There are a plethora of ways to publish your own work some of which are more expensive than others. I opted for CompletelyNovel.com because it was recommended in the magazine Publisher's Weekly. They have been very supportive and one of the huge benefits is that they circulate your book to all the major book sellers including Amazon. I have some experience in publishing with Amazon's associate publisher CreateSpace with whom I published my first poetry collection, but I must say that their uploading tool is considerably less user friendly than CompletelyNovel. However, publishing poetry has its own difficulties anyway mainly because of page formatting. Having said that Amazon offer things like the KDP promotions one of which begins with my poetry book tomorrow. See the below info I've received in the last couple of days.
Your Kindle Countdown Deals promotion for "The Musings of a Confused Mind" is set to begin on December 2, 2013 at 8:00:00 AM PST.
So you produce 50k plus words and have polished it up, found a suitable cover, had someone proofread and feel ready to publish. What next? Well find an agent and then a publisher. Now I bought a copy of Writer's Handbook and selected a number of agents and duly sent off the first 3 chapters, a synopsis and an 'All About Me' piece. They are about standard requirements but there are variations so read their instructions carefully. Then wait for the rejection slips!!!!!
A few months ago I read a piece by one of my very supportive writing buddies from the other side of the pond who described agents as 'gatekeepers'! Fundamentally they are trained to say 'No'! When you consider that such writers as J K Rowling, Ray Bradbury and Beatrix Potter had their difficulties breaking down the barriers to being published, don't be disheartened.
However, I am not the most patient of beings and so when I came across CompletelyNovel decided to have a go. The result is that I now have 6 self-published books adorning my book case and have sold a few hundred copies worldwide. It's true that I will probably never be rich but the experience is satisfying. I use CN because I like to see my work in print!
From then on the amount of work you put in marketing is entirely up to you and will be successful or not! As I mentioned earlier there are a variety of offers and strategies that can be used and the KDP offer above is one of them.
My aim in producing the poetry book was two-fold. Poetry being a source of emotional release gave me the opportunity to express my feelings while going through a particularly difficult time in my life; and, educational in that I spent sometime outlining the different facets of styles of poetry including Haiku and Sonnets.
Please go on to Amazon and dip into the book you may find it useful.
But you know I don't like marketing and sales, in fact I have often said of myself that I couldn't sell fridges in the desert! Each to their own and it is my belief that selling/marketing is a profession in its own right. If you are determined to be a high earning writer then that area is the one you need to conquer. For myself, I am too old to take on a fourth career, so I will concentrate on the writing.