There are some questions that are always popular. These are questions that I’ve been asked over and over for nearly 2 decades now. One is, “How do I get my book of poems published?”
I plan to cover more of these questions going forward on the Writer’s Market blog. If you have a publishing, platform, or other question related to your writing, feel free to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Writer’s Market Blog Question.
The 2017 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer, includes hundreds of poetry markets, including listings for poetry publications, publishers, contests, and more! With names, contact information, and submission tips, poets can find the right markets for their poetry and achieve more publication success than ever before.
In addition to the listings, there are articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry–so that poets can learn the ins and outs of writing poetry and seeking publication. Plus, it includes a one-year subscription to the poetry-related information on WritersMarket.com. All in all, it’s the best resource for poets looking to secure publication.
How Do I Get My Book of Poems Published?
Believe it or not, with poetry, this is actually the wrong question to ask…unless you’re planning to self-publish your book. The reason is simple: Poetry book publishers want to publish collections of poems by emerging and established poets who are working to expand their audience. For most, this involves publishing poems individually.
So don’t ask, “How do I get my book of poems published?” Ask instead, “How do I go about getting my individual poems published?” And you’ll find the answer to this question is rather simple: Submit poems to poetry journals and publications.
Where Do I Find These Poetry Journals and Publications?
That’s the right kind of questioning, and one of the best resources is mentioned above: The Poet’s Market. Updated annually, Poet’s Market lists hundreds of publications, publishers, contests, conferences, and more. Plus, it has articles on how to navigate the world of poetry publishing.
Once you find places to submit, here are a few key tips:
- Read the publications before you submit. This is a good way to figure out if what you’re writing matches what they’re publishing. For instance, a haiku journal is not going to accept your sonnets.
- Read the submission guidelines before you submit. Often, publications have reading periods, special calls for submissions, and rules about how they prefer to receive poems. Follow these simple instructions to avoid being rejected without even being read.
- Keep submitting. Rejections will happen; they just will. Take them in stride and keep sending out your best work. And…
- Keep writing. The best way to submit more poetry is to create more poems. So don’t let the process of trying to get published delay the more important work of writing.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community. He edits the Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market books, writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, maintains the Poetic Asides blog, co-hosts a podcast for writers with Brian A. Klems, speaks at conferences, leads online webinars and tutorials, and so much more.
Robert is also the author of Solving the World’s Problems, a poetry collection published by Press 53. A former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, he’s been a featured poet across the country at poetry events in Austin, Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, and elsewhere.
Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.
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