10 Tips for Self-Publishing a Book of Poetry

Last Updated on July 20, 2022 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Are you a poet who has always dreamed of seeing your work in print? Or maybe you’ve already written a book of poems but don’t know how to go about publishing it. Self-publishing is a great option for both scenarios, and in this blog post, I’ll share ten tips that will help make the process as smooth and successful as possible. So whether you’re just starting or are already well on your way, keep reading for some invaluable advice! πŸ™‚

Why self-publishing a book of poetry is rewarding?

The most rewarding thing about self-publishing a book of poetry is the ability to share your work with readers who might never have seen it otherwise. As such, you’ll want to make sure the quality of your writing and presentation is top-notch before sending out copies to editors or approaching book stores.

A good way to test the quality of your work is to enlist a few people from different backgrounds and ask them to read through some of your poetry. Their feedback on how it’s been received will be invaluable, especially considering that you’ll have no one to answer to except yourself when putting out a self-published book.

Another benefit is releasing a book as often as you can produce one. While you might not be able to publish every poem that’s in your notebook, or even a poem a week, you can eventually give yourself something of a back catalog for future reference and promotion.

Finally, self-publishing a book of poetry gives you more freedom regarding print runs and pricing. Instead of worrying about a publisher’s budget, you will get full creative control over your work. You can publish a book whenever you want without going through traditional channels such as finding an agent or signing a contract.

10 tips for success when it comes to self-publishing a book of poetry

These tips are carefully designed to help you achieve success when publishing a book of poetry. While it’s not hard to self-publish a book, there are certain things that every poet should know before taking the plunge.

Tip#1 Make sure your work is polished and well presented

To succeed with self-publishing a book of poetry, it needs to be in top-notch shape. This means it needs to be edited multiple times by you and people you trust for typos, misspellings, grammar issues, etc.

The presentation of your work should also be taken seriously. While there are no rules for the size or typeface used in self-publishing a book of poetry, keeping things simple will help ensure it looks good on the page.

You want to make it easy for the reader to read your poems. Nothing is worse than coming up against a wall of text while reading poetry.

Tip#2 Do your research first

Before you begin the self-publishing process, make sure you do your homework and gather all the information about what’s involved in getting a book of poetry released into the world. It will be worth it in the end when you know exactly how much work is involved in preparing, printing, marketing, and distributing your book.

Self-published authors are the only people who can give you an accurate account of what they went through because nobody else is in the same situation as you are. Asking for advice from authors who have already ventured down that path is a good place to start gathering information on how much time and money you can expect to invest in the project.

The platform for self-publishing should be chosen carefully. Not all companies that allow you to self-publish poetry books are created equal. Some companies have a bad reputation for customer service and never fulfilling the promises they make in their promotional materials, so you must do your homework before signing up with any company – even if they happen to be the only option in your local area.

Just because you do your research before signing up with a self-publishing company doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed good customer service or quality printing once your book is in the production queue. These things can vary widely across different companies depending on their business philosophy and how they value customer service excellence.

Tip#3 Know how much it will cost

The first thing you’ll want to look at is your budget for self-publishing a book of poetry. The costs can vary wildly, depending on the amount of work needed to produce the final product. Printing costs are usually one of the biggest expenses involved, but if you’re willing to do most of the legwork yourself, the costs can be kept low.

If you’re going to incur any expenses while self-publishing a book of poetry, make sure you get everything in writing before handing over your money. If a company cannot provide references from previous customers who have had positive experiences, consider it a red flag and look for other options before giving them the go-ahead.

Amazon KDP does not charge a fee to publish on their site. While this is a great option for poets who plan to make their books available worldwide, there are certain things that you should be aware of before choosing them as your publishing company.

Self-publishing companies like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Notion Press make quite a bit of money from keeping 30% of royalties earned from ebooks sales.

Tip#4 Consider getting an editor

While proper spelling and grammar are essential to all types of writing, they’re especially important when self-publishing a book of poetry because it’s unlikely that you’ll be selling them in traditional retail outlets like Barnes & Noble or Waterstones.

When you self-publish a book of poetry, you want to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward with a polished book of poems that looks professional. It can be a good idea to hire an editor to do this. You’ll have the pleasure of reading the finished product over and over again while they provide corrections and suggestions on how your poems can be improved from a quality perspective. Ask for tips and tricks to become a better poet because this might be the basis for their recommendations.

If you want to ensure that your book is well-edited before it’s released, look for an editor who has worked on similar projects in the past – preferably self-published poetry books. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing that they know the difference between editing for grammar and what you do when you edit poetry. You can find editors at affordable costs from freelancing sites like Fiverr and Upwork.

Tip #5 Find a title that sticks

Much like self-published fiction books, finding an attention-grabbing title is vital to selling your book of poetry. The cover might be the first thing readers see when they look at your book online or in a bookstore, but if your title sounds unappealing, they might walk on by.

When you’re self-publishing a book of poetry, the overall package must look and sound appealing to potential readers. You want them to take one look at the book’s title and be filled with an overwhelming sense of curiosity that compels them to buy it.

