Publishing Your Own Poetry Book
Publishing your own poetry book is an exciting milestone. It gives you the opportunity to share your work with a wider audience and give language to those experiences that can’t be expressed in any other way.
Whether you choose to self-publish or pursue traditional publication, there are several steps involved in the process. The following guidelines will help you navigate this journey and ensure your final product is of the highest quality.
1. Research Publishing Houses and Literary Journals
Some poetry book publishers may be willing to publish a collection of your poems, but only if you have a solid reader platform and if your manuscript is well-crafted. As a writer, it is important to learn as much as you can about publishing houses and literary journals that accept submissions before sending your work out to them.
Purchasing a book from the publisher or reading a few of their titles is also a good idea, as it will help you familiarize yourself with their style and the kinds of poetry they publish. This way, you can send your poetry book to the best possible fit.
Moreover, many publishers of poetry books have specific guidelines that they follow. Keeping these in mind while submitting your poetry collection to different publishing companies will increase your chances of success. Also, be sure to pay attention to the amount of white space that is provided for your poetry.
2. Design Your Book Cover
Writing and publishing a book of poetry can be a daunting but gratifying process. Cultivating a collection of poems to a level that can stand on its own as a coherent and enhanced reading experience requires a lot of time, editing, and revision. Poets can often fall into following the latest trends in their craft, but this may ultimately lead to a book that feels dated over time.
When putting together a poetry book, it is important to choose poems that work in conversation with one another and are unified by theme, subject, style, or choice of poetic form. This helps readers find common ground with the book and creates a cohesive reading experience.
The next step is to design a beautiful and attention-grabbing cover that will draw potential readers in. Choosing a font that conveys the feeling and tone of the book and using text hierarchy to highlight the title, subtitle (if applicable), and author name is a must.
3. Print Your Book
Poetry books are more difficult to format than novels, as they require a unique style of page layout and typeface. The best way to ensure your book’s formatting and design is correct is by having a professional editor go over your work.
You can also ask fellow poets or experienced editors to read through your poetry collection and give you feedback. After a thorough edit, you’re ready to have your book printed!
Remember to review submission guidelines for literary magazines, literary journals, or publishing houses you’re interested in sending your poetry manuscript to. Some may not accept unsolicited poetry submissions, and some require a query letter and synopsis in addition to your full manuscript.
4. Market Your Book
The bottom line is that, whether you choose to go the traditional route or self-publish your poetry book, you’ll need to promote it. Most first time authors, even those who have been published before, won’t have access to a full suite of marketing resources and will need to work hard to market their books on their own.
One of the best things you can do is to establish a presence online by building a website or blog, using social media to promote your poetry, and participating in poetry events that take place in your area. You can also use this platform to reach out to others in the poetry community and build a network of connections that you can draw on for help promoting your book.
Finally, don’t forget to proofread your book carefully before you send it off for printing. There will likely be inconsistencies or mistakes that you won’t catch on screen that can bite you in the rear end when it comes to print.