Hi Everyone. I’ve just joined and I have to say that this site has developed a nice community of like minded people. 


I want to throw something out there and get some advice from whomever reads this. 


I’ve never really been around anyone else that enjoys reading or writing poetry, it’s just something I’ve always done...like breathe I suppose. 

But last year I decided I wanted to share my work with others. I didn’t bother trying to get an agent or a publisher, I decided to self-publish. Which I am in the process of doing now. I’d say I’m about half way through the process, finalizing the interior design on the book. 


But anyway - my point is, it’s taken me this long to finally start doing research to work out how to market my book and reach my target audience (I know, I should’ve done this sooner), but the more I delve into this, the more I get an indication that self-published poetry is not respected..?! That’s it’s “only for those who weren’t good enough to get published”?


Has anyone else heard of this before or has experienced it? I think it’s outrageous. Regardless of how we get our work out there, we all have something magical to share. 


These preconceived notions need to be destroyed and I refuse to give up. Poetry cannot die and if self-publishing is the only way to keep it alive, then I plan to do everything I can to keep it going.

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To give a direct answer to the topic; no. It should be, though, and just as much as a new Ken Bolton book should be.

 I was going to do it myself but got discouraged because i thought it wouldn't be taken seriously, and it would have just been a waste of time. It's unfair because most of the literary magazines only bother to publish, or consider publishing, work by already published poets. so it's sort of a vicious circle, and one we're not even able to be a part of. but best of luck, and I hope when your book comes out it knocks a few critics off their feet.

 I'd also like to say that I'm in the exact same position as you, not really knowing anyone who reads or has an interest in poetry. I feel different and cursed all the time, haha.

 And I"m interested, what's your target audience?

Thanks, Jon.

You're right, it is a vicious circle. Though I don't think you or anyone who considers self-publishing should be discouraged by that. By the end of all this whether I'm successful or I fail or it's just a stepping stone and a learning curve to ensure my next volume is ten times better…I know that I will never regret trying to follow my dreams. 

I think it's important for both of us to pursue what we really want, despite the adversity that may ensue. After all, if we don't follow our dreams, what are we doing here?


Target audience? Well…I really don't know. Which is probably the worst thing someone who is self-publishing should say. My poetry is quite dark and morbid. There are a few lighter ones or slightly motivational ones but they're really just extremely intense and sad. I'll post another one today.

It's hard enough finding someone who likes poetry let alone someone who likes dark poetry. This is my perception of the world as I'm not surrounded (until now on this site) by others like myself. So I always just felt that I'll get it out there and see what kind of people it attracts. I really should consider this more but I'm flat out with some interior design issues at the moment. :S

Well if you do self-publish you're in good company... ee cummings, Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound, Oscar Wilde and Matthew Reilly (ok he's not the best example) have all self-published. Via the wikipedias.

Thanks, Adrian. 

That gives me a bit more motivation. :)

Hi Rachael,


From my experience poetry mags prefer to publish works that are non conventional pieces.  I have a friend who is currently self publishing a children's novel.  To date, it has cost over $2k; however, in her case, she intends to market the book to primary schools after her grand book launch (to be held in a primary school) which will have a cover charge as she's hoping to recoup some of her self publishing expenses.


In the past, I have thought about self publishing my own poetry book and then trying to sell it on-line via my own website and Facebook in addition to selling it in arty farty type regions at markets.  Eg: Blue Mountains.  But, good luck with your own venture. 


I think your friend is in for a hard road. Schools won't pay for a book launch. If she's lucky, she might get a few sales there, but that's it.

Thanks, Steve.


I wish your friend the best of luck. 

I will be starting with selling my books online on Amazon and if I find some time, set up shop on my own website. Though I too will have a grand book launch which I know will cost an arm and a leg, but I hope it make a lot of direct sales there too.


Self publishing is frowned upon. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it is. Some say its professional suicide. Not sure about poetry, but certainly in fiction.

And yet, how do you get your name out there? There are magazines etc but few opportunities. I've had some stories published but the problem is that the editor(s) usually choose what they like and consequently, you have a publication that is very similiar in content every month. (I'm using Wet Ink as an example). So what happens is that you end up tailoring your writing to 'get in', and then appear like everybody else. It is a vicious cycle. But I'm still not convinced that getting something out there off your own bat is a bad idea. How else can people discover you?

Why not go for it? Don't expect any money out of it and do it just to be read. And keep submitting anyway. I find alot of competitions too are money ventures, asking for exorbitant entry fees, which I just don't beleive in.

And thanks to Adrian there is this site, and of course social networking and blogs, which we didn't have before. So at least someone will read you. Ten years ago there was nothing.Well, almost nothing.


Cheers and good luck.

Thanks for the thanks. :)


Thanks for the thanks of my thanks.


Thanks, Anthony.


Yes - this site indeed is a godsend. I wish I had more of a chance to go through it. Today is the day! It's locked into my diary to sit here and check out every aspect!


You're right. I have planned for not making any money out of this. I really do just want to be read. I want to share it with the world. Sure I'd like some return after outlaying x amount of my money just to get my book out there, but at the end of the day - even if I sell just one copy, that's all I really want. 


This will take many years and many attempts but I know that this is the beginning of a difficult but worthwhile journey - one I'm sure I won't regret taking.

I am quite passionate about this. Self-publish but self-publish well!

I am in the process of self-publishing a book of verse that I started writing 25 years ago. I have no time to build a reputation by sending off verse to poetry publications - I have a communications business to run, children to raise, a house and garden to maintain, social networking, real networking, friends, family, as well as articles to research etc. If I don't self-publish it won't happen. I make money from copy-writing I don't need third party endorsement of the verse that I write. You like it or you don't!

My view is that a commercial publisher does not have a monopoly on publishing. If a publisher won't publish you for any number of commercial reasons publish yourself. These reasons are not about quality they are about fashion. Have you not noticed that celebrity cookbooks sell well but does anybody use them to cook! 

The difficulty is selling the books. Selling poetry books is not going to make you rich. It might give you prestige. Well lets be realistic if Faber and Faber publish you might be proud but you are still going to be poor!

If you can get people to first read and then, if you are lucky, buy your books you are a success!

My advice, though, is that if you self-publish make sure you book doesn't look like it is self-published. Get a professional designer to design the cover and the page layout. You can add the text if you have the software. Don't use MS Publisher it is not good enough. 

I have been creating commercial publications for a living and there is a lot of badly produced material out there that looks amateurish, even stuff that has been professionally done. Good presentation is everything when it comes to being taken seriously. 

Make it look good and sell it. There is nothing more to self-publishing than that!

PS I thought Beatrix Potter had to finance her first book. Did Jane Austen also? I think the poor view of self-publishing is a modern stigma.


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