Here are some examples of catchy book titles that will give readers an idea of what to expect when they read the pages inside:

You get the idea. The best poetry titles are short-sweet and make it easy for readers to understand what they’ll be getting themselves into if they decide to buy your book of poems.

Tip#6 Get a cover that pops

The cover of your book is arguably the most important part of the entire publishing process. Your potential customers will be looking at it before they look at the title or back cover, so it’s vital to make sure you convey what your book is all about with this one image.

When self-publishing your book of poetry, you should consider hiring an artist willing to design the cover for free or at a reduced cost. You can either use an online company like 99 Designs or Fiverr and set up a contest so several artists can compete and submit their designs. From there, you’ll get multiple options and choose the best one based on the title, content, and the overall aesthetic that the artist presented.

There are still other ways to get a good-looking book cover for your poetry collection if you’re limited on funds. One way is by using a premade template from a website like Canva – this will give your book a professional look without spending a lot of money.

Tip#7 Take advantage of social media and email list building

As a self-published poet, you should already use social media and networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to interact with readers and other poets. However, it’s important to realize that your potential customers are on these same websites too – so why not allow them to buy your book of poetry right from the comfort of their own home?

For example, if you don’t already have an account on Instagram (@poets, for instance), now might be a good time to set one up. When you promote your book of poetry on social media by giving hints about the title and cover, many readers will flock to Amazon and buy it in a matter of hours.

The best way to promote your book is by doing it in small increments. You can announce that you’ve written a book and provide the link, but don’t overdo it, or else people will become annoyed and unfollow your page altogether.

You can also consider contacting social media influencers and bloggers who might be interested in reviewing your book of poems. If they like it, you’ll get an endorsement that will help you sell the book to their followers. The best way to do this is by finding them through Facebook or Twitter and sending them a private message with the pitch. ps For Successful Self-Publishing

Tip#8 Make sure you have a good distribution method

Whether you want to sell your book of poetry online or through local bookstores and libraries, the collection must have a strong distribution plan. Otherwise, you’ll end up losing money and, most importantly – not reaching as many readers as possible.

When self-publishing your book of poetry, you should consider selling it through online retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble and offline locations. You can either use the same website to publish the book or hire someone to do this for you.

Tip#9 Publish and distribute a Press Release

Getting press is always a good idea for any author, but you should consider it extra special when self-publishing your book of poems. You can either hire a PR company or use free resources like HARO and Reddit to connect with journalists who write about poetry.

Your chances of getting noticed by big-name brands and websites are slim, so you’ll need to do a lot of digging to find out who might be interested in reviewing your collection. The best way to do this is by looking at similar books and contacting journalists or editors who wrote about them.

One important thing to note: make sure you only contact people within the same genre and not anything else. It’s better to spend more time finding the right journalist than gaining a ton of exposure and having them overlook your work.

Since you’re self-publishing your book, that means it’s not available at any bookstore for readers to browse through – which is why it’s important to give professional bookstores and libraries a call. Not only will they be able to order your book of poems, but they’ll also be able to keep a box of copies on hand for customers if they want to buy it.

Tip#10 Get a good cover letter ready for anyone you contact

Since you’re self-publishing a collection of poetry, there’s a really good chance that the people you contact – whether it’s a journalist or bookstore owner – will know nothing about you or your work. That’s why you should make it easy for them to know exactly what they’ll get if they purchase your book of poems by providing a cover letter with all the information needed.

The book’s title and publication date are important but don’t neglect your author bio. You should also consider including reviews from reputable sources like The New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, or even well-known bloggers in the world of poetry. Hence, they have more to go off when considering purchasing your book.

When writing a cover letter for your book of poems, you must sell yourself and your collection. They should understand what your book is about, what sets it apart from other poetry collections, and why they should care.

It’s also important to show them where to purchase your book – whether you’re publishing online or want people to buy the print version through local bookstores. Your goal here isn’t just to get them to purchase your book of poems but to share it with as many people as possible and get it into the hands of readers who will enjoy and appreciate it.

Benefits and drawbacks of self-publishing your poetry book

The benefits of self-publishing your book of poetry include having complete creative control over it and making a profit if the collection is successful. Other benefits include exposure to a wider audience, the ability to be more flexible with your work, and receiving critical acclaim for your book of poetry. You can also reduce the cost of production if you self-publish poetry.

The biggest drawback is that you won’t receive any initial publicity or marketing for your book because you won’t have the backing of a publishing company. This means it will take more time and effort to sell copies than if you had hired a publisher. You also won’t have access to professional advice or experienced technicians, which can be a disadvantage compared to traditional publishers. You risk losing money on your project when you self-publish because there is no guarantee that it will sell.

Final Words

From tips on pitching bloggers to distributing a press release for your collection, publishing a book of poetry has many steps that must be followed to succeed.

If you’re thinking of self-publishing your poetry, following these ten tips can help make the process easier and more rewarding. But remember, self-publishing is a lot of work, so be prepared to put in the time and effort if you want to see your book succeed. Have you ever self-published poetry before? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below!

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