Tips and resources
Theme Writing and Publishing a Poetry Book

Writing a poetry book requires determination, endurance, and a lot of patience with yourself. A poetry book ranks at the top of many poets’ to-do lists, but getting a manuscript in front of “Poetry Book Publishers” takes a lot of writing and planning.

So, does poetry have a theme?
Well, “yes,” many modern poetry books do follow a theme. Many poets centre their collections on identity and personal experience, and through a combination of wit, authenticity, and the building blocks of poetry. When interpreting poetry, it’s important to understand the difference between the main idea and a summary and know how to find the theme. There’s no standard for how many poems go into a collection; it’s more important that the collection feels “finished” to the poet.
So, inspire others by making an impact on their lives with your experiences and personal insights. You have a wealth of knowledge, motivation, and affirmations to give, and nurture your mind, body, and spirit through your new book.  

Opening the gates to publishing
Publishing a collection of poetry is a great accomplishment for any writer. Luckily, you don’t have to be a bestselling author to get your book of poetry published. Between traditional publishers, small presses, and self-publishers, there are now more opportunities than ever to get your poems in front of an audience.

Learning how to Publish a Poetry Book

  • Bring on your poetry collection

The most essential step toward attracting the attention of a book publisher is having a collection of poems that is unimpeachably strong. Most poetry books contain between 30 and 100 poems, so it’s important to constantly be doing writing exercises. Once you have a strong collection of poetry, you’ll need to organize it.
A book of poems is not just simply all of your poetry writing sandwiched under one book cover. The best books of poetry contain poems that are in conversation with one another, unified by a theme, style, or choice, and placed in meticulous and deliberate order.
Finally, make sure your work is free of typos. Many poetry publishers won’t take you seriously if your poetry manuscript is littered with sloppy mistakes.

  • Evaluate submission guidelines

Once you have assembled your own work, it’s time to begin the submission process. Many book publishing outfits don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. Others require a synopsis of your book and a sample of your work. Make sure you’re adhering to proper submission guidelines when turning in your work.

  • Check out small presses

Many traditional publishing houses are unlikely to publish a poetry collection by an unknown poet, especially if it’s your first book. If you aren’t already a published poet, small presses can be an appealing alternative to traditional publishers. Though these presses may not have the same reach, resources, or
book marketing budget as the major players in the publishing industry, they are more likely to take a chance on previously unpublished authors. There are hundreds of small presses, many of which specialize in specific art forms and poetry styles.

  • Take up chapbook contests

If you’ve only been writing poetry for a short while or you don’t feel like you have the output necessary for a full collection, you might want to consider a chapbook. Chapbooks are shorter collections of poetry, usually 40 pages or less, that are unified by a specific theme or style. Many small presses and university
presses offer poetry contests, the winner of which gets a published chapbook. Entering poetry contests can be a great way to circumvent the traditional book printing and publishing process.

  • Try self-publishing

Self-publishing is quicker and more convenient. It provides the author with complete creative and financial autonomy. The author decides everything from the layout of the pages to the cover design and cover art. Then, you can choose whether to release your collection exclusively through digital booksellers or to use a print-on-demand service. Print-on-demand lets you print the specific number of books ordered by customers.

Best places to self-publish your book of poetry
Amazon is a popular option for many writers looking to self-publish their poetry. Kindle Direct Publishing is Amazon’s publishing service that allows independent authors to design their book cover, upload their work, and earn up to 70 percent of royalties on sales.
One of the benefits of self-publishing your poetry collection on Amazon is that millions of people visit Amazon each day. That’s a lot of traffic. Self-publishing books on Amazon is a popular option for independent authors.
Another place to self-publish your poetry on the internet is your blog. Creating a personal blog where you consistently upload your writing can be a great way to build your own community of readers. While building traffic can take time and effort in the beginning, once your blog has gained traction, it can be an effective way to get your work noticed.
Self- publishing your poetry book is an exciting step in your writing career!