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Effective Tips To Succeed In Poem Publishing

By ASK Pheifer

As the traditional book publishing industry becomes warier of risk and more dedicated to sure-thing titles by celebrity authors, movie tie-ins, and self-help books, poets in particular can find it hard to find a foothold.

While artistic success in poetry might simply lie in the writing itself, commercial success can be trickier to achieve. For the poet, the dream of keeping pace with best-selling authors like J.K. Rowling, John Grisham, and Danielle Steel may be an aspiration that’s hard to reach. This doesn’t mean that poets cannot find success in publishing poetry, though; success can be achieved by marketing in the right way to the right people.

Nurturing an audience hungry for published poetry:

For many poets, the joy of poetry is in the expression itself. Others find that sharing their poems with an appreciative audience brings a heightened sense of fulfillment.

The poet seeking to market their writing must be willing to search out and find their audience, an audience hungry for poetry. A strong DIY ethic serves the poet well in accomplishing this task. Promoting on a “grassroots” level is often the best way for an aspiring poet to find their niche audience, which is frequently a group of other writers who share a passion for poetry.

While self-publishing is the poet’s greatest tool when it comes to getting published, traditional publishing can still play a role in building an audience. If a poet is lucky enough to be accepted by a large-scale, traditional publisher, the accomplishment should be celebrated. It’s an invaluable accomplishment to build on. The downside is that in the industry, poetry books do not receive much in the way of a marketing push. In the gambler’s game of publishing, publishers stack their odds by putting all of their marketing efforts towards a few selected titles in hopes of creating bestsellers, while leaving a sea of titles neglected. Unfortunately, the bestselling titles are rarely collections of poetry.

Instead of becoming frustrated by large national publications, concentrate locally. In addition to self-publishing, small or regional literary publications are the most sensible places to submit works if you’re looking to publish traditionally. Not only will you have a much greater chance of being accepted, but other networking opportunities can arrive. Through small-scale local publishing you can begin building an audience. Additionally, these publications often include classified listings for local and online writer’s groups.

Writer’s groups can provide a supportive environment and constructive criticism, both which can help refine the poet’s skills and voice. Sharing work with peers is satisfying to many poets, and will provide a diversity of opinions and advice. Poets who have trouble finding a local group can turn to technology to find a community. Search for writer’s groups on Facebook or find other writer’s forums and start social networking with other authors. Online writer’s forums can provide valuable connections and feedback as well, but unfortunately, they lack the face-to-face contact that offers the poet the best chance to see how their words affect others.

Poem Publishing for the DIY Poet:

The rise of self-publishing technology has given writers, poets and artists with niche audiences more control over their own destiny. For the first time in history, the tools of the publishing industry are available to writers everywhere. Instead of a small number of people deciding what gets printed and what doesn’t, anyone who has the will to write has the freedom to pursue publication.

Poets in particular stand to gain greatly from the ongoing development of self-publishing and new publishers. One such publisher is Wordclay, an online publisher where authors can publish books for free. A poet can now create an attractive, professional presentation of their work, and make it available to the audience they have worked so hard to cultivate.

By combining the new technology and freedom offered through self-publishers and using a grassroots mentality to develop a niche audience, poets can enjoy the success of book publishing along with the pop-fiction novelist.

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