Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Publishing our poetry in anthologies...

I've never really thought about this before but now it has hit me full force...!!!

If you are a poet than pay attention to this!

A publisher decides to put together an anthology of poems and is looking for people to submit their work to them. They contact us directly (or via a friend) or we stumble upon them ourselves. It really doesn't matter. We become very excited in learning that we can have our poetry published/featured in a book free of charge and we gladly submit our writing to the publisher. The anthology gets published and finally released to the public. We are thrilled about this and buy ourselves a copy, and maybe a few copies to share with our friends or family. We tell others about the anthology and they buy it too. The book is selling, which is amazing, but what do we get from this?

The only reward that we reap from having our poetry in the anthology, aside from feeling excited and happy, is that we are now published, which can help us in our writing careers. That is great but what about money?

The publisher is getting all of the revenue from the book sales while us poets, who have submitted our poetry for the anthology, are not getting a single penny. The publisher is making money off of us and that is not fair!!! If we hadn't submitted our poetry to the anthology the publisher would have never published the book and hence wouldn't be making their money. So we should get paid for submitting our poetry to the anthology and hence allowing the publisher to publish it in their book. Yes, no one is forcing us to submit our poetry. We do it of our own free will. But that doesn't change the fact that we should be paid for it.

Unless you don't care that the publisher is making money on your behalf while you don't get a single cent, don't submit your poetry to any anthology unless they will pay you for allowing them to publish your work.

And another note here... No one should ever charge us for submitting our poetry for an anthology. If there is a fee don't submit anything! The publisher should be the one paying you. Without you, or others submitting their writing to them, the anthology will never be published.

Some publishers will even tell you that you must buy the book to be published in their anthology. You may go along with this if you were planning to buy the book anyway, but we shouldn't be required to buy the book to be published in it. That is not right!

If publishers can get others to submit their poetry for an anthology, publish it, and make money from it by selling it, while giving us poets not a single penny, then we can do the same thing. We don't have to have a publishing company to do it. But why would we stoop so low and follow in their footsteps, if what they are doing is not right?

Also, you shouldn't have to pay anything to publish your own book. If you are trying to find a publisher for your book of poetry and they ask you for a fee to publish your book, especially a very high one, stay away from them and look for a different publisher. Traditional publishers pay authors an advance when they publish their book, they don't charge them for it. So don't fall into the trap of having a publisher say they want to publish your book but in order to do that you will be required to buy a publishing package and spend a lot of money doing so. If a publisher asks you for a fee than they are not a "traditional publisher" but a vanity press or any other name they will call themselves and you should stay away from them, unless you don't mind burning a hole in your wallet.

I know that it is hard to find a traditional publisher who will actually want to publish a poetry book, unless you are some well-known, popular celebrity or an already popular author. That is why you try to find a "non-traditional" publisher, as chances of getting your poetry book published with them are more likely.  But those will usually charge you a hefty fee for publishing your book with them... Prices can be in thousands... And why would you want to spend so much money when most likely you won't make much of that money back.

I am not sure how many "non-traditional" publishers exist out there who will publish your poetry book for free, but there is one publisher that does just that - lulu.com - Check them out the next time you are thinking of publishing your poetry book. I've published all my poetry/lyric books with them so far and I have to say that I wouldn't want to publish with anyone else... You won't have to pay a penny to publish with them and you will be able to get your book distributed to amazon and other online websites, maybe even to physical stores. And you can even make an e-book of your book as well. It's well worth it to check it out.

I’m a published author… Get your hands on my books at my storefront, on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble (online) and in many other places online.

4 comments:

  1. You have some good points there.. you are making me think.. LOl

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    1. Thank you for reading my blog post and for your comments. I appreciate it.

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  2. Your points are well made and I am familiar with them. Some "companies" prey on people's egos. Such publishing is known as "vanity press." Thank you, Lena.

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  3. Yes you do have a good point. Yes it is good for us to be able to say we are published in such and such, but they are making money from it while we are not.

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