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ADVICE - QUESTION FOR YA! > Getting Published

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message 1: by Cheyenne (new)

Cheyenne I'm looking for some opinions about traditional publishing and self publishing. I understand that traditional publishing is sometimes viewed as the more honorable way to go, however many are succumbing to self publishing. For me there are many lures to each and I want to simply go down the route best for me. Traditional publishing includes contracts and deadlines. As a high school student, this is a scary thought. I could run into a scam or settle for a bad deal simply because I'm inexperienced. These thoughts cause me to lean toward self publishing. What are your thoughts? Is self publishing the best way to go for a high school student, or am I over-thinking it?


message 2: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 4861 comments Cheyenne, I kind of think you don't want to hear what I'm going to say, but bear with me. At your age you still have plenty of time to think about a book. What you need to be doing now is more studying and learning about your craft. More writing. And still more writing. Go to college. College will broaden your horizons immensely no matter what you major in. Give yourself time to get a little maturity under your belt.

Have you had any poems published in a respected journal? (Not one of those places that will publish any kind of dreck.) If not, that should be your first goal. First, because it's a learning experience. You need to see if any of your little paper boats will actually float. Second, because you need some chops when and if you approach publishers for a book.


message 3: by Cheyenne (new)

Cheyenne I have not been published in what you would consider a respected journal, but would you give me a few examples of such a journal?

I do have plenty of time to think about a book, you're right. It's my opinion though that the earlier I start the better.

Thanks for all the advice. It will definitely be considered and it's appreciated.


message 4: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 4861 comments Rattle, Slant, Verse Wisconsin, Nimrod, Tar River Review, San Pedro River Review, Poetry East, Poetry, North American Review, Plainsongs, Antiphon, Naugatuck River Review, Spillway, Nerve Cowboy, Rhineo, etc, etc, etc.

There are many, many more. Check out the listings at duotrope.com . Go to their websites. Most publications post sample issues or sample poems.

But remember, the acceptance rate is usually under 10% and often under 1%.


message 5: by Peg (new)

Peg Duthie (zirconium) | 43 comments Hi Cheyenne -

Another good place to start would be Poet's Market, which many libraries carry. Even the older editions offer lots of insights on how and where best to circulate and market your work.


message 6: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 4861 comments Poet's Market used to be my bible. Bought a new one every year. But now there's so much on the internet I rely on that.


message 7: by Peg (new)

Peg Duthie (zirconium) | 43 comments Oh! a good online analysis of markets:

http://www.joannemerriam.com/markets/

(Disclosure: Joanne is both my publisher and a friend.)


message 8: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 4861 comments Thanks for posting that, Peg. I've bookmarked it. Looks very useful for those afternoons when I sit foundering in the Sea of Indecision.


message 9: by Joanne (new)

Joanne Merriam (joannemerriam) | 10 comments Unfortunately it's a bit out of date - no time to update it this year - so a handful of the markets listed have closed or changed their requirements. Thanks for linking to it, Peg!


message 10: by Nina (last edited Mar 26, 2012 03:58PM) (new)

Nina | 1227 comments Cheyenne, I must admit that I agree with Ruth-slow down, take your time, live and read and read and keep writing.


message 11: by Peyton (new)

Peyton Price (SuburbanHaiku) Speaking from experience, self-publishing is akin to putting a drop of water into the ocean.


message 12: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 4861 comments Joanne wrote: "Unfortunately it's a bit out of date - no time to update it this year - so a handful of the markets listed have closed or changed their requirements. Thanks for linking to it, Peg!"

Hi Joanne. Don't I know you from wompo?


message 13: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Pennefather | 167 comments Cheyenne wrote: "I'm looking for some opinions about traditional publishing and self publishing. I understand that traditional publishing is sometimes viewed as the more honorable way to go, however many are succum..."

Cheyenne, Some very sage advice from Ruth.

I think you can say that a traditional contract to publish your work is positive confirmation that your work is good enough to attract the attention of someone who is not prejudiced in favour of you being published, but sees sufficient merit in your work to want to see it out there, and believes that it has the potential to make money for the publisher.

A true traditional contract requires no money up front from you, and is supported by publicity from the publisher. Because the publisher benefits from profit sharing with you, they must really believe in your work (product) and that it will profit both you and them to publish it.
There are relatively few such contracts around these days but they are certainly a pat on the back if you can get one achieved at no cost to you.

