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Self-Publishing Poetry Books: Why More Poets Need To Make More Digital Books And Chapbooks

Self-Publishing Poetry Books: Why More Poets Need To Make More Digital Books and Chapbooks

Every day millions of words pour onto almost every social platform, even visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram and YouTube, carrying the hashtag #poetry. Yet comparatively few of these poets are self-publishing poetry books.


Those poets who are author-publishing are often producing printed pamphlets, in time-honored form, to distribute at live poetry readings and events, as poets have been doing forever.

In many parts of the poetry world, it's as if the digital publishing revolution hasn't happened.

Here at ALLi (the Alliance of Independent Authors) we hope to change that. We have introduced a poetry stream to our podcast and we are going to be writing more about poetry in the coming months.

Poetry's Rise in Popularity

This failure by poets to self-publish is not, as you might think if you haven't been paying attention to poetry, because this is a dying genre with little or no readers. On the contrary.

For the past several years, poetry books have been experiencing a surge in sales. In the US, for example, the category has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 21 percent since 2015, making it one of the fastest-growing categories in publishing. The latest Nielsen figures for 2018 show poetry sales hitting an all-time high of £12.3m – nearly double what it was in 2012, when I started self-publishing poetry books

Social media poets, usually called “Instapoets” though they may publish on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or any social media platform, poets like @brian_bilston, @RupiKaur, @Leti.sala, @Langleav, @nikita_gill and @atticus, are widely acknowledged as firing this publishing movement.

Almost half (47 percent) of poetry books sold in the U.S. last year were written by Instapoets. According to global information company The NPD Group, 12 of the top 20 bestselling poetry authors in 2017 were Instapoets, who combine their poems with images, creating highly shareable posts.

Yet few of the above poets have self-published a book. And neither have the vast majority of their poet colleagues.

Some of these poets have hundreds of thousands of followers (some have a multi-million following). They are clearly well placed to be as successful in publishing books as they have been in publishing posts. But they are either not publishing at all, or opting to trade-publish, presumably when approached by trade publishers who spot their large and engaged followings.

They are not alone. A skim through the poetry bestsellers on Amazon reveals far fewer indies than in fiction or nonfiction.

Have poets not thought to publish their work in book form? Do they not realize that they would make more money, and with their already proven skill at gathering the crowds, reach more readers?

Or is there something else going on?

Self-Publishing Poetry Books

Picture by Thought Catalog on Unsplash.

Self-Publishing Poetry Books: Different Traditions

Numbers are impossible to find, but what does seem clear is that poets, together with literary novelists, academic writers and philosophers, have been among the slowest to embrace digital book publishing.

Perhaps it centers on validation and kudos. The traditional routes to success in these genres has been through poorly financed but highly influential magazines and media review pages.

If your definition of success is bound up with what other poets, agents and publishers think of you, then you may see a book as an opportunity to get the recognition that isn't forthcoming, no matter how many readers and followers you might have on social media.

But the traditional poetry world and the indie work do not gel well. There is an underground divide with the populist spoken word performance poets, rappers and Instapoets on one side and the traditional review outlets, literary magazines and universities on the others.

This brought into sharp relief by a controversy last year around Plum, the second book by YouTube political poet, Hollie McNish.

McNish, who hails from the spoken word tradition, won a Ted Hughes award in 2016 for Nobody Told Me, published by Blackfriars, an imprint of Little Brown. Plum, her second collection, came from Picador in 2017, was well-received, and rapidly became one of that year’s bestselling collections. The following year, poet Rebecca Watts was commissioned to review the book by poetry journal, PN Review.

Watts declined to do a straight review as she would any other book.  “To do so,” she said “would imply that it deserves to be taken seriously as poetry”.

Instead of a review, Watts submitted a polemic in which she lambasted not just McNish but “the rise of a cohort of young female poets who are currently being lauded by the poetic establishment for their ‘honesty’ and ‘accessibility’ – buzzwords for the open denigration of intellectual engagement and rejection of craft”

She also insulted McNish's work in the most personal terms. McNish,who was most understandably hurt and embarrassed by the article responded, dissecting the “review” here.  

Watts work was is not criticism, carefully considered and substantiated opinion. It was politics, part of a power struggle between a passing elite and a coming group that embody change. No Instapoet has ever, to my knowledge, denigrated intellectual engagement or rejected craft.

