What are some good, reliable, reputable and preferably inexpensive poetry book publishing sites?

I am currently trying to get a book of my poems published. And how do I go about the process of publishing and marketing my books? I would love to make a career out of writing and possibly earn a good reputation and make some money. Any suggestions or tips for any of these fields/questions? I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

I hate to be the one to say this to you, but will find it is next to impossible to publish poetry. The odds of someone making a living as a poet are astronomical – worse than astronomical. Poetry is Just not a big seller anymore.

Prove it to yourself. Go to the biggest bookstore you know and ask to see the poetry section. After you dust the books off, count them. There won’t be many and most of them will be from established and old poets.

Now go to the New Fiction section and see how many books are there. About 50 times as many as poetry. Because they SELL.

Stores cost money to rent. A bookstore has to ration its selling space accordingly to what they can sell to meet their overhead. They simply cannot devote a lot of square footage to books they aren’t going to sell rapidly.

A high body count Dean Koontz thriller sells. Poetry doesn’t.

As for selling poems to magazines, let me explain it this way. Recently the Poet Laureate of the United States sold a five line poem to a magazine. He got a check for 25 dollars – 5 dollars per line. If that is all the Poet Laureate can get, how much do you think you could get? The answer is probably nothing. They would be published free.

If you want to self publish, you need to understand Uncle Jim’s Law "The money should flow TOWARD the author, not away from him." In the case of Lulu and other self publishers, the money flows AWAY from the author and at a rather large clip. It will cost and cost and cost you. You will pay and pay and still your books will not be for sale on shelves in any bookstore in America. Unless you pay for an ISBN number, they won’t even be for sale on Amazon. And now, Amazon says they are removing all BUY buttons from books that aren’t self published by their subsidiary BookSource. They will only carry your book for sale if you pay them 29.99 annual fee, plus 55 % of your cover price, plus you have to purchase the books yourself from your own self publisher and mail them at your expense to Amazon so they will stock them. That will put most self published books in the red REAL fast. Especially if the average sales for a self published book is 100 copies – or roughly 2/3 of your family and friends. You will lose money big time.

And the question is, without paying for publicity and promotion, how is anybody going to know the book is out there to buy it? Nobody actually surfs Amazon looking for interesting books. You can’t. There are millions there.

I know that is not the answer you want to hear, but that is the cold, hard truth. Poetry is not a big seller. No major publishers are reading poetry so no agents are interested. They won’t bother with something they can’t sell. Sorry, but true, and a visit to your local bookstore will prove it to you. Pax-C