Services - Advice for Poets

By: Steele Roberts  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Books, Poetry, Poems

The market for poetry books is small and they are rarely profitable. Selling all of a modest print run of 300-500 books is considered a good result.

Because of this, we have to be very selective about accepting poetry for publication.

Before sending us your poems, a useful test is to ask friends and personal contacts to act as tough critics and give you bluntly honest feedback on their quality. Would they be prepared to buy a book of your poems for $20? Don’t just rely on the praise of your mother, spouse or lover.

Spend time revising and fine-tuning your poems. They do not have to rhyme, but they should scan, i.e. read smoothly.

Aim to use as few words as possible to express each idea. Avoid cliches – whether of phrase or concept – like the plague. Thoroughly check the spelling in your poems before sending them to us.

Read other contemporary poets. Check the quality of poetry books currently selling in bookstores. This will help you to gauge the standard of writing necessary to be a successful poet.

Can your book be illustrated? Do you have innovative ideas for marketing it?

An alternative we can offer poets whose work we consider worthwhile, but which we aren't able to publish commercially, is to assist you to self-publish your book. For an agreed fee we will edit your poems, typeset your book and arrange for it to be printed. You meet all costs but retain all profits from sales. This can be a very effective way to get published, develop a following, and have books to sell at poetry readings and to friends, acquaintances and lovers of poetry.

The information in this article was current at 02 Dec 2011

Keywords: Books, Poems, Poetry

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Services - Advice for Writers

If we accept your book for publishing we will need to negotiate a contract. This includes the amount of royalty we will pay you as author. The standard royalty in New Zealand is 10% of retail sales. This recognises the economics of publishing.