How to Write and Publish Your Poetry Book

One of the greatest accomplishments of every poet is to publish his own poetry book. Many write but not many have the confidence to go the route of publishing.

Luckily, in this era, you don’t have to aim to become a bestseller to publish your poetry.

Between traditional publishers, small presses, and self-publishers, there are now more opportunities than ever to get your poems in front of your desired audience. Because what is the aim of publishing poetry if not to get it to the faces of those who need it?

We have explained it in detail in this article.

How to Publish a Poetry Book

Here are some tips to help you write and publish your poetry book collection:

Write your poetry collection

If you want to attract a book publisher, you need to have already written the book collection with strong impressive poems.

Many poetry books contain between 30 and 100 poems.

After writing, organize the work.

A collection of poems is more than the entire body of work collected into one volume.

The best poetry collections have poems that are in conversation with one another, have a common theme, style, or poetic form, and are arranged with care and consideration.

Lastly, ensure that there are no errors in your work. If your poetry manuscript is full of careless errors, many poetry publishers won’t take you seriously.

Publish on Poetry Blogs

Writing a blog and posting your poetry online is the quickest way to publish a poem.

It’s the simplest path to publication as a poet, even though it’s the least prestigious.

If you don’t want to publish your poetry for profit, you might enjoy sharing your poems on your blog as a way to interact directly with readers and followers via social media, email lists, and your own website.

If you want to look up some poetry blogs and feel inspired, here’s a list of the best ones.

See also: 41+ Homographs Examples for Writers

Submit to Literary Journals

Once you’ve compiled your own work, you should start the submission procedure to literary journals.

If you already know the literary journals, magazines, or book publishing houses where you want to submit your poems, that will cut the process in half. It will obviously eliminate the time and resources needed to search for the literary journals you can submit to.

Learn their individual submission requirements because organizations in the publishing or literary press have their standards.

Basically, unsolicited submissions are not accepted by many book publishing companies. Some request a sample of your work, a synopsis of your own book, and query letters.

Make sure that when you submit your work, you are following the correct submission rules.

Here are some additional tips to improve your chances;

Put your poetry in a formal format. Avoid using unprofessional, difficult-to-read fonts. Use simple fonts, such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica, and stick to a 12-point font.

Here are a few more tips to increase the chances of getting your poetry submission accepted:

  • Format your poem professionally. Don’t use fancy fonts that are hard to read. Stick to 12-point font with a basic font like Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica, for example.
  • Edit and proofread your work before submitting it. Poetry with many typos or mistakes is likely to be turned down. Before submitting, make sure to double-check your work and get it proofread by another writer to identify any errors.
  • Observe the submission requirements. I cannot stress how important it is to take this step. Not adhering to rules will lead to outright rejection.
  • Remain tenacious. If your poem is rejected after submitting it ten, fifty, or even a hundred times, don’t give up. You must be tenacious and never give up no matter how many rejection letters you receive if you’re serious about having your poems published in a literary journal.

Consider small presses

A traditional publishing house will find it difficult to publish the poetry work of a new poet especially if it is his debut. Small presses may be your rescue.

These presses are more willing to take a risk on previously unpublished authors, even if they might not have the same reach, resources, or book marketing budget as the major publishing houses.

In the US, there are hundreds of small presses, many of which focus on genres of poetry and other art forms.

If a large part of the poems in your collection are haiku or other non-rhyming poetry, there is probably a tiny press that publishes poetry just like yours. They are more willing to take a risk on previously unpublished authors, even if they might not have the same reach, resources, or book marketing budget as the major publishing houses.

Enter chapbook contests

You might want to think about a chapbook if you’ve just been writing poetry for a short time or if you don’t think you have enough work for a full collection.

Chapbooks are condensed collections of poetry, sometimes no more than forty pages, with a common theme or style.

Poetry contests are held by many small presses and university presses, with the winner receiving a published chapbook.

Poem competitions can be an excellent option to avoid the conventional publication and printing process for books.

See also: 14+ Types of Poem to Know With Practical Examples

Try self-publishing

If all four tips fail, try self-publishing.

Poetry published independently gives the author total creative and financial freedom, even though it might not have the same prestige as one published by established publishing houses.

The author decides everything, including the cover design and artwork.

Any writer, including poets, can publish their work with the self-publishing route. That is, they can print books through a printer, make them available through a print-on-demand (or POD) service, and/or sell them as ebooks.

Beyond that, poets can make their work available for free as ebooks, via blogs, and on social media.

Nowadays, it has never been easier for a poet to self-publish their work and make it available to other people.

The only problem is connecting with other people who are interested in your work because, unlike publishing houses, you can build it, but that doesn’t mean anyone will come to check it out.

So if you decide to go the self-publishing route, think about why you’re doing it and whether you have a way to share your work with other people.

Do I Need a Literary Agent?

Literary agents rarely represent poets.

If they do, that is because the poet is already established, fiction or nonfiction. Most of them are focused on the commission they receive, and truthfully, there’s lots to be made in poetry.

To answer the question, no, you don’t need a literary agent to publish your book.

See also: “Over” vs “More Than”: How to Use Both Correctly as a Writer

Where can a new poet submit poetry online?

You can write and publish your poetry books in these journals. They work with new and established poets alike. 


We hope this article has enlightened you on how to write and publish a poetry book.

I’d personally root for publishing on blogs and self-publishing. That is because, with the ardent of social media, anyone can become anything if they learn marketing and branding.


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