I Am a Self-Published Poet

I confess--my two books of poetry are self-published.

And it’s not because I have any disdain for traditional publishing--to date, I’ve had seventeen poems published by various print and online literature journals.

I just couldn’t stand the thought of submitting my poetry manuscripts to several independent presses, waiting six months to a year to possibly receive a rejection slip, and have to start the process all over again.

Self-publishing meant I would be in control, and that the responsibility for promoting my work would fall solely on me.

And you know what?

I’m fine with that.

Fortunately, I found--after a lot of online research--a fantastic print-on-demand company, Wasteland Press, to publish my first book, Gnat Feathers and Butterfly Wings in 2008. Their publishing process, customer service, and finished products are high-quality and professional looking, so I used them for my second book, Thirty Dollars and a Bowl of Soup, which was published in January 2017.

I am curious to see how many people buy my latest book. I don’t care about making money. The primary reason I share my poetry is to connect with other people who experience what I have, who feel what I feel, or, more importantly, open someone’s mind or eyes to a different perspective. Any royalties or profits will be donated to one of myriad charitable organizations that do work I admire--advocating for civil rights, children, people of color, and for the health of the environment.

I am naturally shy, and I learning to embrace the art of self-promotion. To say to the world:

Here I Stand.

Here is what I have to say.

Read it, if you want, and let me know if you like it.

I have laid the initial groundwork--sent out an email announcing the publication of my book and link to my website, connected with people on Facebook and Twitter, created memes out of several of my poems, and posted them on Instagram.

I will continue to perform at open mics I often as I can, and will always carry copies of my books with me, in case anyone is interested in buying one.

I look forward to seeing where this journey will take me.

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copyright © 2020 Carla M. Cherry