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  1. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Is There a Market for Poetry?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Cogito, Oct 7, 2007.

    This began as a discussion in "Why did you join this forum?" There seemed to be some interest in this as a topic on it's own, so I've quoted a couple of the comments here, to get the ball rolling (or not)

    What I have seen is the occasional niche book that combines some poetry, withe other elements like photographs and cartoons, wrapped together to illustrate a personal philosophy. Also, I've seen novels that incorporate poetry in the story, and it can, if well done, enrich the story/

    But poetry standing alone? Occasionally I'll see a lonely poetry book on the bargain cart on the sidewalk near the bookstore entrance. But even magazines seem to shy away from publishing poetry.

    Let's face it: poetry is not for the casual reader. Greeting card poetry elicits a smile and a "Thank you", before the recipient dives into the real gifts (or listens to why they should forgive you). Real poetry, however, takes work to appreciate, and most readers don't get enough out of it for the effort they invest.

    So I don't see much of a market for poetry either. But I do think it is a worthwhile skill to practice, and it can improve your writing for more marketable forms.

    And don't forget the music industry. Lyrics may differ in some respects from poetry, but they are unquestionably related.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    All I can say is that no matter what, if you want to get your poetry out there, you will.

    All you have to do is the same as the rest, get your poetry out there and create a demand for it. Once there's demand the publishers will show more interest.

    <that is from what I have learnt myself, other places are different>
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sadly, the only time book publishers will 'show more interest' in poetry collections is when the writer is a well-known figure in some other area or is a widely recognized/respected poet who has become a household name at least in the literary world...

    and, as torana notes, the only way to achieve that status is to have your work published in the best journals and magazines often enough and for long enough, to have it recognized as being exceptional by the critics and garner some of the most prestigious awards... and even then, most of the finest poets never make a living with their poetry...

    that said, there is a minor exception to the rule... some small indie niche presses may occasionally take on a collection that fits their specialty, such as gay/lesbian, new age, erotica, etc.... those that do, however, usually won't pay an advance...
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are some small ezine/print markets that pay, sometimes not very much.

    I've a few listed on my website pages for markets:
    Paying: mktshortfictionpaying
    Pro and Semi Pro Rates: http://www.ervin-author.com/mktshortfictionsemiandpro.htm

    But poetry is not the main thrust of what they publish. And I agree with all that was said above about collections.

    Terry
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there are other mags that pay fairly well for individual poems, but the poster was asking about books, so i didn't go into submitting pieces on their own... the best source for venues that publish solo poems is Duotrope's Digest (Markets for Writers)
     
  6. poempedlar
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    poempedlar Senior Member

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    Is there a market for poetry? Is poetry really necessary?

    Hi, I am a bit disheartened now, having received a contract from a Literary Agent but when researching the company on the internet, I find it is another of these scams. I have won prizes, I have been paid money even and I have had quite a few published but it is a long struggle and you find you are no further up the ladder, you are still on the bottom rung. I have even been voted International Poet of the Year (twice) but found that was another scam. However my work is out there having self published The Poem Pedlar and I have sold it in many English speaking countries. It would seem, if you want to be published, do it yourself.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    for books of one's own poetry, that's the sad but true reality...
     
  8. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    This has been discussed fairly indepth, but to answer the question yourself, ask yourself this:

    How many published living poets do I know?

    If you you're lucky you might know a few. However, the vast majority of people know none. The fact is that the demand is small and the supply is limitless.
     
  9. wordweaver
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    wordweaver Member

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    I don't know about paper publication, but alot of ezines take poetry, and some even pay.

    I use StoryPilot's Science Fiction &amp; Fantasy Market Search Engine to find what I'm looking for.

    It's not always up to date, but you can access the ezine sites and it's a great site for narrowing down your choices.
     
  10. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    It is true, and the funny part is I know two published poets (I think one is self-published, his poetry was terrible) and on the contrary I know one author (who is a poet cum author so that doesn't count anyways lol). So I need to shy away from this :p.
     
  11. PrincessGarnet
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    PrincessGarnet Contributing Member

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    'is there a market for poetry?' - I hate how everything is reduced to 'the market'
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    then you might as well give up wanting to be a writer, unless you only want to do it for a hobby...
     
  13. PrincessGarnet
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    PrincessGarnet Contributing Member

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    It was a dig at capitalism. In the end everything comes down to 'the market' whether it's drugs to save a person's life or the types of books which will sell - sorry i'm going off topic...
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Like it or not, economics is a force that cannot be ignored or wished away.
     
  15. PrincessGarnet
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    PrincessGarnet Contributing Member

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    I'm not ignoring it, or wishing it away, I'm criticizing it :p
     
  16. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    With due respect to economics, PG is right. I mean, there is more to life than what the market thinks about it. It is the deadly and harsh reality of life, which we must come one on one with, but we don't need to give in to it.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    too true, anthrax!... which is why i made a vow more than a dozen years ago, to never again do anything for money... and i haven't--won't till the day i die!
     
  18. Chris D
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    Chris D New Member

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    No.

    No: sadly, popular culture suppresses the poetic; however, there is one alternative solution-- you could choose to write your poetry into music ( self acompayment with basic guitar work ). :( Although work in poetry may be sparce, is your motivation to write poetry rooted in avicariousness? I doub't it. Anouther option is to secure an adaquatly paying job, such as a high school teacher or something, and write while working; there have been many a great writers who've eventualy assertained publisher approval ( there are poetry publishers, but they are rare ) while typeing words onto the screen projected by a word processing program.

    I would, if I had to be worrying about a carrear, personaly opt for the earlier: a job that allow you to obtain a sufficent amont of currency to live fosters your creative growth..... assuming that the job isn't too time demanding; hence why teaching is desirable.

    Anyways, choose to be ignorant of the bills: it'll alow you more time to write!
     
  19. youngwriter_11311311
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    youngwriter_11311311 Contributing Member

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    The saddess part is the fact if it's written masterfully it is very (pardon my wording cuz' I can't find the write way to say it without it sounding weird) inspiring and most poems can really teach people. If out of anything in the literary world that should be read, published, kept in memory and never forgotten, it's poetry. No one just can ever really appreciate it when authors make it so difficult to unwind and find the meanings of it.To me that's why it isn't in such demand as novels and stories that spell it out. Also if there are true emotions in it the readers and anyone that's listening can feel it and it makes them really think about it.
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sadly, most of what's that's turned out by beginning/amateur writers isn't written 'masterfully' or even intelligible enough to be understood... which is why poetry's not published as a collection, till the writer is widely recognized as a poet of note, whose work merits being 'never forgotten'...

    love and hugs, maia
     

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