Guide to Publishing your Poetry Book

Many years ago, famous poets such as T.S Elliot and Wallace Stevens took on a bevy of odd jobs before they became legendary poets. Back in the 1900s opting for a career as a poet instantly made you the laughing stock of your group. As a result, it was impossible to earn your bread and butter by writing poetry. The idea of publishing your poetry book was rare. But, in the 21st century, this bitter reality took a dramatic swivel with the rise of Instagram Poets!

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How did Instagram Poets become megastars? 

Instagram Poets build a steady readership by sharing their poems on Instagram. After that, they compile a set of poems and self-publish a poetry book that instantly gains traction due to their loyal fanbase. According to a market research group, 12 of the top 20 best-selling poets that emerged last year were Instagram Poets who created a poetry book by combining their written work and Instagram posts. 

In 2014, Instagram Poet Rupi Kaur made history by publishing the first best-selling poetry book since The Odyssey. Consequently, she now has 3 million followers reading and appreciating her poems worldwide! Most importantly, she stretched the boundaries of complex, eloquent poetry and created something simple, unique, and relatable. After that, an array of Instagram Poets such as Atticus, Lang Leav, etc,  have followed suit.

A greater scope of reaching your audience has opened up in the era of digitalization and new avenues for self-publishing. Like Rupi Kaur, if you are an Instagram Poet who dreams of creating a poetry book that reaches new heights, self-publishing your poetry book might be the ideal option for you.

In this article, you will learn a step-by-step guide on publishing your poetry book.

  • Curate your poetry book

You might’ve written a whole set of poems in a burst of inspiration.  Subsequently, carefully pick the best from this collection that you would like to see in print. You can decide which poems to choose depending on your themes and mood. Focus on creating an overarching theme that ties your collection together. It must aspire to convey a value or a goal. Subsequently, think about your collection as a whole – what are you trying to convey? An average poetry book has 30-100 poems. This is to say, don’t be afraid to add as many as you like. Above all, let the collection have a distinct voice of its own.

  • Decide on your poetry book format

    One of the biggest perks of self-publishing your poetry book is that you get complete creative control, right from formatting to designing your book. Therefore, decide your book format and arrange the poems in an order that makes sense. In other words, your poems can flow like a conversation or can be completely random, but choose wisely. Decide the size of your book. Also, remember that the overall feel of your paperback will play a pertinent role in what the book represents.
  • Edit and Proofread your poems

    The intentional choice of each word in poetry produces a feeling that runs deep. Moreover, the most powerful and impactful poems are ones that are well edited. You need to identify which words or phrases need to be discarded. Be ruthless in your editing process. Additionally, proofread your poetry with utmost focus and patience.
  • Design your pages

Poetry books possess the capacity to awaken all of the reader’s senses through some crucial choices made by the writer. For instance, you can play around with text, color, and images. The white space enveloping your words on a page makes for a visually appealing read. Above all, don’t crowd a single page with more than one poem. Instead, fill the pages with hand-drawn illustrations that add another artistic element to your poetry book!


  • Your book is ready to be self-published!

There are numerous platforms that encourage young writers to self-publish their poetry books. But, at Notion Press, this process is made possible by a team of experts who guide you every step of the way and ensure that the process of publishing your poetry book is smooth and extremely easy. In addition, the Notion Press Platform offers free publishing that brings forth writers across all age groups and professions making colossal headway in the field of writing! 







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Naqiyah Hasan

Naqiyah is pursuing a BFA in Creative Writing at Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology. She is an avid reader, writer, and book collector.

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