This war is as old as art itself and the privileged always use snobbery, elitism and condescension as their weapons.

This struggle now sees the world of poetry sharply divided between gatekeepers and democrats, between those who want to keep a scarcity model in place, believing that to do so upholds art and craft standards.

And those who believe art and craft are best served by throwing the publishing gates wide open.

Self-Publishing Poetry Books: Different Strokes for Different Folks

It will come as no suprise that at ALLi, we fall into the second category. Yes, we understand that social media and self-publishing allow poorly crafted work to be published as “poetry” but we believe that matters less than the way they are revitalizing poetry and enabling more poets and authors to write and publish.

That is what is happening today with the Instapoets, many of whom are creating powerful work that combines the visual and the poetic, with one augmenting, shadowing or sometimes even undercutting the other's meaning.

That doesn't mean that everyone composing an Instapoem knows their craft, of course not. Just calling something a poem doesn't make it so. And I don't like every instapoet's work, of course not. Some of the most successful are not to my taste but I understand that is a matter of taste.

Not the denigration or rejection of the aspects of poetry I most enjoy: metaphor, allusion, rhythm, rhyme, surprising and remarkable word choices and word play.

I understand that “literary” poetry, like literary fiction, is not a thing apart. It is a genre like any other.

It's just that the followers and fans of this genre have the most power to make pronouncements in review outlets and literary magazines.

In matters of art, and poetry is the supreme literary artform, judgments of good or bad always founder. A poem either works for the reader in the moment–or it does not. We may then describe it as “good” or “bad” depending on whether it worked for us, but this is a subjective response, not an inarguable fact.

Many books that have been –ahem!–denigrated by a critical establishment have gone on to become critical and commercial winners.

Yet even some of the Instapoets fall into the trap of equating what they like as good and what they don't respect as bad.

“I think it is a mistake to generalize all poetry posted on Instagram as ‘Instagram poetry’,” Lang Leav said in an interview with British Vogue Magazine about what it claimed were the “best” poets on Instagram. “This tends to unfairly group ground-breaking, powerful poetry with memes and self-help quotes.”

She, no doubt, sees herself as belonging to the former group.

It's like those who don't want to be identified as self-publishing rather than being out and proud indie.

Self-Publishing Poetry Books: What Poets Need to Know

Thanks to self-publishing technology there is now no need for anger masquerading as literary criticism. There is now room for everyone and more poets should consider self-publishing their work in long-form, especially if they want to get outside the small magazine, literary press hothouse.

Here are some of the advantages of self-publishing for poets (many apply to other authors too).


If you want to publish a poetry book, you don't need to sign all your rights away to a trade publisher, particularly if you have build a large or engaged following on social media. Author-publishing allows you to deal selectively with each publishing right, rather than signing them all away in one contract.

For example, you might give a US publisher rights to publish in print, especially if you want to sell through bookshops, as they are generally better set up for bookshop distribution than you are likely to be, while retaining your ebook rights. If you have a large following, it makes more sense for you to publish the ebook yourself and distribute it on Amazon, Apple, Google, IngramSpark Kobo and other outlets, as your terms are better than those available to any trade publisher and the publisher will share so much less of the income with you.

You can also retain the right to record and publish your own audiobook rather than sign them over in a traditional contract deal that will treat audio as a subsidiary right that, more than likely, will never be exploited.


As a trade-published poet, you will have little input into the publishing process: cover design, title, blurb, distribution outlets, PR marketing and promotion. You won't be in the room when these and the budget decisions that accompany them are taken. With self-publishing, you have full control over the process.

And you get to handpick every person who has a hand in your book’s creation, so you can make book that has a compelling cover, carefully edited and formatted interior and high-quality production values.

Publishing houses can fold, team members may quit their jobs or get promoted or fired, which all can have a bearing on your poetry book's performance. If your second or third bookd doesn't do as well as the first you'll be dropped. As an indie poet, you never have to worry about whether market trends will derail your process or your progress.


Less than ten percent of the net receipts will make its way to you from a trade-published poetry book. Yes, the publisher will invest in editorial and design upfront but the bookseller, wholesaler, distributor, publisher and agent all have to be paid from that book cover price.

When you self-publish, you invest in your expenses upfront but get to keep a far higher percentage of the profits. Up to 70% on online retail platforms and almost 100% of those you sell from your own website.

