We Are

...a small press determined to look like a big one.
  • Welcome

    We publish contemporary English-language poetry books and chapbooks. Founded in 2007 by long-time editor/publishers and partners Diane Kistner and Robert S. King, we incorporated as a nonprofit in 2012.

  • Quality

    We collaborate with our authors to make our books and chapbooks the best they can be. We take our editorial role very seriously. Our editors, most of them working poets, volunteer their time to the press.

  • Submissions

    Anyone interested in submitting work to us should refer to our Guidelines tab. The Guide for Authors, essential reading for those whose book manuscripts we accept, answers many questions about how we work.

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Announcements

Heads up. We are reeling from the announcement by Amazon that they are closing publishers' eStores. Normally, this would not be that big of a deal, but it means we have to change how we handle discounted author and contributor copies. At the end of this month, discount codes will no longer be available. This is not such a big problem for individual authors, who tend to bulk-order books directly through us, but the fulfillment of individual contributors' copies will have to be handled directly by the press. And we'll have to ferret out and rewrite all our informational materials as well. Amazon did not exactly give us a whole lot of notice and certainly didn't ask for our input! We'll figure something out, but we wanted people to know.

This fall, look for new books by Lori Lamothe, Melanie Faith, and D. A. Gray and chapbooks by Laura Bayless, Kathyryn Howd Machan, Don Thompson, and Jane Simpson. As they pop up in the Recently Published feature, below left, click on individual covers to see excerpts from these books on Goodreads. You can easily browse all of our titles here. Please note: The Paperback and Kindle links in our catalog are affiliate links to Amazon that earn us a little extra income over purchasing from Amazon directly; clicking on a catalog cover takes you to our eStore, which gives us even higher royalties on sales and helps boost the book prize honorarium. Thank you for coming to our website.

Free Stuff

At FutureCycle Press, our number-one goal is to bring well-written, well-edited poetry to the attention of as many people as possible for as long as possible. We and our authors have worked very hard on these books, and we want everyone who loves poetry to read them—even if they cannot afford to buy them. In addition to chances to win paperback copies through our Goodreads Giveaways (linked from our Events Calendar), you can build an awesome (and free) poetry library by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter for word about our Free Kindle Saturdays promotions. We ask only one thing: If you discover poets whose work you really like, please help us get the word out by sharing notices online, leaving short honest book reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, discussing the poems in your classes or work groups, or blogging about them. Attend poetry readings when you can, and give these poets some love!

Good Works

Introduced in 2013, our Good Works Projects, including the current open project Good Works Review, are anthologies of individual works. No reading fee is required to submit, PDFs are freely available, and all proceeds from sales of the paperback and Kindle editions are donated to a charitable cause. While we encourage everyone to purchase copies at full retail price to help boost the amount we can donate, contributors are given a 70%-off discount code to buy the paperback edition of the issue in which their work appears in our estore (accessed by clicking on the respective cover image in our catalog). To date, FutureCycle Press has been able to donate a total of $1,447 from sales of Malala: Poems for Malala Yousafzai, guest-edited by Joseph Hutchison and Andrea L. Watson, to the Malala Fund, $381 to Friends of the Earth for Weatherings (David Chorlton and Robert S. King, eds.), and $383 to Action Against Hunger for all Kentucky Review donations and sales. Good Works Review proceeds are slated for the ACLU.

The Archives

Full PDFs of the now-defunct FutureCycle and FutureCycle Poetry magazines are in our Archives for free download and sharing, along with book reviews written and curated by David Chorlton.

The Bottom Line

FutureCycle Press authors stand to benefit in numerous non-monetary ways, but let’s just talk here about money. We charge a $15 reading fee for book and chapbook manuscripts. Period. No extra contest fee to be considered for the FutureCycle Poetry Book Prize and honorarium. No permissions fees to reprint your work. No “collaborative” costs or requirement to buy or pre-sell X number of copies. Certainly no charges for the professional editing and design—so lacking with so many publishers these days—that we pride ourselves on. The most money you will ever have to give us is $15, which ensures your manuscript is read critically but fairly by at least two senior-level editors.

WHAT ELSE

If your poetry book or chapbook is accepted for publication, you’ll get free copies as detailed in our Guide for Authors, which we will require you to read and follow. (In fact, we strongly suggest anyone wishing to submit a manuscript to our press read the guide first, especially the section about type on the spine.) If you ask us to, we will order unlimited extra author copies for you (in multiples of 25) at our cost (what we have to pay the printer) plus 10% of the list price. (You are, of course, responsible for shipping, handling, and sales tax.) You can resell your copies at any price you wish, however you wish, with no further obligation to us. You stand to net an average of $7 per chapbook, $11 per full-length book, if sold at the list price we set. We’ll also give you a discount code so you can directly order any book or chapbook we publish, at any time, sent to any address you wish, at 30 cents on the dollar. (Because our Good Works projects and Good Works Review benefit charity, contributors are only given an author discount.) This is a considerably better deal for poets than the much-vaunted but veritably insignificant (at least for poetry) “industry standard” 10% royalties—which, you may have heard, we do not pay. (“But why not?” Because it’s a time-consuming endeavor, for us and for you, for average annual earnings of $10 or less. Even if we had a full-time secretary and bookkeeper, we don’t think it’s worth the hassle. Our time, and yours, we think, is much better spent.)

“But,” some will say, “you’re taking my money!” Well, no. No we’re not—and here’s why. First, we’re already giving you much deeper discounts on your author copies than you’ll get from that “industry standard” publishing contract, with potential for greater profits than you’re ever likely to earn on royalties. If we did nothing else, this would be quite generous, but we do more. We put that 10% of the royalties received from all online book sales into the FutureCycle Poetry Book Prize honorarium, then match it dollar-for-dollar. We’re not “taking” 10%, we’re giving 10% along with you and the rest of the poets we publish to crowd-fund the honorarium. (There are no contest fees, remember? No grants or endowments. That prize money has to come from somewhere.) If your book wins the prize, you’ll receive the entire 20%; if you don’t, one of your fellow poets will. So, no, we don’t make a dime off your royalties. Not one thin dime.

NEWS FLASH

Publishing poetry is not lucrative. (On the contrary, it’s usually subsidized.) It’s also very hard work to do it right. That’s why the big trade publishers don’t publish much, if any, poetry and the smaller poetry publishers wink in and out so quickly. About 10% of our costs are covered by reading fees, meager royalties from online sales, and the 10% markup over actual cost on author copies ordered directly through us. The other 90% comes from perspiration: the many hours of skilled professional labor we dedicate to keeping poetry alive as a precision art form. (There’s no way we could afford to pay the going rate for our time.)

We’re not playing at publishing here. Our aim is to stay viable for the long haul and keep our work—the work we do together with poets—alive. Toward that end, we want to keep your book in print as long as you want us to; our contract reflects this commitment. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that many independent and university poetry presses have died either from a thousand little funding cuts or a brutal chopping-block whack. Because we refuse to become dependent on outside funding, we aren’t going to go under and leave you with a dead book—at least not until we’re in our graves or the planet blows up. We think the books we believe in enough to publish deserve to survive even if (as is likely) very few people ever buy them or read them.

The bottom line is this. We ask very little of poets in return for our commitment to their work. Read and follow the guidelines. Work with us to make your book as good as it can be. Be flexible. Be realistic. What we offer poets is bounteous, and we put a great deal of thought and effort into the books we publish. If you don't think our publishing model is more than fair, we ask that you please not waste our time or your fifteen bucks by submitting to us.