I Published a Poetry Book – Here’s What I’ve Learned

I miss this blog. God, I do. But I thank it for being a starting point and helping me with writing a book.

My book West 24th Street was recently published. It’s a collection of intimate poems that speak of my pain and joy. And the sweet, sweet stuff in the middle. Poems range from your standard “I miss him/her/them” to “Autistic Black women are routinely targeted by capitalism”.

Book is here for whoever is interested. International folk – here is the Amazon link. Cheers!

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. The hardest part may be formatting. Find an editor or pay a friend who can help you with this. It is not worth the stress.
  2. If your goal is constant sales and people raving over your book: it won’t happen.
  3. Pay attention to how your poems read overall. Order of content matters more than you think. This was my biggest regret.
  4. That quirky, cryptic title that means something to you and someone else probably isn’t the best title choice. When published, books are the readers’. It is not just your story anymore.
  5. It’s always going to need “improvement”. Even years later. Just freakin’ publish it.
  6. You may find yourself reconsidering your close circle based off they act when it’s said and done.
  7. Do not share your book with current work colleagues – especially if it’s intimate. They may love it, yes. Is it a professional relationship still, though?
  8. If self-publishing, do your research on your distributor. You deserve higher royalties.
  9. Not everyone will be excited for you. That is ok. It hurts, but it is ok.
  10. As a Black woman, it’s easy to feel your story isn’t worthy. The gag? Your story is the worthiest of all to be heard.