Well, I didn’t think I’d be doing this again, but I am. The cycle of submit a manuscript, wait for a rejection, accept that I’m not even going to get a rejection, submit another manuscript, wait for a rejection and so on ad infinitum is soul-destroying. I am still doing it for novels, but I’m not such a glutton for punishment that I’m going to take the same road for poetry.

I do have a lot of poems though and I’d like to do something with them, so I have decided to put them into themed chapbook collections and self-publish. The decision was made in the middle of last week; I chose a first handful, revised them, arranged them into a sensible-looking format, made a cover and uploaded them to kdp. I didn’t want a kindle version necessarily, but you seem to need one before you can make a print version.

I’ve held off the release date until October 27, my mother’s birthday, a good day, I think, and it will give me time to have received and checked the proofs of the print version, so it can be published asap after the kindle version goes live. That means it’s already on amazon for pre-order. The result doesn’t look professional, cover’s a bit hit or miss, but if I spend any time fiddling with it, I’ll be permanently dissatisfied.

So, I’d like to thank all the bloggers who have encouraged me to just do it, and to believe that it’s a good idea. This is the cover of the first chapbook. I’ll post a reminder when the kindle version goes live, and when the print version is available.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

75 thoughts on “Chapbook”

  1. Congratulations on your decision. I might end up doing the same. I’ve been sending out my chapbook to competitions etc. and it takes forever… to get no information or be unsuccessful.

    1. Thanks. I know. I was reading advice given by one agent, not to submit to more than a few at a time because of the feedback you’ll get even if it’s a rejection. Ballocks! His agency was one that didn’t even send a rejection. I have never had feedback from an agent. You’re lucky if you even get a form rejection. Most of them it’s just straight in the bin but you’re expected to wait three months to find out.

      1. I think thats tought in schools, since over 20 years.Now we have whats called “international conformity”. Perfect for selling the same products all over the world. Without any intellectual borders. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I understand that September through December are the best months for book sales, so Octoberโ€™s a great choice. Just pre-ordered by the way! The book coverโ€™s quiet and understated, nicely complementing โ€œwater.โ€

  3. Great decision, Jane! I might be doing the same, eventually… I will certainly look out for updates on your chapbook as I would like to read it.

    1. Thanks, Ingrid. You can spend a whole lifetime waiting on rejections. For poetry, you may as well do it yourself. I’ll certainly post updates. Can’t let the release date pass unnoticed ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Of course not ๐Ÿ˜Š. For me it’s a case of writing what I want to write, instead of what I think an editor wants to read. Best of luck with it all anyway!

      2. Writing is so subjective and poetry maybe most subjective of all. Most editors won’t want/like what I write, so why waste time submitting on the offchance? We write what you need to write, and there may be people who enjoy reading it. That’s all we can hope for.

      1. Formatting a whole novel is hellish when you have to piss around with putting back all the italics, special symbols, chapter headings, headers and footers and then your cover doesn’t fit….

      2. After the formatting you have to be prepared to shell out for advertising and promotion. That’s the main put-off for me. I don’t have an advertising budget and if you just rely on friends, once they’ve bought a copy, that’s it.

      3. The part I hate most. I write, I’m not a sales rep.

        Just remembered sth I experienced a lot in Canada. I was young, just graduated from Literature, an idealist, you could say, so you can imagine my disgust every time a job agent would tell me, You need to sell yourself better. I’ve learned the ropes but I’m still thinking, I’m not for sale, dammit.

      4. I know what you mean. The implication is that you’re no good the way you are, you have to pretend to be something different so you worm your way in under false pretences.

      5. Honesty is not the name of the game, my dear. Learn to lie in your teeth, produce what you’re asked to produce, plagiarise what somebody else has produced and stick your own rubber stamp on it, and you’ll be fine.

      6. I recently found out there are people who’re paid to write positive reviews, which explains why some bad books have so many of them, while the good ones often go unnoticed. Or is it that the majority likes mainstream literature? It’s what sells, right, so we’ll have to deal with it and do our thing.

      7. Even what used to be reputable reviewers like Kirkus Reviews do it. They’ll write a review and only take payment if it’s a good one. Guess what? It’ll be a good one.

      1. I’ve thought about it, but I would want my artwork there too and I can only imagine the expense. It might be nice to do something just for myself though. It would help me organize my writing and art which is just a mess of papers and portfolios. Once I move somewhere large enough to get it out of storage…

  4. Very, very exciting! I’ve been away from my blog for a long time and decided to get back to it, because I’d missed it, the act of engaging with a writing community. I also did the same with Twitter (a whole other story). The only thing I had been consistent with was Instagram. I had finished my draft of my novel, and then lost my drive as the pandemic hit (promoting a dystopian novel with the title ‘Anti-Virus’ didn’t seem quite right back in March and April when things were very scary.

    Anyway, I’ve made the decision to self-publish now I’m back in the saddle. I hope your experience goes well!

    1. Thank you! I’m not sure what kind of an experience I’m expecting, but not much really. If you don’t promote promote promote nobody notices.

      You should maybe have persisted, cashed in on the fear factor. It’s not too late though; the virus is going to be around for a while.

      1. My novel isn’t in essence about a pandemic though, so I’m not concerned about that. It takes place against a pandemic type background and all is not as it seems. Let’s face it, the world has been like that for a long time and threatens to remain that way for some time to come!

        It was more the title (which I need to stick with) and the prospect of explaining it that was a big hurdle. I’m over that now though, so onwards and upwards.

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