Are you celebrating National Poetry Month? Each April, the Academy of American Poets sponsors this event, wherein authors and readers of poetry alike are encouraged to raise awareness about poetry and leverage its inspirational potential to spark new and beautiful works of artistry in the world.
This year, National Poetry Month includes Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 26th. On this day, the Academy encourages those of you who love poetry “to select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, and workplaces. Then, please join the conversation on social media by posting a link or screenshot and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem.” So not only is there an entire month dedicated to promoting poetry in general, there’s also a day set aside specifically for the sharing of poetry in tangible physical form through in-person contact? This is one month you do not want to slip by unnoticed!
The Academy of American Poets provides a number of resources on their website to make participation easy for readers of poetry, but what about authors? And what about, specifically, self-publishing authors? Inspired by the “Other Ways to Participate” of their website, we’ve adapted their list to be more inclusive of those of you who have already published a work of poetry and are looking for ways to tap into the energy and theme of National Poetry Month to better market your own books.
10 Ways to own National Poetry Month as a self-published poet:
- Put together a printable file of a few of your best short poems and email it out to your friends, family, and fans in the same spirit as the downloadable resources provided by the Academy on their website.
- Recruit a team from among those friends, family, and fans who reply to hand out your pocket-sized poems in their local communities, and watch as your geographical reach multiplies exponentially!
- Host a “poem in your pocket” giveaway at your workplace or your local public library.
- Print off letter-sized posters of a few of your best short poems and ask local businesses to put up them up in their front windows or on their bulletin boards.
- Make it a treasure hunt by numbering each different poem. Encourage those residents of your town who manage to spot three or six or ten of these poems to take pictures and post them to social media and to tag you. Provide some special incentive or reward for those who collect the most, like a special limited-edition bookmark featuring your book.
- Be a ninja! Leave small, pocket-sized verses in public places, like libraries and bookstores and restaurants and businesses. Unlike the posters, these are easy to slip in a pocket and carry away.
- Design or order and distribute bookmarks with your favorite lines of your own poetry, as well as an image of your book’s cover.
- Add one of your own poems to your email footer … as well as a link to your book’s sales page! It may seem subtle, but it’s the kind of subtle which might just catch somebody’s eye.
- Every day, or even several times every day, make sure to post lines from your favorite poems on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr. There are dozens of apps which you can download for free or a small fee which will convert text into beautiful images which you can then post to your favorite social media platform.
- And yes, you really ought to send a poem to a friend. A poem you’ve written. Unlike these other suggestions, this one is intimate. It’s personal. It’s not about selling books or building your brand. It’s just about … you. You and your friend, who means so much to you. After all, poetry is the form language takes when simple words are not enough.
Still not sure where to start in marketing your book this April or at any time of year? It may be time to lean on an expert! Log into your Publishing Center to view all of the marketing services that Outskirts Press offers.
To see our staff picks of amazing poetry books from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here.