I'm currently working on a poetry book which is meant to be short in length.
However, taking into account that each poem occupies approximately two pages in a common format for a medium-size book (A5).
Still not completely sure how many poems in total would be considered necessary to get a suitable enough book.
Publishers may have a preset average page range or this may vary?

  • I would prefer to buy a thin poetry book but at how much would you price it?
    – Infinity
    Jul 7 at 15:20

It varies by publisher. Poetry books tend to be either chapbooks (which can be anywhere from 10–40 pages with variations possible at both ends of the range) or full-length collections which are often specified as 60 pages or more. Yes, there is a hole in the middle. If your collection is meant to be short in length, what you're looking for in publication is to publish a chapbook.

Assuming you're looking for a publisher, be aware that nearly all¹ poetry book opportunities are through contests which have entry fees. This is recognized as a problem in the poetry publishing world, but in the seven years since I've gotten my MFA, I've seen nothing actually change.

The friends I know who've published poetry books have all spent years getting individual poems published in assorted journals, a process which takes time, patience and diligence. I would not expect to be able to publish a poetry book in which most, if not all, of the poems had been previously published.²

  1. A smaller number of books are solicited directly from publishers and an even smaller number are through open submissions, the vast majority of which charge fees.

  2. Even something like Erika Dawson’s (awesome) When Rap Spoke Directly to God which is a single book-length poem, had excerpts published before the book came out. This was also, I believe, one of those books that came out of a pre-existing relationship between poet and publisher. I doubt that even a book as awesome as this one could have been published as a first book, or for that matter, by someone who didn't already have the reputation that Erika has.

  • Thank you very much for your answer. It gave me a better perspective of the industry. However, I think I have to look for more information related to poetry and the industry in Latin America, maybe this is different from where I am from. I appreciate your comment. I am sorry I did not specify the geographical area to which I was referring.
    – Ale
    Jul 14 at 17:41

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