If you’re new to working with poetry publishers, and you’d like to publish a book of your own, you need to know your options.
Different poetry publishers are looking for different styles and flavors of poetry.
If you write rhyming couplets, you probably won’t get the best results from a press that has only published free verse.
And if you don’t like the poetry a press has published, chances are, they’re not the press for you.
So, where do you find the best poetry publishers for your book?
- 33 Poetry Publishers You Should Consider
- Poetry Publishers that Pay
- Poetry Publishers Open to Submissions
- 1. Autumn House Press
- 2. Black Lawrence Press
- 3. Black Mountain Press
- 4. BlazeVOX Books
- 5. City Lights Booksellers & Publishers
- 6. Coach House Books
- 7. Codhill Press
- 8. Copper Canyon
- 9. Counterpath
- 10. Four Way Books
- 11. Louisiana State University (LSU) Press
- 12. Platypus Press (UK)
- 13. Trio House Press (THP)
- 14. Tupelo Press
- 15. WordTech Communications
- Christian Poetry Publishers
- 16. Wipf & Stock Publishers
- 17. Yorkshire Publishing
- Publishing by Poetry Contest
- 18. Alice James Books
- 19. Anhinga Press:
- 20. Cave Canem: A Home for Black Poetry
- 21. Elixir Press
- 22. Graywolf Press
- 23. Kore Press
- 24. Milkweed Editions
- 25. Noemi Press
- 26. Ohio University Press
- 27. Orison Books
- 28. Persea Books
- 29. Sarabande Books
- 30. Saturnalia Books
- 31. Slope Editions
- 32. Steel Toe Books
- 33. Two Sylvias
What Are Poetry Publishers Looking For?
Poetry is ethereal. Unfortunately, there’s no magical machine into which writers can plug in the proper elements on one side and out pops a perfect poem on the other.
Furthermore, there’s no telling what will resonate with literary agents, editors, and publishers. It’s frustrating to acknowledge, but much of what gets published versus what doesn’t amounts to the luck of the draw.
All that said, there are a few general guidelines that, when applied, contribute to the best possible outcome if you’re trying to secure a traditional contract instead of self-publishing.
Unique Voices (With Followings)
Publishing houses are looking for the next great voice. Works that wow the literary crowd and earn money for the company are the holy grails of commercial literature. Since creating “buzz” is how to generate attention in our digital age, many publishers also want writers with “followings.”
Work That Resonates
What would you rather read: something pleasant but hollow or a missive so relatable it’s viscerally moving? Publishers and editors feel the same way, and they’re searching for work that resonates on a universally personal level.
Fresh Language Usage
The magic of poetry lies in its construction. Poets use words like clay. (And to be fair, so do novelists and non-fiction writers.) But the charge of authors and journalists is to produce work the average person can recognize.
Poets, however, toil in more abstract fields and stretch language to its limits, forever testing the boundaries in thought-provoking ways.
Well-Written, Polished Work
Style aside, publishers ultimately crave great, polished pieces. But burnished poems only shine after lots of revisions. And while editing is not a magic potion, putting in the work pays off.
How Much Does it Cost To Get a Book of Poetry Published?
You’re interested in publishing a compendium of poetry but wonder how much it would cost.
First, you must determine what route you want to take: the old-fashioned way or self-publishing.
Understand that landing a deal with a traditional publisher is challenging for poets. Most big book houses don’t accept many novelists and non-fiction writers — and even fewer poets. However, some smaller publishing companies focus on indie work, so it’s wise to focus on those.
Self-publishing is the other option — and many may argue it’s the best path for poets.
How much does it cost? It depends on a few factors.
- Do you plan to release an ebook, print book, or both? Ebooks are the least costly.
- What are you envisioning for cover art? Do you want multiple covers for different demographics or just one? The less you do, the less expensive it will be.
- Do you feel comfortable laying out the book? Or do you need a book designer?
- You may also need services for formatting and proofreading.
- Books need marketing to sell. You can save a lot of money handling the promotions yourself. Conversely, a professional will likely have more reach, leading to larger profits.
So how much will all of it set you back? If you only release an ebook and handle everything else yourself, you’ll pay around $100. If you opt for a complete self-publishing package, expect to pay between $2000 and $5,000, depending on the services you need to hire.
Poetry Publishers You Should Consider
For this post, we’ve curated a list of 33 legit poetry publishers who will give your book its best chance on the market.
Not all of them have a budget for advance payments, but they may do more to get your book noticed — which increases the likelihood of sales (i.e., royalty payments).
For each of the poetry publishing companies listed below, you’ll see some details that I hope will help you decide which ones to look at more closely.
In case you’re ready to publish now, this post focuses on the poetry book publishers accepting submissions.
Poetry Publishers that Pay
If you’ve spent hours creating a book of 30 or more poems you’re proud of, no one can blame you for focusing your time and energy on publishers that pay.
This post would fail in its purpose, though, if it didn’t point out that many of the poetry publishers that once accepted submissions throughout the year now only accept them for their annual poetry prizes.
Some of those who are still open to unsolicited submissions have made their submission window smaller and now charge a reading fee just to keep the business going.
And after sifting through the webpages for over a hundred different poetry publishers and their contests, I found plenty that had stopped taking submissions — some temporarily, others for the foreseeable future.
At least with a contest, they’re likely to earn more in entry fees than they end up spending for the winners’ awards.
Poetry Publishers Open to Submissions
10. Four Way Books
14. Tupelo Press
More Related Articles:
Christian Poetry Publishers
Publishing by Poetry Contest
19. Anhinga Press:
21. Elixir Press
22. Graywolf Press
23. Kore Press
25. Noemi Press
27. Orison Books
28. Persea Books
29. Sarabande Books
30. Saturnalia Books
31. Slope Editions
32. Steel Toe Books
33. Two Sylvias
Have you found your poetry publishers?
Now that you’ve looked over these poetry publishers, I hope they’ve given you some hope of finding the right publisher for your poetry.
You’ve put a lot of your creative energy and time into your work. It only makes sense to be as choosy about your publisher as they are with the poetry they publish.
If you don’t find a publisher for your poetry, though, I hope you’ll consider self-publishing. It’s becoming a more viable option for many poets.
And don’t overlook the possibility that, once your work is out there – published under your own name or publishing company – you may attract the attention of publishers looking for poets who have experience marketing their own art.
Whatever path you choose for now, I’ll do all I can to help you get the best results from your poetry book.