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Selling Poems For Profit

Updated on September 19, 2014

Yes! Selling Poems for Profit Is Possible!

If you've been told that it is impossible to sell poems for cash and you'll need to settle for the prestige of just seeing them published somewhere then you've been told wrong!


It is perfectly possible to earn payment by selling poems in a number of ways. I can't promise that you'll be able to retire on the earnings, but you should be able to make at least a small return on your creative investment.

Selling Poems to Magazines

Magazines do pay for poems!

Contrary to what many people think, there are plenty of magazines around to which you can sell poems. Add to these the plethora of websites and ezines that are constantly springing up around the web and you will find that there is actually a huge market for poetry and verse.

Of course the majority will not pay anything other than a free copy or two, but there are plenty of markets that will pay in good hard cash. Selling poems to these markets is competitive, but as long as your writing is of an acceptable standard, you've as good a chance of making a sale as anyone else.

Payment varies considerably from a couple of pounds offered by small literary magazines existing on a shoestring, to the more affluent, Arts Council supported publications buoyed up by generous subsidies. In this case you might get £20, £30 or more for a poem.

Selling Poems to Greeting Cards Companies

Good money to be made selling poems as greeting sentiments

The greeting card market can be very lucrative as long as you understand the needs of the consumer which means studying the company and who they are aiming to sell to. It's no good trying to sell poems to a traditional hearts and flowers company if the verse you write is the kind of cheeky, risque rhyme which is popular with the young and trendy!

A lot of greeting cards publishers have permanent writers and illustrators so do your home work before approaching and check that they welcome freelance submissions. The good news is, the market has a high demand for not only appropriate verse, but short captions and pertinent sayings and there is still a demand for the slightly "old fashioned" poetry that gets the thumbs down from current literary contests.

Selling Poems to Niche Markets

Weddings, Christenings, Retirements All Potentially Good Markets For Poetry

With a bit of creative thinking and some good marketing skills it is possible to earn good money selling your poems to specialised markets such as weddings, christenings and other major life events. Of course your poetry will need to target the individuals concerned so your pre-written stuff isn't likely to be suitable, but it is certainly an area worth pursuing.

Tip: If you can hook up with either a musician to set your work to music or a photographer to create audio visual DVDs your chances of making sales will increase dramatically.

Selling Poems to Commercial Organisations

Can you sell poetry to the business sector?

I expect this one has you wondering! How on earth do you manage to sell your poems to companies such as Cadbury's, Coca-Cola or Dell? Well you don't! What you do is run a search on the web for consumer contests. There are hundreds of them running at anyone time. They are usually very easy to enter with many being nothing more than free prize draws.

There are, however plenty around that ask for a tie-breaker slogan. The winning slogan very often rhymes which is good news for us poets. You'll need to think creatively rather than literary, but the rewards can be phenomenal ranging from cash prizes of hundreds or even thousands of pounds to expensive rewards such as cars or holidays.

Sell Your Poems For Profit & Prestige!

You can have your cake and eat it!

As you can see from this brief article, you don't have to settle for the honor of publication and no payment. Provided you are prepared to put yourself out and search for the niches that pay for your poetry you can make at least a little bit of cash from your work.

As this will almost certainly lead to publication in some form you will also reap the prestige of seeming your work in print and in some cases figure very prominently in the public eye.

That's all well and good, you say, but much of this calls for clever jingles and chocolate box type poetry, what about my more literary stuff? Can you really sell poems that are of a deeper, more thought provoking nature?

The answer is YES, but we'll go into that in another article!

I'd love to hear about any success you may have had selling poems. The more ingeneous the better!

TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES SELLING POEMS - Share your successes here!

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    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 6 days ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Thanks for your article, Sue. I'll keep in mind some of these options.

    • profile image

      Peggie sue Hough Roedl, 18 months ago

      Greetings,I am Peggie sue Hough Roedl I Have A book pub titled ( Every day Poetry on the market,I have many many poetry yet unseen, I have poetrt pub in two other poetry books that are not my own book have been envited to pub my poetry in there book's I have many certeficats on my wall A gold bedal many poems in the libuary of congress, Last year I was awarded last year poet of the year,I have many poems sight unseen I would like to do something th them they are (self help enspirational poetry) I would apprechate your help and input I look forward to hereing from you,I do have f\b Peggie sue Hough Roedl,Vandalia Ill,)Peggie roedl at yahoo.com)Thank you God bless,

    • profile image

      Mary Scott 23 months ago

      I have Alot of poems that I have written and I would like to publish them.

    • profile image

      katlin 2 years ago

      hello I write poems and i'm needing fast cash for a funreal... May I have more information?

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Thank you for the push, I have collected so many poems and I am ready to send them out. But doubt has kept me still, your hub has given me courage to try. Thank you again. Jamie

    • tammywilliams09 profile image

      tammywilliams09 4 years ago

      Thanks for the suggestions. I don't writer poetry but it looks like a great option.

    • profile image

      08032082999 4 years ago

      have a lot of poem for sales but yet to sell any....they centered on Africa culture and ethics of life.

