The Questions

Poetry and the Common Man

Poetry Question


As an author, it surprises me how many awards there are for poetry, but very little poetry sells. Here’s a question about such that I came across and the answer.

From the end of 2016 and this year, I have been writing poetry about my awakening. How would I be able to publish it as a book?

Poetry, like all other forms of literature, is a personal choice. It is very subjective. And what makes one person ponder with thought makes another shake their head in disbelief. So how do you get it published?

Not to dash the hopes of any aspiring author, but poetry is very difficult to sell. Sorry, just a truth.

A good friend of mine, Jim Scott, writes some of the most amazing verses out there. He mixes it with recollections of his life as a merchant marine. At many events we went to he outsold me (mind you I young and only had a few books). He’s sold books to the masses and even had Morgan Freeman request signed copies of each edition. Jim is an amazing writer, and self-published each of his collections. Unfortunately, he returned to England a few years ago and everyone in our group really misses the big lug.

Several years ago, Jim talked with a large acquisitions editor of a major publisher (not saying names here, but their emblem waddles). He pitched his novels well and the editor read and enjoyed the work. The response was he loved the work, but they were not interested. It seems poetry does not sell very well. And if it doesn’t sell, publishers don’t want to option it for publication. The sales projection for poetry he gave Jim didn’t even come close to what my author friend did himself through self-publishing. It seems they don’t do poetry because it doesn’t sell.

I guess the short answer to your question is if you want your collection published, you’ll need to self-publish it for no publisher will want it.

The truth sucks.

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