graphic of many steps to publish poetry
OK, maybe not THIS MANY steps.

Curious about how to publish a book of poetry? In my experience, these are more or less the basic steps…

  1. Read other people’s poetry.
  2. Write poems.
  3. Get feedback.
  4. Hate feedback.
  5. Revise anyway.
  6. Subscribe to 5 poetry journals (or read them monthly at the library).
  7. Read other people’s poetry.
  8. Send poems out.
  9. Get poems rejected.
  10. Be hurt.
  11. Deal with it.
  12. Revise anyway.
  13. Send poems out again.
  14. Read other people’s poetry.
  15. Publish a poem!
  16. Receive ZERO DOLLARS for publication.
  17. Revise anyway.
  18. Send more poems out.
  19. Read other people’s poetry.
  20. More poems rejected.
  21. Be hurt.
  22. Deal with it.
  23. Read other people’s poetry.
  24. Revise anyway.
  25. Send more poems out.
  26. Publish more poems!
  27. Receive $25-50 for publication.
  28. Read other people’s poetry.
  29. Attend poetry workshop.
  30. Get feedback.
  31. Hate feedback.
  32. Hate the douche giving you the feedback.
  33. Revise anyway.
  34. Get another poem published!
  35. Big AHA moment: douche was right!
  36. Revise again.
  37. Read chapbooks.
  38. Research chapbook publishers.
  39. Submit chapbook for publication.
  40. Get chapbook rejected.
  41. Re-send chapbook back out same day.
  42. Read other people’s poetry.
  43. Chapbook published!
  44. Receive 10 copies of chapbook as payment.
  45. Submit to all of the poetry contests.
  46. Watch poet friends win poetry contests.
  47. Write more poems.
  48. Get feedback.
  49. Appreciate feedback.
  50. Revise poems.
  51. Shortlisted for poetry contest!
  52. Pull poems into full manuscript of 48 pages+
  53. Hate 36 of 48 mss pages.
  54. Read other people’s poetry.
  55. Get feedback on full manuscript.
  56. Appreciate feedback.
  57. Revise manuscript.
  58. Read other people’s poetry.
  59. Hate only 12 of 48 mss pages.
  60. Make list of poetry publishers.
  61. Ask poet friends how to publish a poetry book.
  62. Buy beer for sobbing poet friends.
  63. Send query to 5-6 publishers.
  64. Grow old.
  65. Thank gods for other people’s poetry.
  66. Attend writing workshop.
  67. Win poetry contest!
  68. Win $1000 for poetry contest!
  69. Calculate lifetime spend on poetry books and workshops.
  70. Receive 5 form letter rejections.
  71. Try to forget mean thing 1 publisher said.
  72. Be hurt.
  73. Deal with it.
  74. Send poems out again.
  75. Read other people’s poetry.
  76. 2 years later: 1 publisher asks to see manuscript
  77. POETRY MANUSCRIPT ACCEPTED AND PUBLISHED
  78. Receive $0 and 10 copies on publication.
  79. Read other people’s poetry.
  80. Write more poems. Repeat.

 

*Replace with Fiction if desired: same same — with added BONUS FUN ROUND of rejection from agents!

Publish Your Poetry: A How-To Guide in 80 Easy Steps