Poetry Book Publishing

Written by Will Baum
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Poetry book publishing has gotten squeezed by the bottom line demands of the modern day publishing conglomerates. Publishers will spend $8 million to secure the rights to Bill Clinton's memoirs, but they won't take a risk on even the most accessible poetry titles.

Not so long ago, poetry book publishing brought prestige to a publishing house. Poets were better known. Children used to memorize poetry in school. The faces of poets like Robert Frost and Robert Lowell were well known to readers of general interest magazines. Try to find a poet inside a general interest magazine today. You'll be flipping pages for a long, long time.

Poets aren't alone in the losing battle they're fighting with conventional publishing houses. Even moderately successful novelists find that when they hand in a second or third novel, the publisher just isn't interested. They need bestsellers and bestsellers only. If a novel or book of poems could move as many copies as Bill Clinton's book, they'd be paying $8 million for novels and poems. But that just isn't the case.

On Demand Poetry Book Publishing

Modern technology has brought a new twist to an old tradition in poetry book publishing. Printing has gotten simpler. The Internet has made spreading the word about a great new book easier. The result is a thriving publishing on demand world. Publishing on demand has made it possible for books of poetry that might otherwise exist in limited runs (or not at all) to have a deserved chance to find a wider audience.


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