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Getting a Poetry Collection Published: From Submission to the Next Project

In this post, Robert Lee Brewer shares his personal journey of getting a poetry collection published, from the initial submission through the process of promoting the book and focusing on the next project. Learn what goes into getting a poetry collection published.

Over the past two months, I've shared my journey to have my debut poetry collection published by a traditional small press. The collection is titled Solving the World's Problems, and it was "officially" released on September 1 by Press 53. This post collects the entire 8-part series of posts with short summaries.

It's funny. I thought getting a book published would result mainly in a superficial change in my poetic life. That is, I'd be able to call myself a poet and have the opportunity to direct people to an actual book of my work (as opposed to links to poems online). However, as I share in the posts below, the process changed the actual art and craft of my poetry writing in ways I did not anticipate.

I hope these posts are helpful for poets who have not gone through the process yet--to shed some light on at least one poet's process. Every house is different; the editors and publishers are different; but this hopefully helps show one possible path.

Getting a Poetry Collection Published: From Submission to the Next Project

Assembling & Submitting a Poetry Collection
I start at the beginning. That is, I share my process for assembling my collection of poems--how I went about it (for both chapbooks and the full-length book). Then, I share how I went about submitting my collection and what I cared about regarding that step.

Pushing a Poetry Manuscript to a New Level
When my poetry editor accepted the manuscript and said he didn't think it would require too many revisions, I took him at his word. When he came back a few days later claiming a masterpiece of lyrical poetry was possible if I was willing to put in the work, I realized this might end up being more work than I thought.

Promoting a Poetry Collection
In this post, I lay out some of the possibilities of promotion that are available to all writers. Then, I share what I did to get the promotional ball rolling. The writing always comes first, and--as a naturally shy and introverted person--this part is often the most difficult part for me to work through.

Solving the World's Problems

Solving the World's Problems

Securing Blurbs for a Poetry Collection
First, I share how I went about choosing who to ask. Then, there's the whole overcoming my fears to ask them to read the manuscript. When they agreed, I found myself worrying their responses would be overwhelmingly negative. And then, well, read the post.

Tying Up Loose Ends on a Poetry Collection
After writing, submitting, revising, promoting, and securing blurbs for a collection, some people might think the process is pretty much over. And they'd be wrong. In this post, I cover some of the "extra" bits that go into getting a book of poetry published.

Pre-selling the Poetry Collection
My press, Press 53, provides its authors with an opportunity to host a pre-order event before the book is released. I jumped at the opportunity, because signing and selling books of poetry is such a novel concept. In this post, I share what I learned about connecting with readers and pre-selling books.

Releasing the Poetry Collection
On the "official" release date for my book, I was at the nation's largest book festival, but I wasn't reading from or promoting my book. I was enjoying the work of others and taking a day of rest for getting through my first book and actually completing the whole "get a book published" resolution finally.

Moving Past the Poetry Collection
After my day of rest, I got back to the work of being a poet. Yes, there's the promotion of the book after the release, but the book is not a finish line--just a stone along the path of a poet's existence. There are new poems to create and re-create. New books to read. Lessons to learn.


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