|Poet Power, The Complete Guide to Getting Your Poetry Published
By Thomas A. Williams, Ph.D.
MSRP $16.95 (200 pages)
Order this book
at a great price
from Amazon now.
Every writer knows that poetry is hard to sell. Author Thomas Williams doesn’t dispute this. In fact, one of the first statements he makes in his book, "Poet Power," is, "Of all writers, poets have the most difficulty getting their words into print." Then he fills the next 180 pages telling you how to go about getting your poetry published.
Williams is a man after my own heart. He says that, yes, it’s hard, but it’s not impossible. There are definitely markets for poetry. I frequently point out some of them to SPAWN members when I compile the monthly SPAWN Market Update. The problem is that many writers (poets especially) would rather just write and leave the more foreign aspects of publishing to someone else.
Thomas A. Williams is a freelance writer, teacher and the author of fourteen books, but I don’t see evidence that he is also a poet. Of course, he doesn’t profess to teach you how to be a poet, only how to get your poetry published. After all, as he points out, it’s not different from getting anything else published. Whether you are marketing a nonfiction article, a novel or a book of poetry, it takes knowledge, determination, and persistence. He says, "If the opportunity to publish your poetry is what you want, you have to locate (the opportunity), seek it out, confidently approach it and beat the door down, if necessary, until the way to it is clear."
Williams’ book is a well-organized, informative, straightforward guide to publishing your poetry whether you want to publish one or two poems in magazines or a collection of poems in book form. It’s a step-by-step guide and includes a chapter on how to self-publish a chapbook. The author also provides the resources to help in your quest to be published. As Williams says, once you begin researching possible markets for your poems, you’ll be happily surprised at the volume of opportunities.
A large part of publishing is marketing and promotion, which Williams also covers in "Poet Power." Whether you want to see your book for sale in catalogs or on bookstore shelves, he tells you how to make the contacts and what to expect. He also gives ideas for selling your books at poetry readings. He says that most poetry books are sold at readings, not bookstores. And he continues with his mantra: "Your poems and books of poems will sell, but you must make them sell."
Have you ever thought of self-publishing a chapbook? Williams tells you how. And he makes it sound almost easy. If you have a measure of talent, follow Williams’ lead and use the resources he provides, you WILL see your poetry in print. As the author says in his ending message, "If you don’t act, your idea can’t possibly work."
I recommend this book to anyone who dreams of seeing his/her poetry published. It seems to be a fairly complete guide to publishing success for the budding poet. As a researcher, I appreciate that it includes a resource list, a glossary and an index.