On Writing : I need publishing advice by Ashley Kennedy

I need publishing advice

I'm trying to self publish my book of poems that I've been writing since I was 13. Their poems throughout my experiences in life, pems dedicated to ones I love and poems written to me from friends and loved ones. The title is 'Poems throughout the life of a troubled mind' and I've received an acceptance letter for publication but because I'm self publishing's I have to pay to publish which is not an option at this time. Does anyone know of any options that I could try? Any advice or any publicist that would be interested in publishing a book of poems about love, loss, crazy & devastating experiences in life? This book is important to me since its my lifes work of true experiences I've personally been through. It's very good & I have multiple self publishing companies interested but my options are limited and I've heard self publishing may not be the best way to go. I'm also working on a novel that I believe will be a big seller and something nobody has ever read before.

Rachael Saltzman

No legitimate commercial publisher will charge you - they PAY YOU for a MS, not the other way around. That said, it is notoriously difficult for a collection of poetry by one writer to find a home, as poetry is a rather small market. You haven't gotten an acceptance letter for legit publication, you've got a 'yes, we want your money' letter. Every vanity press you send to will be interested, because they want your money. And that's all they do - format and print copies of the work in exchange for cash. If that's what you're looking for, Createspace and Lulu are both options for putting words into print for no up front funds. As for the novel...I've found belief and reality rarely coincide. How much research into the business of publishing have you done so far?

Ashley Kennedy

I've been researching the publishing business for about a year now, that's why I haven't published yet because I haven't found anything that I would be satisfied with that is legitimate. It's fusterating that publishing companies don't want to publish poetry because I've always been a poetry lover and I've written poetry my entire life. As for the novel, anyone who I've let read what I have written so far has been very impressed but its definetly the kind of novel that would be more popular amongst the kind of audience that likes 'the hunger games' or 'twilight'. I usually don't let anyone read my work until its done but I've made an exception with this book to be sure its nothing like anyone has read before by letting people who read a lot of popular novels read it and tell me if the story is similar to any others.

Rachael Saltzman

I've been paid for every single published poem. There are periodicals and special one offs that are more likely to publish a single poem. Unless you're a poet laureate or similar, there's just not enough of a market for works of a single poet to justify the cost. Most of the poets I know print their own work as far as anthologies go, and sell them at jams.

Rachael Saltzman

The Hunger Games and Twilight largely have different audiences, and there's a crapton of YA paranormal romance on the shelves at the moment (have you looked in that section of your local bookstore lately?)

Lisette Brodey

Hi there: If you have to pay to publish, then it is not a legitimate publisher. I am an author who has self-published three novels already, and I am now publishing a book of my mother's poetry that she wrote as a young woman. I will be publishing my fourth novel next year. You can self-publish with little cost, but the biggest thing is promoting your work once you have done so. Even with traditional publishers, a great deal of promotion is now left to the author. You might try going to CreateSpace.com. If you can get a qualified graphic designer to follow their specs and create an exterior file (front cover, spine & back cover) and an interior file, you can upload it there. They will then email you and let you know if what you have submitted is publishable. After that, you order a proof and check the printed edition. You can then submit for publication and your book will appear on Amazon.com and other places. (Please check for details). Every time someone orders a paperback edition of your book from Amazon, it is produced when ordered. They take their cut (which is rather large) and then you get yours. Also, if you do self-publish, it would be very wise to have an e-book edition as well. There is a great deal of information on the internet about how to format ebooks. You will want a .mobi file for the Kindle, and if you wish to sell on Barnes & Noble for the Nook, you'll need and epub file. You may want to pay someone to do the formatting if it's too difficult. You can also try Lulu.com as well. CreateSpace will give you a free ISBN number, but then they will be the publisher of record. Personally, I am not okay with that and so I have bought my own. You can do that by contacting RR Bowker, the agency who sells the ISBNs. Places like PublishAmerica, iUniverse, AuthorHouse etc. are all just people who print books and call themselves publishers. If you do publish your book, I strongly advise you to get a qualified copy editor. There's much more, but those are the basics. Good luck!

Ashley Kennedy

Rachel, yes I have checked out many books in that section of my local book store & thanks for your advice. Lisette thank you for your advice as well. I have checked out createspace which sounded like a good way to go. I spoke with author house but was not satisfied with what they had to offer & the prices. I spoke to many others, the one that sounded the best besides create space was outskirts which was fairly cheap and offered a lot for the price. I haven't tried Lulu but I definitely want my book accessible on ebooks, kindle, etc.

