Writing Books/Poetry


do you know of any referrals when it comes to getting a poetry book published?or who to turn to?

When it comes to books of poetry, there are essentially three kinds.

The first is a collection of works by a single well-known poet, or an anthology of representative poems by several well-known poets.  These poets have established their credentials by having many poems published in magazines over many years.  They are names recognizable to anyone "in the know" about poetry.

The second type is the book of poetry self-published by an unknown poet with no real track record to speak of.

And the third type is a collection of works by unknown poets in the form of an anthology.  These are typically thrown together from poems entered in contests advertised in the backs of magazines.  The companies hosting these contests are almost entirely scam artists with grandiose sounding names such as The National Library of Poetry (a.k.a. The International Library of Poetry, Poetry.com, and the International Society of Poets), whose only goal is to sell these anthologies to the very "winners" whose poetry graces the pages, and at overinflated prices.  

By all means, please avoid this third type.  If you have no (or very few) poems published in the trade magazines, option number two might be your only hope.  But don't expect great sales.

Truth is, poetry doesn't sell much.  How often do you go to a bookstore and buy a book of poetry?  I've done so perhaps half a dozen times in my entire life.  There's just not a huge demand for it.

So that's the unfortunate reality of poetry publishing in book form.  If you're serious about poetry, you might want to try pursuing individual publications in established magazines.  

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.