Most modern contracts for publishing on the web require some financial input from you, and the degree to which they are publicised also depends largely on you.
There are many works of excellence in most genre simply sitting almost unnoticed by readers because the authors lack the financial wherewithall to promote them.
Conversely, there are more of a mediocre standard that become 'best sellers' simply because of the finance poured into promoting them.

It is great if you have a strong belief in your ability to write well, both for the art and also commercially, but the modern arena does not lean far towards so called 'primatives' and a well rounded education is a must.


message 14: by Cheyenne (new)

Cheyenne Thanks Ruth for the listings. I'll try to check those out!

Many of you say slow down. I'm sure all of you are speaking from experience, but I'll have to think it over.

Also, thanks Dennis for the insight. I suppose you favor traditional publishing then, eh?

Peyton, I have family that are self-published and I have to say I agree with you.

Thanks for the input everyone. It is possible that I will slow down, but probably not enough to wait until after college. I can say for sure though that I won't even attempt to get my book out there unless it have been through many editors and revisions and is the best I can make it. It's true that more experience entails better writing. That's also another thing for me to think about. I've found that I write better than even just last school year. A lot of the credit there goes to the critique I recieve from you lovely folks.


message 15: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Pennefather | 167 comments Cheyenne wrote: "Thanks Ruth for the listings. I'll try to check those out!

Many of you say slow down. I'm sure all of you are speaking from experience, but I'll have to think it over.

Also, thanks Dennis fo..."


The important factor is always not that the author believes that their work is worthy of publication, but to do justice to it, you need to be sure that it is the best that you can make it.
You say that you have reached that stage so it may be ready for publication.

The traditional publisher will add a skilled assesment of your book's potential for success, which in the market place is its ability to sell, and make money for both the publisher and the author.
It therefore would pay you to submit your manurscript to traditional publishers first, and that way you will get a market place assesment of its worth.

If you do not get the contract you want there, then go for online publishing, which will cost you some money, and where even if your work is very good, it could be hidden among hundreds of very good titles, which in turn are hidden within thousands of mediocre, purchased publications.

The only sure factor in getting published and making 'best seller' lists, is that patience, excellence, and a degree of luck are the only constants.


message 16: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 4861 comments And don't forget, that in approaching a traditional publisher, it helps that you've already published poems in various journals. It gives you a track record.


message 17: by Mirvan (new)

Mirvan  Ereon (mirvanereon) | 79 comments I am doing well with SMASHWORDS. All my works were free for three days and I got downloaded like 1100 times already in total in just three weeks since I started uploading. I feel so good about myself now. Then almost 16 copies of my books are already purchased in just less than a month. i just started writing I guess, last week of february and by now I so love it.


message 18: by Mirvan (new)

Mirvan  Ereon (mirvanereon) | 79 comments february 2012 is what I mean


message 19: by Marian (new)

Marian (gramma) | 365 comments Keep on writing your poems! But now & then, re-read some of your older poems & see how you can make them better. If you are in the mood to write, then write! Not everything will be its best - before sending anything out to be published, make sure it is the best you can make it.


message 20: by Cheyenne (new)

Cheyenne Dennis, I've thought of doing that as well. I'll have to learn more about the process so that I'm familiar with it before I actually attempt it.

Ruth, I've heard that from many others as well. That will probably be something I work on while writing my book. I haven't thought of publishing more poems as much, so thank you for pointing it out. It's a good goal to shoot for.

Congratulations John, that's wonderful. It is very exciting when others appreciate your work as much as you do.

Marian, I am always always always writing poetry. I wouldn't be able to stop even if I wanted to, but when would I ever want to? I have looked over old poems many times and edited them. It's interesting to compare current poems with the ones I've written in the past.


message 21: by Mirvan (new)

Mirvan  Ereon (mirvanereon) | 79 comments Marian wrote: "Keep on writing your poems! But now & then, re-read some of your older poems & see how you can make them better. If you are in the mood to write, then write! Not everything will be its best - be..."

true... and also watch slam poetry videos online

the best one is simply Andrea Gibson

after watching How it ends, you will not forget it


message 22: by Joanne (new)

Joanne Merriam (joannemerriam) | 10 comments Ruth wrote: Hi Joanne. Don't I know you from wompo?

You sure do! *waves*


message 23: by Cheyenne (new)

Cheyenne @John, is slam poetry the author reading a poem out loud? If so, I have seen a few.


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