For the most part, unless you’re already famous, the traditional publishing houses aren’t interested in poetry collections. As a result, many poets who want to get their collections out into the world are choosing to self-publish. But where do you begin? Self-Publishing Relief has the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about self-publishing a poetry collection.
FAQs About Self-Publishing A Poetry Collection. Is It Right For You?
Q: Once I self-publish my poetry collection, can I then submit the poems from my book to literary journals for publication?
A: Most literary journals are only interested in unpublished work, so you wouldn’t be able to submit any poems in your self-published collection to literary journals. Self-published is considered previously published! We would recommend only including poems that you’ve already had published in literary journals, and poetry that you don’t ever intend to submit to literary journals. Fans of your published work will enjoy revisiting favorites, while new readers will know your work is worth reading if some of the titles have been previously published elsewhere.
Q: How many poems are enough for a collection?
A: You can include as few or as many poems as you like in your collection. Most collections are 48-96 pages in length. Shorter collections of 24-48 pages, known as chapbooks, are also very popular right now. But keep in mind that the self-publishing company you use may have a minimum number of pages required in order to publish.
Q: Is there a difference between self-publishing a poetry collection as an e-book or print?
A: The formatting involved in self-publishing is trickier overall for a book of poetry than it is for a novel, whether it’s going to be in print or available as an e-book. E-books do have the added element of not necessarily holding any special formatting when your reader uses various devices to read the book: How it looks on a desktop computer will be different from how your poetry collection looks on a tablet or cell phone.
As a result, many poets prefer to have their poetry collections available in print. Readers also seem to favor having a print version over an e-book. But with many people reading books digitally, you may want to offer your book in both formats.
Q: What should I watch out for when choosing a self-publishing company?
A: It’s important that the self-publishing company you choose to work with treats writers with genuine respect and great customer service. Calls and e-mails should be returned promptly, and you should get personalized attention. Watch out for sketchy promises like record-breaking sales. Check for good reviews/recommendations/referrals from clients. And if there are any attempts to monopolize your rights—run the other way!
Q: Will I make loads of money selling my poetry collection?
A: Sorry, no. While it is a great way to get your book into the hands of friends, family, and even fans, the overall market for poetry collections is quite small. Sure there are writers whose poetry books have landed on the bestseller lists—but these are people who were famous before they published their collections. Self-publishing is not a get-rich-quick solution for any genre, and this is especially true for poetry.
Q: Will it be difficult to self-publish my poetry collection?
A: For tech-savvy poets, self-publishing on your own can be time-consuming and complex—but still doable. However, if you’re like most writers, navigating the many steps of the process can seem like a formidable task. Self-Publishing Relief can help you take your work from completed manuscript to a finished product you’ll be proud to put your name on.
Ready to get started? Schedule a free consultation with Self-Publishing Relief today!
Question: What other questions do you have about self-publishing?