While I’m taking ages to write/work on novels, I’m thinking for a short term goal, I’d like to self publish my poetry. I read that it’s difficult to publish poetry traditionally unless you’re really renowned, so I’ve kind of already accepted that the self publish route makes sense in this case. My question is, I currently have poetry on WattPad and even my personal blog. I’m wondering if I self publish, should I remove these works from there? I mean, why pay for a book when you can scour the net and find stuff for free, right? At the same time, the internet has helped me find some followers for my work, so it feels like I cut off a potential avenue for buyers if I just remove all my stuff? Thoughts?
A lot of people leave up samplers. So, usually with books that aren’t poetry somewhere between 3-7 chapters stay up to still potentially bring in new buyers.
If it’s a really early draft, you can leave it up if you want but clarify it’s a draft. If it’s the same thing. just leave up a sample chapter then put something in to direct people where to go if they want to keep reading
There’s three options most can take, with many using one of the three or a combination.
Option one: remove anything you want to publish for profit.
This usually happens when the writer doesn’t want anyone finding their stuff for free so they can buy it instead. I’ve seen quite a few people use this option and will have a notification on their work along with their bio or message board, saying their project will be removed in X amount of time. So, for example, when you’re nearing the publication stage (it’s been revised, formatted, a cover’s been designed, etc.), you can give your readers on Wattpad that they have a deadline, like say a month, to finish reading the story because otherwise, it’ll be published on other platforms with a price. This way, it gives your readers time to finish it up or if they like it enough, they can wait until you publish it so they can buy it and read the rest of it.
Option two: keep up a sample.
This can mean one of two things—either the sample is your published edition or the first draft edition. This is something that many publishers may allow if it’s on a writing website like Wattpad. A reader may be able to find the story for free, but it only gives them enough content to decide if they want to purchase it, which is exactly what the Paid Program on Wattpad does (as it allows readers to read up to a certain chapter—between five and ten, usually—before they have to pay for the rest of the story). But the type of sample depends on you. Keeping up a published edition may help encourage readers to purchase it as a first draft edition may not always encourage them, unless you specify that it is a first draft.
Option three: keep up the entire story, but as a first draft.
This is similar to the second option, but instead of a sample, it’s the entire story as a first draft. Some publishers may allow this as well because they intend to revise it professionally and make it look all nice. A reader may choose to read the free story, but it’s bad quality, or they may choose to purchase it for better quality.
Either of these three options are what many choose, but it’s up to them to decide what they should or shouldn’t do.
You can still post on Wattpad with poetry you don’t want to professionally publish, this way you can gain readership through some of your free stories. But you can also have a few others that have a set price so you can still make some profit, though if these are on Wattpad, it may be best to remove them completely or just leave up a small sample so readers can decide if they wish to buy it.
Ooh, a sampler might be a good idea.
I like the idea of a sample, but it’s definitely trickier with poetry than a novel. Like if I have 30 short poems, leaving up even 5 feels like a huge chunk for free? At the same time, it’s a good marketing strategy. I was thinking that I need to write some new poems that I won’t publish anywhere so when I do create the book, even if people have read some of my other stuff, if they like it, they might be enticed at the idea of there being new stuff if they purchase the book.