It's tough for authors out there. We have to do more promoting (and other activities) with a lesser advance. We must find where our book belongs on the shelves before an editor will even look into if it's worthy to GET to the shelves.
But, for everything fiction and nonfiction novelists go through, it isn't as bad as what poets must.
If you are not vying for a position as a professor, entering a prestigious contest, or self-publishing, it is very difficult to get noticed as a poet. Yes, there are ways around it but still.
There are many agents who won't even touch poetry to represent it. It doesn't sell well, editors are really picky about publishing it (if they do at all), university presses pick up small runs of poetry so it's covered, etc. If you are a poet and want to publish in magazines there are hundreds but, if you want to publish a collection without the backing of a contest or your own money... yeah.
I know most people think poetry is not mainstream but the industry does absolutely nothing to change it. With the magazines available to publish poetry in, it is not just some dead thing. Yet, there is no real representation.
I don't mean to sound bitter about it, just stating a fact. Are editors and agents too afraid to touch poetry because it doesn't make very much money or is it because other projects are more exciting? I understand publishing is a business but it somehow feels hollow to receive that as an answer...