FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Poetry is hard to publish traditionally. Finding a poetry publisher is one thing, but finding one that takes unsolicited/specific submissions is another. Luckily you can do it yourself with self-publishing!
Both of my books are currently self-published through IngramSpark, and additionally, their respective e-books are also published through Amazon KDP.
Pros: No timelines, deadlines, full creative freedom, and all rights belong to you.
Cons: Everything including marketing, production, sales outreach, publicity, editorial work, and financing are in your hands. You can hire externally, of course. There are so many options, but researching the best ones for your work is up to you. To make money, you have to spend money.
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Lulu have self-publishing programs to look into. There are smaller indie publishers that utilize organizations like IngramSpark for distribution, printing, etc. that are worth looking into, as well. I chose IngramSpark for distribution reasons. They have a wide reach that allowed my book to be placed online at many book retailers.
Research copyright pages, book formatting, costs, and even cover designs before you make any decisions. Look at existing books for examples. Do note that a book can “look self-published,” and that usually comes down to design. In the end, it’s your choice, and your book should look the way you want. But keep in mind that it’s worth investing in photo editing apps like Canva & PicMonkey to craft the perfect cover design and make your book stand out.
I designed both my book covers with PicMonkey. Paid upgrades to personal accounts also give users access to a library of stock photos. Use stock photos wisely, and even if giving credit is optional, it’s best to give credit to the artists when appropriate! I give credit on my website and on my book’s copyright page.
Those designs also come from PicMonkey. Canvas sizes have social media options to best fit your assets to specific social channels, like Twitter posts, Facebook page banners, Instagram stories, and more.
Send some emails and pick up the phone! Contact bookstores, libraries, coffee shops, breweries, and other local stores that might be interested in hosting you for an event. Get creative, and don’t give up!
There are many ways to go about finding outlets to review your book. Search engines are your friend, but sites like Reedsy and Poets & Writers are some great places to start. Consider following reviewers on social media, and joining Facebook groups pertaining to your book’s genre, to keep up with relevant links, news, and more. Many large magazines and newspapers review books as well. Some hardcore research will come in handy, but compiling lists into MailChimp well in advance will be helpful to you in the long run!
Sign up for newsletters, join groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, follow fellow writers and artists on Twitter and Instagram – the opportunities are endless, but it’s sometimes tough to know where to start. Do some Google searches, and follow relevant hashtags to see who else is using them.
Anywhere books are sold! If you’re looking to support local indie stores, head to IndieBound or Bookshop.org. Otherwise, many big and online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and Google Books stock my published collections.
So many things, and it depends on the specific work. But I get a lot of my inspiration from music, movies, and of course, other books. Movies are so visual, and music can strike the right emotions at the right time. I love to listen to instrumental music to let the sounds carry my mind, so I’m not hyper-focused on lyrics. But it’s not always planned, where inspiration will strike.
Inspiration is one thing, but motivation is another. The amount of paper scraps I have with poetic scribbles & musings says it all: when the inspiration strikes, write it down! Don't say you'll get to it later. Take a minute to jot down your thoughts, even if just a few words. If your mind is moving a hundred miles a minute and you find it hard to focus, the stuff that's on your mind might be exactly what you need to write about.
It sounds crazy, but switching my writing utensil helps. If I'm using a pen, I'll switch to pencil, or even open my computer and type it out. Sometimes vice versa or some other variation of that works. Also, try switching up your environment. If you're at your desk at home, go sit at the dining room table, or outside on your porch.
I’m a huge fan of “less is more,” so especially for Haunt, I didn’t want something too busy. I love to keep an air of mystery. Tempest was certainly a different animal, but in terms of font and text, I still kept things simple. A pattern was fun without being distracting, and invoked the tone I wanted to introduce.
Depending on when you check out this page, it might be a different answer. Follow me on social media and Goodreads for the most recent updates!