April is National Poetry Month… Are You Ready?

National Poetry Month doesn’t have to be a time just to celebrate other authors’ successes–you can celebrate yours, too! And once you’ve published your volume of poetry, you’ll necessarily need to market it, and effectively.

So, how does one make that happen? Here are eight simple tips to get you started:

  1. Know your audience. Understand who your readers are and where they are. Find ways to connect with your target readers.
  2. Read it. As in, at a poetry reading. It’s likely there’s already an active poetry group running open mics near you, even if you live outside of a big city. Run a quick search for local hot spots for culture and the spoken word, and then … show up! It can be tough to find other local poets, but stepping out of your comfort zone can be oh-so-worth-it, even if the first couple of times you go, you simply listen. But remember: the goal is to get your words out there, too!
  3. Create a website. Create your own professional website for your work. Include samples of your poetry and your biography. Creating a blog helps to move you up in the search engine rankings.
  4. Enter poetry contests. Submit your work to various contests locally, regionally and even nationally. Winning, or even simply entering, contests draws attention to you and to your work. If possible, include your biography and your website.
  5. Promote on social media outlets. The best way to spread the news about your poetry and you as a writer is through social media. Join poetry and writing groups through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  6. Mix your media. Some of the most liked and re-shared images on Instagram and Pinterest, two very visual social media platforms mostly known for their artsy users, are graphical depictions of poems, quotes, and pithy sayings. There’s no better way to break into a new market than to take the time to learn how to make these graphics (hint: there’s an app or twenty for that) and sharing them with people who love bite-sized pieces of beauty!
  7. Engage in poetry forums. Join a poetry forum or poetry related website to share your work with other poets and writers. Be sure to engage others and invite them to participate in your poetry. Any time you post, be sure to include your website address.
  8. And last but not least, consider podcasting it! This one might seem a bit of a stretch, but really, the audio format of podcasts makes them the absolute perfect forum for sharing your poetry in a new context. Consider reading one poem per podcast, or inviting your fellow poets to collaborate in sharing and discussing your work. Podcasts are performance without the pressure of a live audience!

    There are dozens of ways to promote and market your book, and these are only a few of the effective ones you might choose. We hope you’ll dig into the opportunities provided during National Poetry Month in April to start marketing your poetry book. For more information on the book marketing services available through Outskirts Press, log into your Publishing Center on the Outskirts Press website (www.outskirtspress.com) and click on the Marketing Solutions menu.

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