To whom it may concern:
My name is R.B. and I am a poet. I’ve been writing since the age of twelve and I’ve had several of my poems published. What I would like to do is publish a book of inspirational poems based on my life & the things I’ve been through. I’m well aware of the fact that most publishing companies only pay to publish the books of well known authors and celebrities. I may not be a celebrity, but my Heavenly Father is and I believe that my testimony displayed in each and every one of my poems can touch people in a special way. I perform my pieces at church programs and everyone keeps asking me when they can purchase my book. All I need is for someone to take a chance on me and my work. I am very aware that anything worth having is worth working for and I am willing to put in the work if given the opportunity. Investing in me would be a blessing to me as well as all the people I will reach through my book. Please seriously consider my proposal. Please and thank you in advance. God bless you.
R.B., thanks for writing to me and for visiting my blog! I appreciate getting questions from writers. I know very little about publishing poetry, so, I’m going to give you advice based upon limited experience. If I were you, I’d self-publish my book of poems. If you’re doing regular performances at churches, then you already have a built-in platform! I think it’s awesome that you’re using your gifts to glorify God’s Kingdom!
I’m not sure which publisher I’d recommend that you use, though, since I’ve never self-published a book. I’d assume you’d want to search for somebody as an editor to help with editing your work before you get it published. You might also want to make your poems available as an e-book, too. However, I’d definitely get paper copies of your books printed because it appears that you’d be able to move/sell a lot of copies after your performances. Also, make sure that your book has a nice, professional-looking cover.
From what I’ve heard over the years, publishers rarely offer book contracts for poetry. It just doesn’t sell very well. That’s why I feel it’d be best if you paid to have your work published (by self-publishing your poems). I’m not sure about the cost of getting your work published, but, with your regular performance engagements, I’d imagine it wouldn’t take long for you to earn your money back when you sell your copies to your audience.
You’d mentioned the following:
I’m well aware of the fact that most publishing companies only pay to publish the books of well known authors and celebrities.
This is simply not true. I’m certainly not famous or well-known and I’ve had five books published. This is a myth that needs to be broken. I guess there is some truth to that statement if you are specifically referring to biographies and true-life stories – in those cases, you’d probably have a better chance of getting a book contract if you were famous/well-known.
From the tone of your email, I sense that you think that I am a publisher. I’m not a publisher, I’m an author, however, I do answer questions on this blog from other writers.
I hope you found my advice helpful, and I hope you have a blessed day!