6 December 2009

to earn a living from selling your poetry:
extremely unlikely

"Poetry is a broad church, and more people write it than read it. Even more people read it than buy it. The market for selling poetry is, in relation to the total book trade, an extremely small one, and it is complex, fragmented, well-managed and highly competitive. Because of this, it is notoriously difficult to coordinate a sustainable economic model for contemporary writing. You will be extremely unlikely to earn a living from selling your poetry. However, you may earn money from a range of cultural projects related to ‘acting’ as a poet, and some writers seek to earn their incomes from running workshops or courses, teaching English or Creative Writing, making festival appearances, giving paid readings, taking on residencies, and becoming cultural commentators and critics."

Chris Hamilton-Emery (Manchester, 1963), excerpted from 101 Ways to Make Poems Sell: The Salt Guide to Getting and Staying Published (Salt Publishing, 2006)

Further reading:

101 Ways to Make Poems Sell (Salt Publishing)

101 Ways to Make Poems Sell (Google Books)

Chris Hamilton-Emery Offers Advice on How to Make Poetry Submissions (Salt Publishing)

Chris Hamilton-Emery's MySpace profile