Formerly, successful poets relied highly on traditional publishing to make their work available to readers worldwide. And while poetry is considered the most challenging form of literature for publishing, going the self-publishing route for new and aspiring poets can be much more rewarding. By following this new, more empowering direction, you can take control of and enjoy your entire poetry book publishing journey.
Before you reach the publishing stage, you need to acknowledge that writing a poetry book is a lot of work on its own.
You first need to analyze the type of poet you are and the dedication you’re willing to put into the process. It gets even more challenging for people with other primary jobs. But if you’ve finally decided to let the world see your talent instead of burning or hiding the pages of your scribbled stanzas, you will get all the help you need.
Whether you’d like to publish a poetry book all by yourself or looking for a dream team to assist you in reaching your goal, this blog will cover all the crucial steps. Learn how to write a poetry book and self-publish it.
In this blog, we will:
- Explore the types of poetry
- Give tips for writing a poetry book
- Help you understand the process of self-publishing
The Subgenres of Poetry Books
Poets are incredibly creative people with a keen understanding of thought processes. They know the art of composing words that could evoke emotions in the most unexpected ways. This amazing way of expressing can be further divided into several genres to understand the concept behind poetry writing better.
So before you start writing a poetry book, you first need to find out the genre or category your work falls into.
Lyric poetry portrays emotions and feelings in song-like words. It can be used to describe a person, an object, a moment, or a feeling. While not every lyric poetry will have a story-telling approach, it will be focused on that one subject through the power of sensory language. Lyric poetry is further divided into several categories, including:
- Elegy: a poem written for a person that is not alive (to honor them)
- Ode: an elevated style that speaks highly of certain people, places, ideas, or a concept
- Haiku: a seventeen-syllable poem style with words expressing the natural imagery for expressing an emotion
- Sonnet: probably the most common one, this is a descriptive poem based on fourteen lines with a particular rhyming pattern
As the name suggests, this poetry style has a story-telling approach, making it a common choice for musical settings such as ballads. Narratives often include long stories of human interest. Some common examples of poetry in this category are burlesque, allegory, epic, and ballad.
This style of poetry is written to be acted out. The approach is similar to narrative poetry and has a story-telling style. You can find this type of poetry in soliloquies, monologues, and comedic.
The main difference between narrative and dramatic poetry is that the latter is written from the character’s perspective, while the former is told by the narrator. Before writing a poetry book, make sure you’re clear about the difference so you can ascertain where your unique work falls.
How to Write a Book of Poetry
Publishing your poetry collection is a rewarding experience that every author or poet deserves to experience. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a best-selling author anymore to get the book published. Between small presses, traditional publishers, and self-publishing poetry options, there are tons of options to get your book to the desired audience.
But first, let’s discuss how to write a poetry book that sells.
Cultivate Your Collection
Writing a poetry book is entirely different from writing a general book. You don’t have the plot to follow or think about what should happen next. Writing poetry is an art that naturally comes to you in the most bizarre places and circumstances that you can imagine.
Therefore, cultivating your collection is the most crucial step toward writing and publishing your poetry book.
Maybe you wrote something incredibly amazing on the back of your journal, or you have your best pieces saved in a hidden drive on your computer. Revisit everywhere you believe you can find your collection.
Follows a Theme
Now that you can put your poetry book in its dedicated genre, your next step should be to focus on the format or theme of your published poetry. In addition to having a collection of unimpeachably strong poems, you can add much as 100 poems in a book to guarantee to get a great response from your audience. Organizing is the next crucial step because you don’t want a book that looks like it is all over the place under one cover.
The most popular poetry books have conversational poems that clearly show the choice of poetic genre, are unified by a theme, and are meticulously placed as per your desired order.
Review Format and Submission Guidelines
Your next step is to learn how to format poetry. And for that, you need to check out the specific guidelines of the publishing platform you intend to put it up. If you’re considering book publishing companies, literary journals, and magazines, check out their specific format, design, and content guidelines to ensure your poetry doesn’t get rejected. These factors will also keep you from creating an unsolicited manuscript.
How to Get Poetry Published Through Traditional Publishing
When considering your traditional publishing options, there are literary journals, anthologies, and a number of online magazines. These days, you can even find traditional publishers who offer social media publication services. Here’s more detail on these options:
Publishing in Magazines and Journals
You can find various professional services to track and filter your submissions. You can opt for several platforms simultaneously to try out your luck with different traditional publications. Sending your poetry to multiple publishers is one of the best approaches in today’s competitive market.
Next, if you’re new to writing, make sure you invest a lot of time and effort in putting up a writer’s bio. Using the right content, design, and images, you can instantly connect with real people, and this will help your book stand out.
You may also consider niche publications. These are for members with minorities, belong to another group, or in a specific submission call. By searching for the right niche topics and groups, you can actively ensure getting your poetry collection published by the best out there.
Self-Publishing a Poetry Book
Let’s burst the myth first: self-publishing doesn’t mean you have to do every aspect of getting this book through alone. You can still look for professional assistance to get your book the best design, format, and publishing platform with maximum control.
So if you have a huge collection and think big, self-publishing can be an outstanding opportunity for your poetry book. And while it may seem like a tough job, the process is quite straightforward and highly rewarding (even lucrative).
The following steps go into self-publishing a book of poetry:
Now that you have written, edited, and formatted your poetry book, don’t forget the cover design before publishing it. You can do the task on your own if you have experience in this regard or hire a professional cover designer with up-to-date industry knowledge.
A great book cover design is crucial as it is a marketing element to make your book a hit amongst your readers.
Choose the Right Platform
Trying out a few options to ensure the world reads your poetry is worth the effort. Some common platforms for self-publishing your poetry book include:
Social Media: Now, this one goes without saying. Social media is one of the most powerful marketing places to become visible with your identity and skills. It is a beginner-friendly, risk-free zone to reach your desired audience and create an impact with your end product. You can make a dedicated account on all popular social media handles and use several marketing strategies to capture the market.
Online Communities: There are several websites that allow everyone to publish their poetry online. If not the entire book, you can utilize these platforms to share snippets and pieces of your work to capture your audience. If you have a winning piece in hand, submit it to as many magazines and journals as possible to gain exposure.
The conventional self-publishing book platforms: These include platforms like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, Apple books, etc.
The Right Team: Don’t you think you can handle all the steps alone?
Whether you want to publish your poetry book as an eBook or in print, you can work with professionals for book formatting and distribution services. You will guarantee a great-looking book and be at peace making a sale without sacrificing your control, rights, and profits from your poetry book.
Are you ready to take the next step?
Publishing your poetry book by yourself is a huge accomplishment. The result is worth the try. So start today by writing down your personalized plan to draft and self-publish a poetry book and plan by outlining how you will deal with each of the steps mentioned above.