Should You Self-Publish Your Haiku Poems?

Posted on Jul 14, 2023

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Written by P.J McNulty

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You’re a haiku poet with a collection of poems that reflect your thoughts, observations, and experiences. 

These three-line verses deserve to be shared with the world.

 Self-publishing offers an empowering route, putting you in the driver’s seat.

 It’s an opportunity to take your crafted haikus beyond the confines of your notebook and into the hands of readers. 

In this guide, we’ll navigate the path to self-publishing your haiku collection. 

Why self-publish your haiku collection? 

The benefits of self-publishing

Self-publishing opens the door to unlimited creative freedom. 

You have the liberty to select, arrange, and present your haikus as you envision.

 There are no gatekeepers dictating the content or structure of your collection. This level of control extends to the design of your book cover and the pricing of your collection. 

It’s all about your voice, your vision, and your volition.

Comparison with traditional publishing 

In contrast to traditional publishing, self-publishing offers a quicker path to get your haikus in front of readers. 

Traditional publishing can often be a long, uncertain process with multiple rounds of submissions and rejections. 

Additionally, your creative control can be compromised to meet the publisher’s preferences or market demands.

 With self-publishing, you avoid these hurdles, maintaining the purity of your poetic expression while speeding up the journey from manuscript to reader.

Successful Self-Published Haiku Collections

1. “A Hundred Gourds” by Myra Bach

2. “Through the Wisteria” by Adam Luis McBride

3. “The Silence Between Us” by John Williams

Crafting Your Haiku Collection

Selecting Your Best Haikus

1. Review your collection and identify haikus that resonate deeply.

2. Seek feedback from fellow poets or a trusted mentor.

3. Consider the cohesiveness of the selected haikus.

 Organizing Your Haiku Collection

Your haiku collection should flow like a well-curated playlist, each poem echoing and amplifying the others. 

Consider arranging your haikus thematically, seasonally, or chronologically, depending on the nature of your poems. 

Some poets prefer a narrative arc, where the collection tells a story or traces a journey. 

Others opt for a more organic arrangement, following the ebb and flow of thoughts and emotions. 

The key is to create an arrangement that enhances the reading experience, subtly guiding the reader through your poetry.

Importance of Editing and Refining Haiku

Once you’ve selected and arranged your haikus, the next crucial step is editing and refining.

 Even though haikus are brief, each word, each syllable counts. 

Review your haikus for clarity, conciseness, and impact. 

Are your images sharp and evocative? Do your haikus capture a moment, a feeling, an insight? 

Don’t shy away from revisions. 

They can often transform a good haiku into a great one. 

Consider seeking the help of a professional editor or a trusted mentor. 

Remember, the aim is not just to publish your haikus, but to present your best work to your readers.

 Designing Your Haiku Book

 Importance of an Attractive Book Cover and Interior Design

 An eye-catching book cover can be the difference between a potential reader picking up your collection or passing it by. 

Your cover should evoke the essence of your haiku collection, drawing readers in with its visual appeal. 

Similarly, the interior design—typography, layout, whitespace—should facilitate a pleasant reading experience. 

Consider it your reader’s first encounter with your poetry; make it inviting and engaging.

Hiring Professionals vs. DIY Design Tools

When it comes to book design, you have two options: hire a professional designer or do it yourself using online design tools. 

A professional designer brings expertise and creativity, crafting a unique design tailored to your collection.

 On the other hand, DIY design tools, such as Canva or Adobe Spark, offer user-friendly interfaces and customizable templates, empowering you to design your own book cover. 

This decision hinges on your budget, your design skills, and the time you’re willing to invest.

Balancing Aesthetics and Budget Considerations

While an attractive design is essential, it’s equally important to keep your budget in mind. 

Professional design services can be expensive, but if budget allows, it can be a worthwhile investment. 

If you’re working on a tight budget, don’t fret. Many DIY design tools offer free or low-cost options that still allow for a professional-looking design. 

It’s all about striking the right balance between aesthetics and affordability.

Choosing a Self-Publishing Platform for your Haiku

The self-publishing landscape is teeming with platforms ready to turn your manuscript into a published book. 

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) reigns supreme, offering vast distribution and a straightforward publishing process. 

Smashwords caters specifically to indie authors, distributing to major ebook retailers. 

Lulu and IngramSpark are other reputable platforms, each with its own strengths. 

Researching and understanding these platforms is your first step towards making an informed choice.

Comparison of Pricing, Distribution, and Royalties

1. Amazon KDP: Free to publish, wide distribution, up to 70% royalties.

2. Smashwords: Free to publish, extensive distribution, up to 80% royalties.

3. Lulu: Pricing varies, wide distribution, 80% royalties.

4. IngramSpark: Charges for setup, extensive distribution, up to 40% royalties.

Choosing the Right Platform for Your Needs

Selecting a self-publishing platform is not a one-size-fits-all decision. 

Your choice should align with your specific needs and goals. 

Are you seeking broad distribution or focusing on a specific market? Is a high royalty rate your priority, or do you prefer a platform with comprehensive author services?

 Make a list of your needs, compare it with what each platform offers, and select the one that ticks the most boxes.

Marketing Your Haiku Collection

A strategic marketing plan is crucial to the success of your self-published haiku collection.

 Start by identifying your target audience—who would enjoy and appreciate your haikus? 

Next, define your unique selling proposition. What sets your collection apart? What’s your haiku-writing style? 

Once you have these elements in place, outline your marketing strategies—social media promotion, email marketing, book readings, workshops, collaborations, etc.

The Power of Social Media for Haiku Promotion

Social media can be a powerful tool to promote your haiku collection.

 Create engaging content around your haikus—behind-the-scenes peeks, insights into your writing process, excerpts from your collection. 

Use relevant hashtags to extend your reach. 

Connect with other haiku poets, participate in online poetry communities, and leverage their support to amplify your message. 

Remember, authentic engagement goes a long way in building a loyal reader base.

Connecting with Readers: Readings, Haiku Workshops

Connecting with your readers on a personal level can significantly boost your book sales. 

Consider organizing haiku readings, workshops, or book signings. 

Participate in poetry events and literary festivals. 

These interactions give readers a chance to know the poet behind the haikus, deepening their connection with your work. 

It also provides an opportunity for direct feedback, invaluable for your growth as a poet.

Case Studies of Effective Marketing Strategies

1. “A Hundred Gourds” by Myra Bach: Leveraged social media and email marketing

2. “Through the Wisteria” by Adam Luis McBride: Conducted live poetry readings and workshops

3. “The Silence Between Us” by John Williams: Collaborated with book clubs and participated in poetry festivals

Taking the leap into self-publishing is a bold move, but it’s one that can be incredibly rewarding.

 It requires hard work and persistence, but the end result—a published haiku collection that bears your name and resonates with your voice—is worth every effort.

So, why wait?

 Start planning your self-published haiku collection today. 

Navigate the path to self-publishing with confidence, let your haikus find their way to readers, and take your place in the world of contemporary haiku poetry.

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Self-Publishing School may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.

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