About five years ago I wrote my first poem since my teens and, after the final touches, I have finished writing my poetry book. But what now? What happens when you finish a book and what it published?
Let me take you throught those first exhilarating then daunting moments after I finished my collection of poems, after months (or over a year more like) of sorting poems, rewriting, more deletes, edits & additions, then that once more, and a few more, to this final moment where it looks like a real book draft.
First reaction: happiness & pride.
I thought the hard part was to write the book. Finding the flow between poems, chapters, themes, what fits where and how will it look like, the title (oh the title).
I was over the moon when I put my arms up and said ‘I think I am done’, with a wide smile on my face. I did it!
Next morning, I thought, still excited, now I need to find a publisher. Daydreaming and happy with my accomplishment, I continued on with my day. No self-doubt in sight nor any obstacles.
Literally, what now? I googled.
Monday morning comes along, I sit behind my desk and do a quick Google research ‘how to publish a poetry book’. Many words come up and none of it simple or just do this. It started with the decisive two ways of doing it: lists of ‘finding a publisher’ or ‘self-publishing’, each with its pros and cons.
Words such as timelines, book agent, royalty rates, print distribution, marketing costs, proof-readers, publicists, editors, manuscripts and audiobooks, design, strategy, fanbase, print on demand, and so on.
With big googly eyes, I thought ‘f***, what the h*** will I do?’, which led to all of this:
- Will someone be interested in my book?
- Who are the editors I should approach? Maybe find some in my own genre?
- Oh no, how will I take rejection?
- Maybe self-publishing is best, then I don’t have to compromise on my ideas`?
- But what about all the support and help I could get?
- Should I contact a big or a small publisher?
- Will I need a lawyer? Yes, sound adult like.
- Do I go for national or international companies?
- If I get a publisher, is it binding for life?
- What if I never find a publisher?
- How long should I give myself to find a publisher before I do it myself?
Yes, my brain went into a roundabout it couldn’t get out of. This was indeed my the second reaction to finishing my poetry book (this Kermit gif describes where my mind was at).
Breathe in, breathe out.
After my mild brain panic, I gathered my thoughts and went for the classic and healthy recipe – one thing at a time. This means one submission at a time, and when my gut says, you’ll do it now, I will make a plan to self-publish.
The next step is proofread again, send of to two publishers, then wait and see. Possibly, start crafting a plan for self-publishing, in case no feedback or no good feedback comes my way.
Here we are, the first reactions on finishing a book. They remind of when I finished my Masters degree and I didn’t know what was to happen next – frighteningly exciting.
Do you also have a similar experience, do you have advice or a kind word, then I will welcome it with open arms. ♡
Have a lovely day, wherever you are,