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Getting Your Poems Published

It's becoming increasingly more difficult to get a book published and magazines are struggling to stay afloat. What does that mean for a poet who is already in a difficult field that is a lot less lucrative than the others? It means you'll need to be a little more patience, a lot more stubborn and willing to try some different routes.

Tips on Getting Your Poems Published

1. Read, Read, Read
In order to become a good writer and get published, you need to know your craft. Read everything you can get your hands on: Modern poetry, classical poetry, translated poetry... Not only will it help you writing, it will give you a better understanding of the world you are entering and where the bar is.

2. Write, Write, Write
You can't get your poetry published if you don't have any poems to publish. True writers who want to make a career out of writing will simply eat, sleep and drink writing.

3. Put Yourself Out There
The first step in the process is to start putting yourself out there. You'll want to gain as much attention and exposure as you possibly can; from editors, from agents, and from your peers. Join a writing community, signup for facebook, participate in writing forums, join a poetry discussion group, etc... If you can also afford to setup a professional website for yourself, link all your community/social networks to your personal site.

4. Start The Submission Process
Once you've joined the social/educational communities and have earned yourself a small fan base and feel confident that your work is ready for a bigger audience, you can start submitting your best writing to literary magazines, legitimate poetry competitions, e-zines and journals (online and offline). After successfully appearing in a few periodicals, you can then try approaching small presses and university publishers. You should not approach publishers until you have a a large collection of material to offer.

5. Explore The Self-Publishing Route
Many poets and writers have already discovered the growing world of self-publishing. The great advantage is that you can sell it directly; after readings, locally or from your website. Also, self-publishing your book now doesn't mean you can't have it re-published commercially at a later date. Some well known best-sellers were initially self-published: Chicken Soup for the Soul, Spartacus, and What Color is Your Parachute? to name a few. Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain and countless others are also honorable members.

With so many online retailers, e-readers, tablets and print-on-demand options, self-publishing is truly a solid road to take. The old stigma of self-publishing is quickly disintegrating with many of today's best-selling authors choosing to self-publish their work, such as J.K. Rowling who will sell the e-book versions of the Harry Potter series directly from her website.

There are countless self-publishers and print-on-demand sites now offering completely automated systems that can turn your work into a book with just the click of your mouse. Take some time to research each company and find out which one works best for you.

Additional Reading On Publishing

Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know 
Top 10 Worst Self-Publishing Mistakes—Explained!
Self-Publishing Sites: Five of the Best compared

Additional Resources

CreateSpace: Publish your own book, get High Royalties!
iUniverse: self-publisher
XLibris: self-publisher You'll need an ISBN (book id & bar code number) to sell to stores, amazon etc.. Self Publishing Guides, Tools & Resources

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