If you have a different kind of book or poem, think outside the box and consider a different kind of publishing, for example chapbooks, pamphlet or postcards. If you number and sign your work, you add value to it (like art).
Don't tell people you are self publishing - make up a name for a press for yourself and use that.
When your character describes anyone or anything else, you characterize the person doing the telling. You can let the objects show the emotions by having your characters describe them.
Writing first thing in the morning, just a few pages of anything, can get you into a "writer's state of mind" for the day.
Rejection can be good. Not all of your work should be published, but all of it is valuable because you learn from it. On the other hand, being persistent can pay off.
Always assume your reader is at least as smart as you are (ie, you don't have to describe every little detail).
If you are uncomfortable writing something (ie love scenes), it will show.
Your hero needs to be able to do something at the end of the book that they could not do at the beginning of the book. The challenge is how you get there.
You want your readers to experience your story, not just read it. Tension is great for this as it creates conflict and suspense. To increase the tension, add a time pressure (ticking clock). You can also create tension by letting the reader in on things that the characters do not know.
The most successful authors are the ones who do the lion's share of the work themselves.
All photographs (c) Coreena McBurnie, 2011.