And most trade-published authors only receive royalty payouts twice a year while self-publishing authors receive their own book sales income immediately and are paid monthly by online retailers.


The trade publishing process can be quite slow, taking anywhere from 12 to 36 months after contract for a book to hit shelves. Self-publishing your poetry book will bring it out much faster. And you can bring out more books than a trade publisher is likely to invest in.


As creatives, mistakes and failures are just steps along our way but with your trade-published book, you're stuck with the cover, the marketing approach, the content with which you started. As an indie poet, you can change your books as you learn and grow, giving them new titles and covers if you need to. If you discover typos or other infelicities, you just fix them and upload the fixed file.


Finding good books is not a problem for readers today. Online algorithms are very effective, and getting better, at guiding us towards the poetry we are most likely to love and poetry books are no exception. Readers can easily read the signifiers which tell them whether a book is for them or not, including cover, book description, reviews, and a pre-purchase sample. And book searches through categories and keywords are highly effective discovery tools, if not necessarily as pleasant as bookstore browsing.

In short, the poet who invests time and attention into producing a good book and marketing it well has nothing to fear from publishing’s new abundance model.

Self-Publishing Poetry Books: Going Beyond

So now there is a choice of approach. You can spend your time trying to submitting to the literary magazines, letting rejection hone your craft. Or you can get on and publish poems yourself, and rely on the reader feedback. First on social media, thereby building a following, then in chapbooks and full book collections.

Or you can do a combination, retaining some rights and licensing others.

Self-publishing poets must do more than merely push the Publish button if we want success. We have to be entrepreneurial. We have to choose our publishing process as mindfully as we choose our words. We have to respond to feedback and balance other people's opinions with our own creative imperatives.

As technology shifts again with AI, blockchain and other developments move towards a cultural scene that is more distributed than hierarchical, the days of a singular canon may even be gone.

Nobody owns art and across the centuries many people, from kings to university reading lists, have tried to rein poetry in for their own purposes. Poetry always runs free.

And never more freely than today.

That is a cause of celebration. We look forward to seeing a great deal more indie poetry books succeeding, creatively and commercially, in the coming years.

SELF-PUBLISHING POETRY BOOKSJoin us on the Self-Publishing Poetry Podcast as we explore the world of self-publishing poetry books.

And if you're a poet yourself, why not submit to “Indie Poetry Please”, the segment of the podcast that will feature indie poets reading their poetry.


Self-Publishing Poetry Books: Links


As part of the #AskALLi podcast, the Alliance of Independent Authors now offers the monthly Self-Publishing Poetry Podcast.

Catch the introductory session here

Watch out for Dalma's Sentzpála's session at the upcoming Self-Publishing Advice Conference

Blog Posts & Articles

Publishing Poetry: Tricks Trends and by Dalma Szentpaly for PublishDrive.

Instagram Poets Speak, Vogue Magazine


Do you write poetry? Have you published a poetry book yet? How was that experience? If not, why not? Let us know in the comments.

Author: Orna Ross

Orna Ross is a bestselling and award-winning author of historical fiction and inspirational poetry, and a creativity facilitator. As founder-director of the Alliance of Independent Authors, she has been named one of The Bookseller’s Top 100 people in publishing. 


This Post Has 65 Comments
  1. Any poet worth his salt will not want to be associated that dreadful everyday banality that is Internet or contemporary poetry aka drivel . And the vast majority of self-publishing writers are those unknowns who will never get beyond dishing out copies to relatives, this is why publishing houses are so successful in attracting writers like flies to…

  2. A few days ago I self-published my first book of poetry on Amazon. I held on to the manuscript for two years after an initial publish and withdrawal in April 2020. It is difficult launching, editing, promoting a book on your own especially when you are new to publishing. I have been writing for years but I have not been sharing much work. I was initially anxious about the public’s reaction to my poetry but I am waiting on the reviews. You have made some great statements about gatekeepers in the poetry world and you have pointed in some interesting directions that I plan to follow up on.

  3. I just self-published my first poetry ebook and I am trying to find avenues to market the book. Since it is not a printed version (I want to see how the ebook sells before I take it to print), I am not sure the library or book store reading avenues will work. I would love some suggestions about self-publishing ebook poetry. This is the ebook:

    1. Hi Margaret,
      You’ll find a number of sessions on marketing for poets on the podcast. Here is the general “poetry” category: https://www.allianceindependentauthors.org/self-publish-poetry-podcast/

      But look specifically at:

      https://selfpublishingadvice.org/poetry-marketing/ on old (print) and new (digital) marketing

      https://selfpublishingadvice.org/poetry-content-marketing/ on content marketing generally

      https://selfpublishingadvice.org/instagram-poetry/ on Instagram marketing in particular

      Good luck!

