Good morning, Angie.
I’m sending you my poetry collection to see if you think it is acceptable for publication. If you think it is, we can work out the details. My only source of income is social security. I tell you this because if you accept my work I’ll have to take out a loan from my bank.
-Name not published (for obvious reasons)
I’m always happy to give my opinion about an author’s writing. However, there is something far more concerning in your note above.
Nobody else in the industry will tell you this (including most of our competitors, some of whom prey on elderly authors) but I definitely do NOT recommend taking out a loan to publish a poetry book. Poetry is one of the slowest-selling genres.
Sometimes, when I alert authors (poets) to this fact, they get very defensive, accusing me of squashing their dream. That is exactly the type of author who is fresh prey for our competitors. (One was even sued for preying on older folks.) I hope you are not that kind of author. I am simply trying to help you make a reasonable business decision.
I am not trying to diminish your spirit, or criticize your writing in any way. I just hate to see an author take a risk to publish a book that, in all likelihood, is never going to earn back the investment. Remember, most of those sales folks work on a commission. Once they pocket a percentage of your payment, they don’t care if you sell any books or not. And, like the proverbial used car salesmen, they’ll lavish false praise, and will lie to you repeatedly until your wallet is scraped clean.
If you are intent on publishing a book of poetry, you might consider a https://www.gofundme.com campaign. Perhaps friends and family (and others) might contribute to your future book?
Many poets know their books will not sell well but they want a record of their writing for friends, family, and future generations. If they have the funds to publish, and know the risks involved, and if the book is good, I am happy to publish their poetry. However, I would never advise an author on a fixed income to take out a loan to get published.
If you decide not to heed my advice, please be very, very careful. There are crooks in the industry that are experts at emptying authors’ wallets. In fact, not only will some of them lie to get you to sign up, but they’ll also have no qualms about convincing you to get an even BIGGER loan, and hard-selling you into buying a $10K marketing package, all the while knowing you’ll likely sell very few copies.
I am sorry for the bad news but I treat authors they way I would want to be treated (and how I’d want a firm to treat my parents). I simply can’t advise you to obtain financing to publish a poetry book.
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