When is it Time to Publish Your Poetry Collection?

The short answer is whenever you damn well please, but there’s a longer answer

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  • If not one person buys my book, do I still need to do this?

But what if your goals go beyond that?

You want to sell them, increase your name recognition, get noticed as a poet, get some recognition for a body of work that seems, to you, to belong in a collection.

  • You have a following. You’ll need a substantial web of potential readers and buyers in place so that you have someone to market this book to. Otherwise, you may as well be one of those poor souls who make a living “cold-calling” customers and trying to sell them magazines. (This is a terrible job. I sucked at it.)
  • You have a body of work that can be organized into a theme of some sort and an idea for how you want your book to be arranged. You will need to design it or have people you can get to do it for you. Fiverr is a great resource for people who may do some of this work for reasonable rates.
  • You are ready and willing — to dedicate your time and energy to marketing your book, doing open mic reads, scheduling presentations or readings so that you can meet potential readers and sell books. You will be the legs and mouthpiece for your book so you will need to be prepared for this end of things if you want relative success for your book.
  • You can take a punch. — You’ll need a bit of humility for the “peddling” aspect of book marketing and have a strong enough sense of self to not take it personally if it does not sell or you get negative reviews. Poetry is very personal and a lot of people write it from a very therapeutic place, but once it is in the hands of your reader, it is their experience, not yours. There is a bit of letting go and hanging onto your own spine here. Make sure you are ready for it and come at it from a place of strength. You cannot tie your self-esteem to the success of the book.

A few words on other options.

You can always choose to submit your book into contests. This takes time, a LONG time, but winning a poetry book contest is a surefire way to break into the genre as a credible poet. I chose to write two books. I self-published one and the other will make rounds in poetry chapbook contests. I am looking into post-publication contests for the published one as well. I will probably enter it once a month in 2020 to give it more chances to be chosen.

If you know in your heart it is time, then it is time.

Then…be ready. Because you may just be crazy enough to want to do it again and again and again.

Written by

Freelancer | Editor | Poet | Mentor | Author of ::organic:: | 🤍POMpoet🤍 | I Love🌏 Virtual ‘tip jar’ ➡ https://ko-fi.com/christinaward

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