Writing Books/Poetry


Dear Mr. Wales,

I am wondering how many poems do I need to make a decent sized book?

 Thank you!


This really depends on what format you'd like the book to be, and of course, how long the poems themselves are.

You can see books that are collected works of a poet that are 200 pages or more.  On the other hand, there are books that are less than 100 pages, with lots of white space on each page.

Some books will use fancy typography, some won't.  Some may even contain artwork.

There really are no rules.  If you have a couple dozen poems, you can do a book.  You don't need a hundred, if that's what your concern is.

My copy of Sylvia Plath's Ariel is about 6 x 9 inches, has 85 pages, and about half that many poems.  It's a slim, but respectable volume.  

Hope that helps.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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