If your recent focus has been on finding a poetry book publisher that will publish your work, there are a few tips that could help you. Since the poetry industry is much smaller than the more general prose market, it will take a lot of research and persistence to publish your poetry. However, it is possible.
Prior to sending the product of your hard work out to just any poetry publishing house, you need to be aware of a few facts. Before submitting your poetry to anyone, you should:
1. Read the company's published works first to make sure that you are sending it to the right kind of publishing house.
2. Follow the guidelines stated on the publishing company's website to ensure that your poetry does not get ignored or thrown away.
3. Think about sending your works to non-traditional poetry publishing companies.
Read posted guidelines on the poetry publishing house websiteTo avoid having your hard work tossed into the "slush" pile along with other works that never get read, follow the rules. If the company website says to double-space all entries, or have a coversheet for each poem, do it. It is usually the publisher's first test, and it is easy to pass.
Make sure that the poetry book publishing companies you contact accept unsolicited submissionsIt is always disappointing when you prepare and send your poetry to a publishing house only to be met with an e-mail rejecting your work without anyone even reading it. Even worse, you could be eagerly awaiting a response that never comes because your submission was simply deleted. Save yourself some trouble by reading the website's policy on unsolicited poetry submissions.
Oberlin College Press allows unsolicited submissions, but only by mail.
Send submissions to poem publishing companies that publish through unique mediaWhile it may be your ultimate goal to get your poetry into a hardcover book, you might have a better chance at getting your first poems published online or in a poetry magazine. However, do not give up your dream of impressing poem book publishers, as this just may be your first step towards that goal.
Blackbird is an online journal that encourages poetry submissions.
- Before getting published at major poetry publishing companies, you often are required to have been published before. In order to get the ball rolling, submit your poetry to local and online magazines and journals, as they are much more likely to publish first-time authors.