Except for Exceptions
One poet sent me a wretched mimeographed booklet of wretched rhymes which he claimed to have sold 10,000 copies of. he ran a gas station, and apparently had a gift of blarney and was able to palm them off on customers. I once reviewed some poetry by a young woman which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, saying I found her work tedious, illiterate, simple-minded and dull. The last I heard she and her husband had a business grossing five million dollars annually, publishing her poetry on posters and greeting cards. Myrtle Whimple has been on all the talk shows. Rod McKuen's poetry in boxed editions can be found right up front in the bookstores alongside the Bibles and Kalhil Gibran. You may well discover some way to market your wares I haven't thought of (prizes in boxes of soap powder?). Or you may be situated, like the man in the gas station, in some way that gives you better than average access to a paying market. Or you may write a variety of poetry which has a peculiar appeal to a special audience (e.g., some kinds of religious verse, verse for tourists in your area, gardenia verse for gardenia fanciers). I have never heard of an instance in which a relatively unknown poet submitted a manuscript, unsolicited, to a large trade publisher, had it accepted, promoted, reviewed and sold to a relatively large audience (i.e., more than a thousand or so), and thereby became recognized as a poet. Who knows, though? It may have happened. Or you may be the first!