Self-publishing Poetry in Australia

1. How to write a poetry book for self-publishing in Australia.

To write a poetry book for self-publishing in Australia, you might like to consider the following steps:

  1. Read widely: Study the works of contemporary and classical poets to develop an understanding of different styles and techniques.
  2. Experiment: Try out different forms and styles of poetry, and don’t be afraid to break the rules.
  3. Write regularly: Set aside time each day or each week to write, and make it a priority. 
  4. Revise: Go back over your work and make edits and revisions until you are satisfied with each poem.
  5. Get feedback: Share your work with others, such as a writing group or trusted friends, to get feedback and suggestions for improvement.  Readers will quickly identify the poems they love.
  6. Select your poems: Don’t think about publishing everything – revise, cull, select – get your best work out there! Decide which poems will go into your book and arrange them in a way that makes sense to you.
  7. Design and publish: Choose a format for your book and design a cover that represents your work. You can self-publish through a print-on-demand service, such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or Blurb, or through a traditional publisher. Just know that these suppliers will make your books look self-published – they are built cookie-cutter fashion by online robots. Green Hill is for poets who want their books to go to the next level. The last thing you need is for your poetry to look like its done by a ‘back-yarder’.

Remember that writing a poetry book is a long-term process that requires patience and persistence. Don’t be discouraged by rejection or criticism, and keep writing!

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2. Is there a market for poetry?

Yes, of course there is! But there are many factors that go into making a poetry book that is commercial as well as being able to artistically express yourself. Why do you write poetry? Why do you read poetry? Once you answer these questions it can help you think about selling your own work.
Design, particularly book cover design, is key. This is because the cover of a poetry book often identifies the emotions and themes intrinsic to the poems that make the readers gravitate to your book. It can be tempting as an author to be very specific when briefing your designer on your book cover, but this can be detrimental to the marketability of your book. Our designers are up to date on all current book trends and they are able to help you convey those emotions and themes in a clear way to your audience. Your creativity and skills are in the writing – let your designer’s skills come to the fore in the design!
This leads on to our next point for selling your book:

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3. Connecting with an audience

One of the best ways to find success in selling your poetry book is to connect with your audience – sounds a bit obvious huh – but this is something you should be thinking about even before publishing your book. Whilst the designer can help you ensure your book fits within the genre and emotions of your book, if you are not able to connect with your readers in other ways your sales will be limited.

This could include posting in poetry groups online and sharing snippets of your work to come. If your work is unique because it focuses on an element which is not typically covered then creating your own group may be the way to go! Help share other poetry you love and share the support for other poets.
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4. Personal aspects of poetry

Poetry can be deeply personal. Some poetry is almost autobiographical in theme. It can sometimes be hard for a wide audience to connect with personal poetry unless it touches on universal human truths that people can identify with. For example, love and loss is often woven throughout personal poetry and though the specifics are unique, with those universal truths you can find a way to still reach a broader audience.

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5. Editing poetry

Editing poetry is often a touchy subject. Poetry can be so personal and almost lyrical, so standard editing rules may not apply. However, having another person give their opinion on your work, particularly if they write poetry themselves, is invaluable in ensuring the message you believe you are sending is coming across. It is okay to break grammar rules in poetry but only if you have done so for a purpose – you need to understand the rules to break them.
To learn more about editing, see our Editing services page.

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6. How to market your self-published poetry book in Australia

  1. Utilise social media: Share your poems and create a buzz for your book on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
  2. Reach out to literary organisations: Contact literary organisations such as your local writer’s centre and literary magazines in Australia to see if they would be interested in promoting your book or featuring you in a reading or interview.
  3. Participate in poetry events: Attend poetry readings, festivals, and open mic nights in Australia to network with other poets and literary enthusiasts
  4. Collaborate with local bookstores: Reach out to independent bookstores in Australia and ask if they would be interested in hosting a book signing or reading event.
  5. Leverage email marketing: Build an email list of potential readers and send out regular updates about your book and related events.
  6. Create a website: Create a website to showcase your poetry and promote your book.
  7. Book readings and tours: Consider booking a reading tour to various cities in Australia to promote your book and engage with readers.
  8. Utilise online distribution: Make sure your book is available for sale on online bookstores such as Amazon and Book Depository.

Remember to be creative and persistent in your marketing efforts to reach your target audience.

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