Ashley Kennedy

What do you prefer for self publishing your books?

Lisette Brodey

Ashley, I would definitely suggest using CreateSpace. Here's the thing: a lot of companies have packages where you get this and that for a price. Personally, I would NEVER go that way because I choose my own graphic designer, editor etc. CreateSpace has packages, but you can go the pro route (get your own experts) and then just upload your files which will then be sold on Amazon, etc. I would not recommend any of the so-called publishers I mentioned in my first post. CS is by far and away the most popular among the hundreds of authors that I am in touch with through social media & real life. :)

Brian Sweet

lulu.com is the other print on demand company that I use. They're quite simple, but you will have to all the promoting unless you pay for one of their pricey packages. I do like how you can publish it through them for nook/ibookstores, but I had to hire a guy for $140 to create a mobi file for kdp publishing. (kindle)

Allison Bruning

My book of poems and essays was released yesterday through Master Koda Select Publishing. I have been working as an author for almost five years and have had two novels published through small press houses. My best advice for anyone looking to get into the field is NEVER pay to have your book published. Also NEVER use Publish America. Be wary of the scams out there. There are so many out there. The best way to avoid them is to never pay them. Publishers pay you not vice versa. If you are wanting to self publish then use CreateSpace on Amazon. Also realize if you do self publish then you are going to have to pay the editor, formatter and graphic artist. Publishers may not be willing to pick up a book of poems because they often do not sell well and all publishers care about is how much will they make. To be honest, most novelists (like myself) only use short stories and poem books as fillers between our projects. This is what my poetry book is being used for. My novel is slated to come out on Valentine's Day.

Rachael Saltzman

??? I'd recommend getting your information from reliable sources. absolutewrite.com is one of the largest groups of working writers and industry pros online. Lulu charges the same for print copies as Createspace, and the set up costs the same - nothing.

Rachael Saltzman

New writers are discovered every day, being in the online database is not the same as being shelved in the store, and agents both make sure you don't get screwed contract wise, as well as get you the most money for the rights to your work.

Alan Espasandin

Yep, createspace. As a matter of fact because creating a book is so expensive I am turning my children's book into a DVD since its illustrated. All I need to do is get my voice overs and cut a DVD, create cover art and send to createspace. They sell it on amazon amongst other sites. The downside? They take a large portion of sales. For instance one of my DVD's on there sells for $75 each and I only get $36 of that....but I don't have to do anything either. They duplicate it, package it with my cover art and ship it....done.

Deborah L Warner

I've been an idie publisher for ten years. I use Createspace for print and Kindle and Smashwords for ebooks. All have free set up and have been trouble free for me and my authors. You might want to try Duotrope.com for a list of good publishers and their submission requirements. We publish poetry, but you first must have had work accepted in a poetry zine (print or ezine). My partner has run a poetry ezine for quite some time. It's poeticdiversity.org. She may be able to answer questions for you. Good luck.

Kimberly Brouillette

Although I'm sure your poems are very meaningful, right now poetry is one of the lowest selling genres in the industry. I've worked in publishing for about 12 years now, and it's sad, but it's just the plain truth. You can go the self-publishing route, but you really cannot expect to sell a multitude of copies of a poetry book. I'm not trying to dash any hopes for your project, but i'm just telling you the honest truth. I do have an alternative suggestion though. One thing I think that can work very well is if you can figure out a way to incorporate your poems INTO one of the novels you were talking about. Maybe you could use it as the intro for the book or any given chapter? You can add your own name credit under it as well. That way you can still have a potentially viable book, but it could give your poems more notice. Of course, it would just be determined if your poems would work in that way. It's just a suggestion, but I do wish you the best.

Ashley Kennedy

Thanks for all the advice everyone! Kimberly that's a good idea as well, to incorporate some of my poems into my novel. I didn't expect a large amount of copies to be sold. It's more important for me to publish my work for loved ones to understand everything I went through during certain times in my life and for certain people to read the poems I wrote about them since I've always been able to express my feelings through writing. I've been thinking I should wait until the films I'm casted in are released and I get bigger roles so I'm recognized. Then more people would be interested in reading my poems. I've written these poems since I was 13 throughout major obstacles in my life and its really important to me. Don't worry, your not dashing my hopes, I have a lot of confidence and perseverance in myself and my work and nobody can ever change that. :) I just wish people these days appreciated poetry like they used to. I've always loved poetry. Edgar Alan Poe is my favorite poet who never got much recognition for his work until after his death. I appreciate all the kind words and advice, its been very useful. Any other suggestions for publishing my poetry is greatly appreciated. Much thanks!

