How is your writing going? Are you published, I mean aside from the internet? Can I go out and buy a book of your poems you wrote to enjoy reading in the comfort of my own living room or to give as a gift to a friend who would enjoy reading your poems? You might want to consider publishing your work in a chapbook. Read more…
PUBLISH YOUR POETRY: CHAPBOOKS
As I have strolled around the internet I have discovered a lot of very good poetry but it is written by not so well-known poets. They don’t have any books published that I can place in my personal library to enjoy reading again later. These poems are mostly on poetry sites, personal blogs and in e-zines. That is good but not always convenient to your reading public and you are probably not making much if any money for your efforts and talent.
It is a frosty evening and the house is quiet. I decide to curl up in my afghan on the sofa and read and I remember a selection of poems I’d read awhile back and think to read them and maybe more poems by this poet again but I don’t have a book by that poet or even an anthology with their poems in it because the only place they are published is on the internet. Now I have absolutely nothing against internet publishing and I do my share of it but sometimes I just want to curl up with a good book and get away from the computer.
To read your poetry again I have to go back to my office and my computer and boot it up and do a search rather than cozying up on my nice comfortable sofa for an enjoyably quiet evening of poetry reading and dreaming and imagining all that those poems bring to life. Dang! I’ve just spent six to eight hours working in my office. I need a change of scenery. So, I read something else or maybe just pop up a bowl of popcorn and toss a good movie into my DVD player.
I might just be reading you if you had a published work. You write well. You are a good poet and I love poetry. Why haven’t you published your work? Publish your poetry. It doesn’t have to be a large collection or even published by a famous publishing house. You can publish it yourself and once the initial cost is covered the profit from the sales is all yours. You don’t have to share it with the publishing company. It’s not a bad deal. Publish your poetry in a chapbook. You can publish a series of them and do it yourself.
What is more, poetry chapbooks are relatively inexpensive to produce and with the right program installed in your computer you can publish your work right from the comfort of your own home or office or higher a small press or printing company to help you. If you have a good printing company who will also do the binding of your book, give them your business; but here you are stuck doing all your own design with maybe a bit of advice from the printer and doing all your own advertising and getting your own copyright. Copyright your work. This is the DIY (do it yourself approach) and a good way to go if you are publishing just a few copies for family and friends or to sell locally at craft fairs or your local shops and consignment stores.
There are some really good companies out there who are able and more than ready to assist you but look at each of them carefully to be sure they are really offering what you need. Among my favorites, two of which I am presently working with, are Lulu, my personal favorite. They are so pleasant and easy to work with and the cost is minimal. Café Press, a really good company who will not only help you self publish your work but help you promote it as does Xlibris, also very good and not all that expensive to work with. I like them. And then you might want to check out Create Space. It is a great space to turn to for your self-publishing needs. Create Space is a subsidiary of Amazon.com and an excellent resource for your publishing needs and it gives you an immediate and great outlet for possible sales. They are well worth looking into.
A poetry chapbook is a small collection of poetry, your poems, that is 40 to 60 pages max and you may want to include a few, usually not more than 12 pictures, wither photos or drawings, that reflect your poetic theme. Chapbooks usually center on a specific theme like country life, nature, city life, animals, love, relationships, children, famous people, specifically one person, patriotism, God, faith; you see what I mean. These small books of poetry are commonly saddle-stitched like a magazine normally is and it is a relatively inexpensive way to get your writing talent in the hands of the public to be read and shared again and again. What is more, doing a chapbook is a much better format to use instead of a full-length book when it comes to smaller print runs. You can usually print as few or as many as your sales call for and can have them ready to ship within ten days or less.
Publishing your poems in a chapbook is a great way to share your work with others, get yourself known and recognized as a writer, a published author. They are easy to handle. Your fans can carry them easily in their purse or briefcase or backpack to pick up and read whenever they like. Chapbooks are good things for you and your reading public.
It is difficult enough to sell your fiction novel, your trade book, biography or other work to a well-known publishing house and many of them only work through agents which can get costly for you. It is even harder to sell them your poetry. Most of them just won’t buy it until you are a recognized author. They are in business to make money and only publish what sells best and poetry is not at the top of the list, truth whether we poets like it or not. There is only a handful or people in the reading public that really dig poetry.
Self-publishing your poems in a chapbook is probably your best way to go. Publishing your chapbook of poetry will give the reading public a sampling of your work and potentially, if it sells, give you a nice bit of profit beyond the minimal publishing expenses. What is more, if your chapbook really does take off and sells well (and it just may) it will serve as proof to the big publishing houses that there really is a market for your poetry. People like it and want to read it in the comfort of their own living room and they will buy it. You will get their attention and you are on your way to becoming one of those famous authors on the New York Times best seller list. Well, maybe, and if not, your mom will be proud of you.