That's the essence
The best first step
in getting anything published is to invest in a copy of the current Writer's
Market. The book contains useful articles on manuscript format and other
things you need to know, as well as a fairly exhaustive listing of what
publishers are looking for what material.
Some of the best online resources are:
There are increasing options for publishing books these days, including
e-books. The above sites have information on all of the options.
How much you are going to be paid for a 1-5 page short story is going
to vary extremely according to where you sell it. A literary magazine
might pay you $10, or pay you in free copies; the New Yorker might pay
you $250. Some publishers pay a flat fee for stories and some still pay
by the word. The online sites may be the easiest to search for exactly
the right publisher who is looking for your type of story and will pay
If you want to be published professionally, do take the time to study
professional writer's guidelines. Your manuscript will be competing with
many others, and the more professional it looks the better chance it has
of being read, and bought.
One of the best things
to do if you are serious about becoming published is to get a copy of
the current Poets Market. Poets&Writers magazine is an excellent resource
also. Poets&Writers also has an online resource at http://www.pw.org/
http://www.ockhamdesign.com/paper/guide/ is an excellent step-by-step
guide to becoming published -- which begins with looking through Poets
There are a growing number of high-quality ezines publishing poetry on
the web. Some of these are:
Recursive Angel http://www.calldei.com/~recangel/
15 Credibility Street http://www.anti-naturals.org/15cst/home.htm
Melic Review http://www.melicreview.com/
Alsop Review http://www.geocities.com/Athens/1001/
Web de Sol http://www.webdelsol.com/solhome.htm
Zero City http://gate.cruzio.com/~zerocity/
A Writer's Choice
Web de Sol has "Contributor's Recommendations" at http://webdelsol.com/Perihelion/p-links2.htm
-- poetry sites recommended by the featured poets from previous issues.
You can find 350 more listed at http://www.meer.net/~johnl/e-zine-list/keywords/poetry.html
Some other excellent places online for posting and discussing poetry are
the Alien Flower Poetry Workshop at http://www.sonic.net/web/albany/workshop/
and The Scroll at http://www.scroll.org/
You can find another list of online and print poetry journals at
I hope that's enough to get you started. One psychological tip that's
worked in our local worskop: set yourself a goal of 10 rejection slips.
Getting rejection slips means that you are doing the work of writing and
submitting your poetry. Going after rejection slips will encourage you
to be persistent, and persistence is what will finally get you published.
The first step
for most poets, after getting individual poems printed but before trying
to market a book to a publisher, is to self-publish a "chapbook"
-- a small folded-and-stapled booklet. You can usually find a local printshop
or copier service that will print, fold and staple such booklets for less
than $1 a copy. If you are willing to do the folding and binding yourself,
you can create a more appealing book for less cost. There are a lot of
books out there, so anything that you can do to stand out helps!
I have had 52-page 8-1/2 by 5-1/2 books printed locally for under $1 a
copy in 500-copy lots. Hand-bound books are not only lower in cost, but
they stand out more. I've sold those 52-page books for $5 at a book fair,
next to a small press selling tiny little handmade books for $5 apiece.
They outsold me 5 to 1.
Updated August 30, 2001