Amanda Hill

Why not publish on Amazon for free? or... publish as an interactive ebook using issuu... shout if you need a hand x

Rachael Saltzman

CreateSpace is Amazon's program.

Amanda Hill

sorry was thinking on kindle https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A1OYOT0ESBAU69 - 2 glasses of wine and half asleep... add a fire and surprising i can still type :-)

herocious

hey ashley, i read submissions at tiny toe press. we handpress all our books. check out theopenend.com for more info if you're interested.

Rob Parnell

Just wanted to add that Kindle is the best way to go for self publishers - it's free and you reach the largest possible audience. Writers never have to deal with all those 'pay to publish' scammers again. On the down side, poetry is a bitch to sell.

D. A. Metrov

I would also recommend Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing.

Barry D Kirsch

Download iAuthor and publish to the App Store at Apple. They split the revenue with you but you get world wide exposure. The software download is free also.

Stevanne Auerbach

Hi Ashley good to hear about your plans. You have received lots of excellent advice to review and consider I have been published by NY publishers and others --have come back full circle. Better to do the book yourself --do it well as an ebook --get it out to your platform-- all of us and those you want to reach. You can get it done --its some work but start with wonderful site--the guru of self publishing--Dan Poynter www.parapublishing.com. His site and info will guide you so its all done correctly then check with smashwords and kindle. that covers the rest. then look at iuniverse and lightening source as two additional resources. if you want to get bids on a limited edition thats fine also but it works just great as a book on demand. You can get copies and sign as many as you want. check my site www.stevanneauerbach.com along the way i also published a collection of poetry. One day will do it again and a few more books. include photo or illustrations find a good graphics person to assist you to handle any layout issues unless you can do that yourself too some people actually make the paper they print their poetry on the screenplay is current preoccupation i am not making paper or publishing at the moment Hope this was helpful Poetry sets us free Smile Happy creative days ahead

Simeon Ben

Publishing poetry as well as short fiction, along with any other form of writing that doesn't involve vampire teen romance (and even then it's a game of luck and talent) is a bitch. Lots of university libraries provide machines that will print and bind your book for relatively cheap. An acceptance letter from a company that asks you for money is an advertisement. Anyway good luck. I would advise sending out your best pieces to literary journals (you can try for the well known journals but you're best bet is with small, usually undergraduate, journals) so that you can build a portfolio of published work and then maybe someone might give you a shot.

Christy Condoleo

Hi! If you don't mind a bit of extra work, self pub is a good option. There are tons of ways to promote out there, you just need to search them out. Also, who's to say you can't send your finished product to an agent or trad publishing house? For my first book, I chose a pay service-only because I had someone fund it for me (thanks Dad). My second book, I was offerred a contract from a pub house offerring to take full control of design, market, etc.-I turned them down due to the amount they wanted to charge for my book. It was ridiculous and with the binding they were offerring--utterly shameful. It would have buried my book for 7 years. That's when I discovered Lulu (and no I was not going to ask Dad to fund another project). I think they are a great fit for anyone who wishes to create. I checked out CreateSpace-they too are a good no cost solution, however, their converting program is a grizzly (at least for me) to use and I have no spare time to learn it when Lulu's is much more friendly (not a lot of fuss-especially if it is a text book). I have published 7 books there and I am still writing more. I may not find fame in this, but the children I read to at schools/readings make the late nights/early mornings and only 2 hours of sleep worth it.

Simeon Ben

After Reading my comment from yesterday I realized I might have sounded a bit negative. I totally agree with Christy Condoleo. Send your completed work to an agent or a publishing house and see if you get any bites, and if that doesn't work self publishing can be a great method of getting your work out there if you put in the work. I believe Walt Whitman went door to door with a little book called "Leaves of Grass" before any publishing house took notice of his work. Anyways stay positive and stay persistent.

Allison Bruning

The market is always changing but I can tell you from experience it is going away from the Big 6 towards smaller presses. Just be certain you don't fall into a vanity press.

Alan Espasandin

I self published on amazon createspace for free

Lisa Manfrede

Yes, I publish on amazon createspace as well as Kindle for ebooks. It is a good way to start!

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