You’ve written a number of poems, and maybe you’ve even been lucky enough to get some of them published in literary journals. Now you may be wondering: What’s the next step? Self-Publishing Relief recommends you gather your individual poems into a chapbook or poetry collection and self-publish your own book! Here’s how to get started:
The Logistics Of Creating A Chapbook Or Poetry Collection
Consider a possible theme for your poetry chapbook. Do you tend to write poems on a similar topic or theme—for example, nature poetry or poetry about people? Poetry that’s all sad, or all funny? Poems that use the same form? If so, you might want to organize your poems around this common theme or structure. You could also make smaller groups of poems with a similar theme or style and divide your book into sections.
Determine your book’s length. A full-length poetry collection can be anywhere from 48-96 pages. But chapbooks, which are shorter collections of 24-48 pages, are also very popular now! Decide which length works best for your body of work and plan accordingly.
Choose your poems. Not every poem you’ve ever written will be a part of your collection—and that’s okay! View your body of work with a shrewd eye: Some of your poems may not fit the theme you’ve selected, and others simply won’t be up to the standard of the rest of your collection-in-progress. Once you’ve chosen your poems, don’t forget to give your book a title.
Put your poems in the strongest order. Of course you want the best possible flow from poem to poem, but there are other factors to consider. For example: It’s best to start and end your book with shorter poems (no more than a page long). You should also place your strongest or most memorable poems near the beginning and end of the collection.
Don’t Forget The Nitty-Gritty Details!
Proofread, proofread, proofread—and make sure your formatting is perfect! (Psst—we have experts available to help with formatting and proofreading your poetry collection!) Consider whether you want to include a dedication and table of contents. And if you have published any or all of the poems individually, remember to credit the previous publishers.
You’re Ready To Publish Your Poetry Collection
After you’ve made all the important selections, properly ordered your poems, and carefully handled the proofing and formatting, your poetry collection manuscript is ready to be published! While you could query literary agents or submit your poetry manuscript to contests or small presses—self-publishing is often the best choice for poetry books. Most literary agents aren’t interested in representing poetry collections because of market limitations.
Many poets smartly choose to self-publish their collections. But for some writers, the self-publishing process can seem overly complicated and difficult to navigate. Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone! Self-Publishing Relief can guide you through every step of the self-publishing process. Contact our expert team for your free consultation today!
Question: Do you prefer poetry books that include previously published works, or all new poems?