How awful would it be, really? My second collection of poems has been clicked hither and yon for about a year now. I've spent a small fortune in contest fees, well, (for me it's a small fortune) and taken advantage of random open submission periods from presses who may or may not be taking a real look at it. Jellyfish, by the way, just sent me an uplifting rejection; I'm sure they read the poems and considered it, but couldn't see through to taking it on. I'm at a loss, here. I don't want to keep messing around with it, maybe mess it up. It feels finished— mostly poems with what a consultant called "lyrical essays" and a few very short prose poems. Anyways, I consider the writers here brilliant and wise and if you'd comment on this, yea or nay, I could use the help.
I am too. I keep thinking "if what I die?". It would be a good way of preserving the work. I think I am going to put it together in January as an ebook, I already have a title.
I have nearly 500 poems and 2 large documents containing ideas and fragments. Not going to put it all out though. Maybe 150 poems?
Including but not confined to the first edition of "Leaves of Grass," self-publishing poetry has a very honorable history. Given some of the draconian deals I've seen proposed by publishers, it can look like much the best idea. Good luck with your manuscript, either way, I'm sure it deserves to be published and read.
I prefer the term "privately published." Makes it seem exclusive.
Thanks, Samuel, David, and Gary. I'm going to pursue small presses with renewed vigor for awhile I think. Samuel, I've mostly read that publishers and contests want from around fifty to maybe 80 or so pages, so when you pull poems together for manuscripts, whether to "privately publish" (I love that) or submit them, that's how I'd suggest organizing your work. You are much more prolific than I am. The 56 poems and 90 pages in my first book were written over 9 years! xxoononnie
The only problem with being prolific is that not all the poems are of the same quality.
Go with Createspace if you do decide to self publish, I've tried them all and they are the best, in my humble opinion.
My late father left hundreds of poems, typed on a typewriter (remember those? No, I'm not talking about Tom Hanks' iPad app but about the real steel deal), recorded on tape. Many of them are excellent, many just personal - a long life sculpted in words: the camps, communism, collectivism, cold war - it's all there, unreachable. The medium may not be the message, but it does determine memory lane length. I wish he had self-published.
Kait—My first book was published by The Linnet's Wings as an Irish publication, but CreateSpace handles the print-on-demand angle. If I finally decide to self-publish, I'll keep your advice in mind.
Marcus—I wish your father had self-published, too! My father, late in his life, talked more about his WW2 experiences than ever before. I wish he had written them down. I found a love letter he'd written to my mother from Germany (he was there after the war for about a year) and it brought me to tears.
Your work is excellent, even venerable, near honey and direct, Nonnie. I suggest yes. It is very important to have it to see, in a physical, tangible place in the hand. There is a way. Let us see.
Today I tried a select page of my letters reams of twenty years ago and smiled for it, one Soeur emailing the other, and shined with tears at the way it lasts. ! I had to define then (today) "letter" as "it was true then" to stay it as "novel." It is fine lights. It's papers, thicknesses of paper, to a handful, more, of the friends, four years, eight, eight, eight valuable, well-sprung real days.
Thank you, Ann. I just saw your note. I can appreciate the smile you had reading a letter from long ago. I have many paper objects that I treasure.
Here's a thought. Why not publish your father's letters with your present-day replies?
@David coming to this VERY late (I KNEW there was a thread on self-publishing but I didn't see it in time which is why I opened the other one). I really like your suggestion...now, if I can extract the time (that hollow, hurting tooth)...then I could do it!...Cheers!
@nonnie @ann I like Ann's practical advice, too. To listen to an author's voice and inner reach should play a role in which route to take. Good one.
@nonnie thanks for sharing!
I somehow missed this, too, Nonnie, but, if it's not too late, I second Kait's suggestion to use CreateSpace. I've done one book with that platform, and it was easy peasy, as I recall. That was awhile ago, and I expect Amazon has upgraded the process several times since then. The best feature from a marketing standpoint is "publish on demand." No overhead involved, no need to stock more copies than you need in a particular time frame, i.e. book-signing appearances, speaking events, and a few on hand for friends and guests. The only expense I had up front was to buy a stock photo for the cover and then for someone to design the cover to Amazon's specifications. Please let me know when they're available, as I want a signed copy!