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How to Self-Publish a Poetry Collection: My Second Go Around

Updated on December 20, 2017
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My name is Jamie Lee Hamann and I started sharing poetry articles back in 2013. Every year I share a poem a day in April.

Lessons Learned the Second Time Around

Write out of your comfort zone.

Politics! Why politics? Most of the poems I write and collect are usually life affirming rhymes about family and familial love. But every once and a while I would add a poem about homelessness, drug abuse, and poverty.

Soon I had a number of poems that expressed the frustration I felt towards American politics. Today it is almost an impossibility to not be filled with some type of strong political opinion and I had written quite a few poems with politics in mind.

One challenge is trying to make a collection like this work. My first book seemed to come together easily. Trying something new led to a decent collection in the end.

Streamline your organization.

This second time around you find you are able to collect poems on certain themes in a quicker fashion. You become familiar with the location of certain poems and acquire an organized archive. Create a website and organize by theme. This allows you to notice when you reach a certain amount of pages.

The act of creating a collection builds momentum.

Every time I finish a collection I come up with ideas for three more. The act of collecting and thinking about producing a quality collection directly effects the quality and quantity of my writing.

I am currently working on a children's poem collection and have begun collecting for a Science Poems collection. You still have to follow your writing routine and keep up your writing.

Start to research ways to market.

Marketing collections and books is a difficult business. Read about how to market online and watch videos. There are many writers on Hubpages that have worked out successful marketing.

Currently I am trying to market by writing Hubs on my self-publishing journey, writing reviews for my books on other websites I feel comfortable with, starting a social media site centered around poetry, and advertising my collections on a personal webpage.

Lessons Learned:

Write out of your comfort zone.
Streamline your organization.
Write, write, write.
Research Marketing.

Some new items I noticed with my second collection.

A Note on the Use of Createspace

As you create with CreateSpace your ability to create quality text increases.

The second time around brought a level of comfort with the publishing tools offered by You know how to format when collecting and have a better idea of the limitations of the platform.

Keeping an open mind and letting go of perfectionism was required in the production of my two collections.

Marketing, marketing, and more marketing.

CreateSpace offers different marketing opportunities in their platform. Take the time to read what they offer and research any new concepts when you are not familiar.

Marketing is hard but there are so many resources online with a little motivation a writer can learn how to spread his poetry to a wider audience.

The Rhyme of the Ancient Middle Class

Why would my title "The Rhyme of the Ancient Middle Class" use rhyme instead of rime as the original classic by Coleridge? The theme of this collection began to see the light when I tried my hand at imitation.

I included in my writing regiment an imitation of a poem that I found great. The challenge was to make it my own and not insult the original. I used this practice to learn how poets I admired were able to use rhythm and meter in their poems.

After scanning "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and copying the meter and rhyme scheme into my notebook, I gave it a try.

Unable to fit my story into the original meter and rhyme scheme the poem evolved into its own common Ballad. The result was a story of a lost generation trying to examine the path that led to their economic ruin.

I began to collect poems that communicated my feelings on current affairs in America. Changes are occurring in America and we are feeling the riptide. I tried to capture this feeling of hopelessness one feels when cast upon the waves.

I broke the book into six sections.

The first section contains the poems I collected above.

"There seems to be a disconnect between how policy can either disrupt or balance the daily routines of many lives. Policy that I hope to see argued through the arts. Arguments towards a strong public education system, research and development on ways to strengthen our communities, and more options to help create interpersonal ties.

We have the illumination of the LGBT as a force to sway political decisions, further movement in the cause of Women, and a revival of a lost civil rights movement that needed to be brought back to the surface more sooner than later. We have seen and felt our vast disparity in incomes and a greater difficulty with the middle classes ability to thrive." From the Introduction to "The Rhyme of the Ancient Middle Class."

The second section is a glimpse into a journey of the American Experience through eyes of poverty stricken Americans.

  • Poems for the Chaos
  • Friend Ballads and Bukowski

An "Ode to the Beat Poets" is a grateful thanks to all the Beat Poets whose poetry has become a part of my daily existence.

  • Trying to Write a Poem on a Never Ending Scroll
  • What follows are poems of enlightenment ending with a collections of sonnets I call "Sonnet Politic."

This is a story of America. I hope that you enjoy reading "The Rhyme of the Ancient Middle Class."


Somewhere a vague nagging restlessness,

a backache of the soul, these blue movements

powered by a burst of energy, nest

alone in cramped nest, after discharge

from the shelter where pipes leaked, large

bodies of water never at rest.

An enduring, non-progressing, life,

to feel a contraction of our strife,

these are the lies that foster panic,

a physical effect of atrophy,

loss of our strength through hypocrisy,

immobilized yet not less frantic.

Made it through an American Winter,

huddled in an American shelter.

We Sing A Populist Hymn

We sing a populist hymn when depressed,

A widespread depression cloudy on land.

So historically tyrants lead the band,

To begin social and civil unrest.

So maybe we need to go without food,

When families homes are the backseat of cars,

When social policy is lost on Mars.

Our view of community slightly skewed.

We well our souls to their useless banter.

These useless words that do not help our course,

to lead us into a mire of negative.

These fake burning images burn brighter,

We forget hunger or to feel remorse

For those in the world with no chance to live.

© 2017 Jamie Lee Hamann


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