  4. Sorry for the error what I meant to print was if you can sell 300 copies of your first published poetry book does that qualify you as great poetry writer or do you need to publish 1000? Thanks. Brian

  5. Question, if you can sell 300 copies of your first time poetry book does qualify you to be a professional poetry writer or do you have to sell 1000? I think I read somewhere that if you can sell 1100 copies in a short time frame you make the Best Seller List on Amazon? So if that is true than you definitely are a professional writer? Brian

  6. This is a great article. I think so many Poets(including myself) are ‘snobs’ that think ‘self publishing’ is in a way degrading; but even some of the best (old guys and gals) self published first.
    Thanks for this

  7. Fantastic article, I’m a poetry writer who’s about to start my 2nd book and I’m planning to self-publish my poetry book, been searching for insights on how to have it done correctly, now found it. thank you.

  8. I should say a little more. For example, I have three YouTube videos for recitations of my poetry. I produced them at the suggestion of acquaintances. The links are, “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXfzs0pTnXA”, “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3670WZGOE” and “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RstMWU2YrW8”. This last one has “high production values” (green screen background video). I hope these are viewed as an indication of the “seriousness” of my poetic efforts.

  9. I recently published my first book of poetry (on Amazon; POEMS-Otis Sprow). For a number of years, I was the 24/7 caregiver to my invalid mother. During that time, I would write my poems and then read them to my mother as her cognative ability was still intact. It was pleasurable for us both. However, she recently died.

    I then assembled my poems and, to my surprise, the work came to 600 pages.

    I do believe they are worthy of consideration for exhibiting “care in craft” as well as present “compelling stories”. Of note, I found the editor for my book through Alli.

    Would my experience be of interest for a podcast? Or am I reaching too high at this point.

  10. Inspirational article for poets looking to self publish. I’ve published 6 books over a 2year period. The thing is you have to market your work. The best way to increase sales is through Amazon advertising. I found books sell through this channel but if you don’t spend on marketing your book will just fall into the unknown. I’ve also found that marketing on social media is a complete waste of time, energy and money. Good luck!

    1. how did you “market” to get sales on amazon? you say social media marketing is a waste of time. what else did you do?

  11. Thank you for your information. I write poetry in Spanish. Do you have any information on marketing or recommendations on how to find more information. Thanks again.

  12. I have a manuscript of poems in drop box that needs to be organized but I don’t know enough technically to prepare them for a publisher. Failed computer scientist. Where do I get help? I’m stuck with my life’s work. Some published in journals. Thanks.

  13. Hello about to change the literary. Universe with a rock novel. Who is best at converting a poetry book to ebook? Also what are the top poetry web pages etc? And mark this…the world #1 poet William Blake wrote
    ..one power alone makes the poet…imagination…divine vision.


  14. I am trying to get my poems published through the self publishing route and would like to know what support you could give me regarding raising funds to pay for it through grants from the Arts Council and other grant making bodies. Please let me know what you think.

  15. hello! I am currently editing my poetry book. And I’m having a hard time to decide whether I submit it to publisbing companies or to self publish it. thank you for your article, now I am determined to self publish. However, my next problem is where? I was setting an eye on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. But i saw a review that 65% of the sales will go to the Amazon. Please help me with this.

  16. Around the thoroughfare of my life..
    I crave i could make a detour,,
    Sometimes went into overdrive..
    But there was nothing i could procure.

    Things only
    We could do for ourself,
    Can i overnight
    Mutate myself..¿

    Is life quicker than a blink of an eye..¿
    Never received an answer,
    Which could satisfy

    How is it..?? I really want to publish my poems..how can i ??? Please some one help i m a small girl of 17 kindly do reply.

    1. Dear Sara, your poem is good. It shows an interesting use of words and depth of thought especially for your age. The important thing in poetry is that it should flow as music. Work on your choice of words, respect your original impulse and then use that as a excuse for playing with words, rewriting to master language in all its secrets, never abandoning the first idea from which the poem sprung. And have faith. Think of yourself as winning and you will. Believe that you are good because you are. Good luck!

