These tips include the basics as well as links to several articles and posts to help both beginner and seasoned poets with self-promotion and self-publication to grow your network of followers and potential readers, including tools used for posting on Instagram, self-publication resources and organizations, and other self-promotion tips. Check back often, since I’ll be adding to this list as I come across new resources and information.
If you have more to add or an article you love on self-publication of poetry, please leave a comment below.
Self-publishing vs. traditional publishing
Poetry can be highly competitive within traditional publishing and even with smaller, indie presses. My web site has historically focused on supporting poets/writers seeking to have their work published in literary magazines, journals, and by presses. While many poets prefer to take the route of traditional publication, others have great success going in the direction of self-publication, and some blend both approaches to build a greater visibility, maximize potential profits, and grow their community of followers and readers. Either way, you’re actively participating in the larger literary community. That is to say, there’s no right or wrong way to publish–there’s just the way that works best for you and your personal goals. For a detailed conversation on self-publishing poetry, make sure to read this article by Orna Ross: Self-Publishing Poetry Books: Why More Poets Need To Make More Digital Books and Chapbooks. Additional articles are listed below.
Pros of self-publishing
- self-publishing is instantaneous
- larger profit margins
- creative control
- you keep the rights to your work (which is the case for most traditional publication after a period of time, see more on copyrights here)
Cons of self-publishing
- no help with editing/design
- no help with marketing/promotion
- responsibility for all upfront costs/distribution
- to be successful you must be disciplined and consistent
How to Self-Publish a Chapbook by Trish Hopkinson via Authors Publish
- To Self-Publish or to Not Self-Publish, That Is the Question
- The Ultimate Marketing Guide for Poets Who Self-Published
- The Benefits of Self-Publishing During the Poetry Resurgence
- How to Publish a Poetry Book
- Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing: 2020 Deep Dive
- Considering Self-Publishing – guest blog post by Kathy Lundy Derengowski
- The Rise Of The Insta-Poet: 6 Modern Bards You Should Be Following
- Self Publishing Poetry: 10 Essential Tips That Can Help You!
- How to Sell Your Poetry Collection Yourself
Self-published book awards
- Writer’s Digest’s Self-Published Book Awards – annual contest, includes a poetry category
- North Street Book Prize – Winning Writers annual contest, includes a poetry category
- More here on The Ultimate Guide to Winning Book Awards: Tips and Tools via Alliance of Independent Authors
Resource sites and organizations
- Alliance of Independent Authors
- #AskALLi self-publishing advice podcast
- Winning Writers Self-Publishing Resources
- The Ultimate List of Self-Publishing Resources via publishdrive
- Tell Tell Poetry self-publishing
- How to Self Publish Poetry via wikiHow
- Amazon Self-Publishing Made Easy: An Author Walks You Through It via Reedsy
- How to Market a Self-Published Book via gatekeeper press
- Publishing and Other Forms of Insanity – Self-Publishing
- Marketing and Promotion
- Tools of the Trade
- Contests and Awards for Self-Published Books
- Stats on Self-Publishing
- Success Stories
Instagram tools & tips
- 11 Must-Have Instagram Apps for Writers
- How to Create Stunning InstaPoetry Posts
- How to Stand Out as an Instagram Poet
- How To Go From Being an Instagram Poet To a Published Author
- How to be an Instapoet
- Instagram Makes Poetry Profitable at Last!
- How To Become An Instagram Poet
- Let’s Talk: How Instapoetry Functions
- 6 Ways to Use Instagram Story Highlights (That You Haven’t Thought of Yet!)
If you like this post, please share with your writerly friends and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can see all the FREE resources my site offers poets/writers on my Start Here page.
This is wonderful! But I think, to be honest, on the con side of self-publishing the stigma of self-publishing needs to be mentioned. Not having the reputable publisher at your back can make things that much more difficult. I’ve even run across a poetry Facebook group that included members who wanted to prevent people from posting poems from “self-published” books. It was an odd and uncomfortable discussion. It’s interesting that people used to say “published poet” to distinguish themselves – now say “traditionally published”. Yes. I am one of them. Stigma is difficult to deal with.
All good considerations. Thanks for joining in the conversation!