National Poetry Month doesn’t have to be a time to celebrate other authors’ successes—you can celebrate yours too! And once you’ve published your volume of poetry, you’ll need to market it effectively.
So, how does one make that happen? Here are eight simple tips to get you started:
- Know your audience. Understand who your readers are and where they are. Then find ways to connect with your target readers.
- Read it. As in . . . at a poetry reading. There’s likely 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 you simply listen the first couple of times you go. But remember: the goal is to get YOUR words out there too!
- 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.
- Enter poetry contests. Submit your work to various competitions locally, regionally, and even nationally. Winning or even simply entering contests draws attention to you and your work. If possible, include your biography and your website.
- Promote on social media outlets. Social media is the best way to spread the news about your poetry and you as a writer. Join poetry and writing groups through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- Mix your media. Some of the most liked and reshared 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 share them with people who love bite-sized pieces of beauty!
- 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.
- Podcast it! This one might seem a bit of a stretch, but really, the audio format of podcasts makes them the 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 performances without the pressure of a live audience!
There are dozens of ways to promote and market your book, and these are only a few 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.