  17. Beautiful article! I am an up and coming poet who is about to publish his first manuscript in about September. This article was really informative and important to come at such a time in my life. Thank you so much for this. Your words have resonated with me so much this morning that I am even more confident on pursuing the release of my book.

  18. I write poetry for a few years now and publish it in FB with graphics. Looking into self publishing and am getting frustrated as this takes away time from the time for writing. All of my wring is done in letter size format journals by hand with paintings added. So far I have more than 4 books (total 700 poems) working on to be published (transcribing takes a lot of time). Is there something like a self publishing service for poetry authors that will take care of page formatting (i tried in design but its a whole new project) and then help in publishing the finished work? Thank you for answering.

  19. Hello! I’m a senior who began writing wildlife/nature poems as a serious endeavour in 2010 or earlier. I saw the plethora of ‘nature poetry’ on the Internet in which wild animals, their habitats, etc. were not portrayed realistically as they actually live their lives as a challenge to give them the treatment they deserve through traditional, rhyming poems. Yes, to rhyme is sublime. I like to engage the reader by giving voices to my subjects, or writing as if I am talking to them. I must make a connection with these creatures in order to fuel my creativity. My readers tell me they are both entertained and informed, and that I should publish my poems in a book.
    Publishing my poems with my photos that inspired them has been my goal for some time, but I lack the money and computer skills necessary to carry it out, so I continue to write more poems when the inspiration hits.

  20. I’ve completed a poetry book titled, “RAW.” I am also an artist. My poetry has original illustrations opposite each poem (Approx. 40 poems). My writing style is very raw(real), emotionally-intense, diverse, bold, colorful and sensual.
    Could I send a sample of my poems and my artwork for review? I’m interested in going forward in your direction.


    Eternal scream
    Are you a dream
    From which I will awake?
    Or, must I dream to escape you?
    I will spew hell-fire
    Before I swallow and stifle your sound!
    Sweet scream run wild and raw
    Until there is no voice left.
    Only then you will have peace
    To envelop your vulnerability
    And love to fill your heart.

  21. hi Orna 🙂

    Thanks tons for this article.

    I look forward to playing with all of the positive information you’ve gathered and shared and am confidently going to move forward to publish a book of my own work.

    Looking forward to sharing it with you and ALLi,

  22. Respected Orna,
    I have written a fiction,some poems and a few short stories in English.
    I am an English teacher working in a private college in Odisha,INDIA.
    I want to get those works published and get money .
    Would you help me regarding this?

  23. Hello Orna,
    I’m a Christian poet and have self-published two books, A Gentle Kiss from God, (eBook and Paperback) and Giggles of Nature (eBook and Paperback). The first includes photography. I’ve had local success but failed “Marketing 101” on Amazon . Just kidding but I do find it extremely unnatural. I really love my poetry and consider it a gift; others have said the same. At the moment, I’m completing the Paperback of the first book since I previously completed only the eBook. I have a website JoyPsalms, as well and want to take some of my prose posts and create an eBook with them. I’m at a crossroad because of the marketing issue.
    Thank you for this site. Perhaps you would comment.

  24. I would love some advice. I want to publish some of my elderly mother’s poetry – not bad by the way – just for family and friends. I visualise a small square hardback, with some photos as well.

    Could you suggest an online publishing tool that could help produce a limited edition of quality? I only have an ipad, so can’t use bookright, which would have been very good I think. I can only get the app which looks far less versatile.

    I used to work in publishing, mainly illustrated coffee table stuff, so I’m not alarmed by layout and design. But there seem to be a lot possibilities, and I know nothing about the software now available. My mother will be a hundred years old later this year, and it would be lovely to do this for her.

    Thank you very much. JM

  25. Orna, thank you for another excellent article. I write poetry and have self-published some. But always feel insecure because in writing poetry, I don’t use proper poetry techniques not even, rhythm and rhyme, is it necessary I do that? I have also considered getting a person I know who us a well-known poet as a poetry editor if I can afford it.

    1. No it’s not necessary to use “proper” techniques, Marta. Many many poems are written in free verse. A good editor is always a good idea though

  26. Great article. I’m an Irish native living in USA. I have no formal education but I’ve written for newspapers and hosted radio shows in both countries. I’ve written almost 700 poems/songs/haikus/ tankas /triolets in the past 4 years. I’m 75 it’s time to self publish. Thank you.