    • profile image

      shrijitaa 4 years ago

      i just want to sell my poetry as soon as possible because i urgently need money! my poems are excellent! is there anybody who can help me?

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 5 years ago from UK

      If you are interested in competitions there are many opportunities, if you are an unpublished poet however make sure hat they accept (or better encourage) new authors.

    • marlene3 profile image

      marlene3 5 years ago

      Nice lens, I am very interested in this site. I will definitely revisit later. If you have time, please check out my 1st poem title: Drugged & Delivered. Thanks & Thumbs up!!!

    • profile image

      lavyettespoems 5 years ago

      THank you godinhora. I love poems like spiritual and inspirational of the heart especaily. Oh and quotes. I write a little myself. I have blog if anyone like visit. http://addressmylove.blogspot.com, http://heartmindandsoulasone.blogspot.com

    • profile image

      alanbowman777 6 years ago

      If I have an idea for a song I often write a poem instead ..... I wonder where this will lead .More research and nerve needed

    • profile image

      godinhora 6 years ago

      Good lens, I love poetry and support that poets get the recognition they deserve.

    • EcoGecko LM profile image

      EcoGecko LM 6 years ago

      Nice idea I may try it sometime. Would be better if you had some links to places that you can do these things in (possibility to add some referral links for a bit of extra revenue there). Also nice idea on the squidoo display of poems.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for this advice. So far I am content to display my poems on Squidoo.

    • Sue Kendrick profile image
      Author

      Sue Kendrick 6 years ago from English Midlands

      @DeepaVenkitesh LM: Yes I certainly will if I come across any. The only ones I can think of at the moment are those which offer revenue share.

    • DeepaVenkitesh LM profile image

      DeepaVenkitesh LM 6 years ago

      I do have a poetry blog, it is http://poems-anna.blogspot.com, please do visit and give your valuable comments.

    • DeepaVenkitesh LM profile image

      DeepaVenkitesh LM 6 years ago

      I wish there were sites that paid outright for good poems that rise from the bottom of the heart, If you do know some please list it so that it is useful for people like me.

    • Sue Kendrick profile image
      Author

      Sue Kendrick 6 years ago from English Midlands

      @graysquidooer: Unfortunately there are a lot of vanity publishers out there who exploit this. They make it seem as if it is a honour to be published in their anthology, but in reality they publish all submissions.

    • graysquidooer profile image

      graysquidooer 6 years ago

      It's my wife who was into writing poems, Not for profit or sale, but just because she enjoyed doing them.

      She did get One of her poems published, but we had to buy a whole book full in order to see it in print

    • Sue Kendrick profile image
      Author

      Sue Kendrick 6 years ago from English Midlands

      @ZenandChic: Just had a look and read some of your poems. Very nice.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 6 years ago

      I lensrolled this to my How to publish a book lens!

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 6 years ago

      I sell my poetry in my books Jewels of Awe, Poetry for and from the Soul etc... Great lens!

    • profile image

      scubachik 6 years ago

      @Sue Kendrick: Thank you so much for your suggestion.

    • graysquidooer profile image

      graysquidooer 7 years ago

      Poems is my wife's hobby, as for selling them she has never tired, but entered some in a competition and managed to get one published.

      Though I'm not sure if this was only ploy to get us to book the finished book

    • profile image

      scubachik 6 years ago

      @graysquidooer: Thank you!

    • Sue Kendrick profile image
      Author

      Sue Kendrick 6 years ago from English Midlands

      @Brite-Ideas: That's some views! Hope you do get it discovered. Some of my poems have been set to music, it's a real thrill to hear them sung.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thanks for this - one of my video poems has over 20,000 youtube views, (it's written as song lyrics as well) and maybe someday an Artist will want the lyrics! hey if Justin Beiber could be discovered on youtube, why not, right? Your lens immediately caught my attention because of the title. :)

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I spend money on poetry competitions, I submit poetry free for local anthologies, I put poetry up on my blog and on Squidoo, but the only time I ever get paid is when I do performance poetry for a community organization. I know one day my ship will come in!

      Meanwhile, here is your ship coming in, with Angel Blessings from me!

    • Sue Kendrick profile image
      Author

      Sue Kendrick 6 years ago from English Midlands

      @scubachik: If I was you I would charge a royalty fee for one time use irrespective of how many copies they print otherwise you could end up with peanuts if the funeral is very small. This is how photographers work, but be clear that copyright remains with you and they only have one time rights which means they must pay the fee each time they use your poem.

      Given the cost of funerals these days, I would expect to be paid at least £25 per use which is about $35. Hope this helps.

    • profile image

      scar4 6 years ago

      Poem is not my sparkling points, but at least the idea shows us a possibility, that's valuable.

    • profile image

      scubachik 7 years ago

      Please help! A funeral home is wanting to "rent" my poem to display on the back of their obituary/bulletin. I need to know how much to charge per copy. Example...5 cents per copy? Is that even in the ballpark?