.
This struggle now sees the world of poetry sharply divided between gatekeepers and democrats, between those who want to keep a scarcity model in place, believing that to do so upholds art and craft standards.
If you want to publish a poetry book, you don't need to sign all your rights away to a trade publisher, particularly if you have build a large or engaged following on social media. Author-publishing allows you to deal selectively with each publishing right, rather than signing them all away in one contract.
Publishing houses can fold, team members may quit their jobs or get promoted or fired, which all can have a bearing on your poetry book's performance. If your second or third bookd doesn't do as well as the first you'll be dropped. As an indie poet, you never have to worry about whether market trends will derail your process or your progress.
Finding good books is not a problem for readers today. Online algorithms are very effective, and getting better, at guiding us towards the poetry we are most likely to love and poetry books are no exception. Readers can easily read the signifiers which tell them whether a book is for them or not, including cover, book description, reviews, and a pre-purchase sample. And book searches through categories and keywords are highly effective discovery tools, if not necessarily as pleasant as bookstore browsing.
So now there is a choice of approach. You can spend your time trying to submitting to the literary magazines, letting rejection hone your craft. Or you can get on and publish poems yourself, and rely on the reader feedback. First on social media, thereby building a following, then in chapbooks and full book collections.
I just self-published my first poetry ebook and I am trying to find avenues to market the book. Since it is not a printed version (I want to see how the ebook sells before I take it to print), I am not sure the library or book store reading avenues will work. I would love some suggestions about self-publishing ebook poetry. This is the ebook: -ABOUT-LIFE-LOVE-PURSUIT-ebook/dp/B0B6D3H4B8/ref=sr_1_3crid=1GNRQ2PBABR7&keywords=15+poems&qid=1658155983&sprefix=15+poems%2Caps%2C65&sr=8-3
Question, if you can sell 300 copies of your first time poetry book does qualify you to be a professional poetry writer or do you have to sell 1000 I think I read somewhere that if you can sell 1100 copies in a short time frame you make the Best Seller List on Amazon So if that is true than you definitely are a professional writer Brian
I recently published my first book of poetry (on Amazon; POEMS-Otis Sprow). For a number of years, I was the 24/7 caregiver to my invalid mother. During that time, I would write my poems and then read them to my mother as her cognative ability was still intact. It was pleasurable for us both. However, she recently died.
Dear Sara, your poem is good. It shows an interesting use of words and depth of thought especially for your age. The important thing in poetry is that it should flow as music. Work on your choice of words, respect your original impulse and then use that as a excuse for playing with words, rewriting to master language in all its secrets, never abandoning the first idea from which the poem sprung. And have faith. Think of yourself as winning and you will. Believe that you are good because you are. Good luck!
I write poetry for a few years now and publish it in FB with graphics. Looking into self publishing and am getting frustrated as this takes away time from the time for writing. All of my wring is done in letter size format journals by hand with paintings added. So far I have more than 4 books (total 700 poems) working on to be published (transcribing takes a lot of time). Is there something like a self publishing service for poetry authors that will take care of page formatting (i tried in design but its a whole new project) and then help in publishing the finished work Thank you for answering.
The problem with self-publishing a book of poetry is that IF you opt to get an ISBN number, you can no longer submit those poems for consideration in major markets as they are then considered published and most will not look at previously published work s.Pat
Why is that a problem if your books are reaching their readers directly If you want to put together a different book for submission to a poetry publisher, of course you can, but many indie poets are finding it more rewarding, creatively and commercially, to leave out the middle-man.
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On that same note, be mindful of how your stanzas break across pages. When a designer formats your poetry collection, they typically pay close attention to both line and stanza length. For instance, we would never let a single line from a stanza appear at the bottom of a page or at the top of another. These are considered widows/orphans. You always want your lines to break in a natural place each time.
Once everything is in order, then you're ready to publish. Be sure to spread the word! Social media and local news outlets can be a great way to get free publicity. Also, if you're not already involved in a local poetry community, find out what's happening in your city. Go to poetry readings or attend an open mic where you can sign up and read your work. This is a great way to let people know about you, to network with other poets, and to hone your craft! If all this sounds rather daunting, keep in mind that there are great resources available in online forums, or you can work with professionals who are there to help you every step of the way.
These five tips for marketing your book of poems are from published poet and freelance writer, Cherie Burbach. Her latest poetry book is Poiema: New and Selected Poems. I asked Cherie to share one of her favorite quotes about poetry, and she sent me this: 59ce067264