    1. Marvellous… let us know if we can help in any way, Tony. I’m Irish living in London… and have been around for a few years too!
      Fáilte roimh fhéinfhoilsiú!

  27. The problem with self-publishing a book of poetry is that IF you opt to get an ISBN number, you can no longer submit those poems for consideration in major markets as they are then considered published and most will not look at previously published work s.Pat

    1. Why is that a problem if your books are reaching their readers directly? If you want to put together a different book for submission to a poetry publisher, of course you can, but many indie poets are finding it more rewarding, creatively and commercially, to leave out the middle-man.

  28. Hello I read a lot of short stories and poetry both poetry seems to so you’re feeling from me then the short stories I wrote right I’m not sure if my poetry is good some people like it some people don’t I publish on medium and I would press and I’ve looked into self-publishing but all my writing is on mobile devices and I have not found any self-publishing sites that you can use for mobile devices. I’ll be sure to check out your podcast thank you for your informative article.

    1. I have a huge completed book of prose poems snd csn do another in 2 month is there any finacial assistance?

  29. I think you nailed all the angles of poets looking to self-publish. I have recently published two poetry books on Amazon. Both have done really well and it’s pushed me to get my next book finished for Feb 2020. You could have touched on the digital marketing and advertising. I think it’s very important get started with a website. You can write raw poetry, blog posts and create educational articles. This can help with driving traffic to your book offering. Amazon also offer a new keyword feature which will help sell your book to the desired niche. I wish all self-publishing writers the best of luck.

    1. Delighted to hear of your success, DJ! Completely agree about the website — it makes a great deal of sense to be able to sell your work directly to readers when they land on your site. I sell most of my poetry books this way.. and now also sell directly to patrons on Patreon

  30. This is a great article. It’s made me think more about my own opinions of “instapoets.” I haven’t been impressed with most of those that I’ve read, but I know I’ve only seen a small percentage. We don’t get that filtered down list of what has gone through an editor or some sort of process, but that’s okay. The trend is putting the focus on poetry in general, which is a good thing.
    As for me, I submit fairly regularly and a few poems get published each year. A small press published my first chapbook and I put the ebook version out on Amazon. I’m sending out my new chapbook to a few publishers but will self-publish in the spring if no one has taken it by then. I’ve started putting some poems and articles out on Medium as well. I’m sort of a hybrid at this point, having grown up with the traditional methods but like the idea of having more control.

  31. I too have been writing poems and short stories but haven’t published any. My friends have told me to publish as well as a publisher but I still haven’t done so. Finance is one challenge and putting my poems out there for the world to read. Where do I begin?

    1. Learn InDesign or download the Amazon’s kdp software. It’s free to use and easy to use. Once you have completed your first draft, upload the files to your account, design a front cover and publish.

  32. I have several friends who continually tell me I need to submit and publish my poetry- I have writing I have held onto since the late 1980s…. anyway- I have no clue where to begin. I would love to share my work but just never have.

    1. Absorbing the information in this podcast is a good place to start, Elizabeth. And we recommend joining the Alliance of Independent Authors for advice and guidance

  33. Thanks Orna. I have not thought through to (self) publish my poems and short stories until recently. It takes a lot of guts to get to the stage where you can commit and expose your words to the public so there’s more to consider – but it’s just right to start somewhere and just do something. Cheers!

  34. I am a self published author. I have had local success with my book, but would love to gather more attention. My first book is called ” Lost & Found ” Knowledge is Learned by Angela M Smith.

  35. I have been writing for my own amusement for about forty years and some friends have recommended my putting a compilation together, so I will mine this source for ideas and energy.

  36. Fantastic, Orna!

    “Nobody owns art and across the centuries many people, from kings to university reading lists, have tried to rein poetry in for their own purposes. Poetry always runs free.” Love this!

  37. Thanks Orna, I appreciate your observations on the social pressures and hangups that can factor into a person’s decision to self-publish. The removal of gatekeepers has made some people insecure, but the security and validation they felt within the traditional publishing world was an illusion in the first place.

    Instead of reacting with anger and disdain toward new models of publishing (or toward more-successful more-commercial “competitors”), the healthy response is for writers and poets to *believe in themselves*. And then, to embrace these newfound opportunities to choose the publishing approach that fits them best.

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