Last week I attended the League of Extraordinary Poets workshop “Paths to Publishing” at the University of Michigan Dearborn. The guest speaker was an experienced published author who was also their advisor. This workshop was informative and a friendly reminder of the feat that is publishing. Below are my notes:
Be part of the Poetry Community:
Attend or host workshops, open mics, readings, poetry swaps
Be visible work at acquiring marketing experience.
Use Poet’s Market, and poetry resources to locate publishers, contests, awards, fellowship, community events, etc.
Start your own chapbook or magazine (online).
Use Media to your advantage–think outside the box.
Build a poetry profile/presence with a blog or site. (be mindful about how much of your poetry you post to your blogs–many publishers are not willing to share copyright/authorship).
Visit examples of known poets for ideas on blog structure and format.
Create a readership: find an angle or scope, review other poets’ work, post bio with publishing credits if applicable, list a calendar of events–be professional.
Poetry Market is great tool because it provides explicit and implicit publishing trends of various publishers/presses.
Get experience–learn about the publishing market by reading or become an intern to a poetry presses to learn editor’s inputs, attitudes, etc.
If you have to pay to submit/publish your work BEWARE–[also] publishers who do not pay royalties or copies are not worth your time. (DO YOUR HOMEWORK!)
Self-publishing often better than Vanity Presses because you have control over your book: creativity, print, sales, and copyright. Marketing is on your own (usually).
Practicalities of Publishing/Choosing a Journal:
Go through sites in search of presses that are most compatible with your work.
List 5-10 publishers to send work, check off and continue to circulate down the list.
Acquire magazines that format, appeal,
Read submission guidelines carefully/follow them to the letter.
Make manuscript package professional/ have a standard cover letter.
List names of poetry, name and contact info clearly.
Revise poetry/letters before submission
Include a brief bio of publication history in cover letters.
Mention something about the journal to show that you’ve done you’re homework.
No simultaneous submissions (one at a time.)
Online publications are harder to control work e.g copyright. (make note of # issues produced, site current, clear submission/copyright policies, named editor/editorial board, clean design–reputable online publication.
Read rejections for reviews of your work, leave it for 48 hours and reread for valuable advice. Choose to revise or not to revise!
Marketing and writing is time consuming develop a schedule.
Most common copyright: joint ownership between author and publication.
Network with other poets (especially those who are known) create dialogue ask for advice.
Read author interviews who talk about their publishing experiences