|After almost completing a manuscript I considered worthy of self-publishing, I have ground to a screeching halt. The more you know, the more you have to learn.
I have faith that my words will find themselves bound and sitting on library shelves and in the homes of readers, some day. My original date to submit a manuscript was October 2005. With the information I gathered tonight, thanks to fellow Writing.com member Ron Howard, I'm re-thinking and re-organizing my plan of attack. The war to publication won't be won by the shy individual who won't put out the right stuff.
Because I know my market is adult, and not prone to purchase books of poetry on a whim, I've added something to my basic concept to make my book more marketable. They say to write what you know. I know I'm bipolar. I know others with "mental disabilities." The reworked theme is now to publish a book of poems along with essays covering many different diagnosed psychological problems.
ADD, panic disorder, depression, obsession, the list goes on, and I will have to expand it before I can get the precise mixture I'm looking for. The mission of the literary work will be to identify problems, give examples of help that can improve daily lives, and insert my poetry as a creative literary example of what a person with mental problems can do. You have to have a market to sell. I can see my market beginning to have faces. This is a good sign.
If you check out Ron's web page at www.freewebs.com/poetry_in_the_park/poetry (cut and paste), resources abound. He has published a book on publishing, and this guy knows his stuff.
I've never had such a good run of surfing, and hitting pages that state submission guidelines on the home page. With some quick reading, I came to a couple of conclusions.
One has a better chance of being a published book poet if they have already been published in a literary journal. Magic! He has a list of journals, and their date for readings and submissions. I need a calendar, but I can see where I need to devote more time in my efforts.
Several of the publishing companies have "contests," with dates for readings, and not too many requested reading fees. If you impress in the contest, the next step could be inside their business. Another list of companies to add to this new calendar I'm getting.
I've been treading water, and that's not the way to get a byline. One must be consistent and forceful, which has not really ever been my way. But my eyes have been opened.
I'm going to start today with his "poetry in the park" publication resources, and make myself a list of who to contact, how, and by when. This doesn't mean I'm giving up on self-publishing, but I'm willing to put in one more year of working the streets/manuscripts in hopes of getting money from writing, rather than shelling out money in hopes of sales.
Thank you Ron Howard, and thank you Writing.com. This is the most fantastic community for writers on earth!