Poetry Marketing 101

Please share your thoughts and ideas. I hope to expand and revise this list often.

Special thanks to Erin Dionne for her input.

  1. Develop a Web site or start a blog to communicate with your audience directly.
  2. Create a list of contacts with e-mail addresses. This list may include friends, family, former classmates, and booksellers.
  3. Get involved in social networking: Facebook, Twitter, My Space, Red Room, Good Reads, and RWP, to name a few.
  4. Create a Facebook "Fan Page" for your book or event. Speak directly to your audience, and let the word spread virally.
  5. Join a listserv or two.
  6. Create a video or audio post for your poem for your blog or Web site.
  7. Organize a Skype poetry reading. *I'm trying this next week. *
  8. Organize a small group of fellow poets or writers to market work collectively.
  9. Organize a blog tour.
  10. Run contests though your blog or Facebook page, and participate in contests that others host. Offer books as prizes.
  11. Give away signed copies of your title via Goodreads.
  12. Hang flyers or posters to promote your reading. Make sure the date, time, and location is prominent.
  13. Contact schools, libraries, and community centers to give talks or lectures.
  14. Check into besides bookstores, such as bars, restaurants, retirement homes, and hospitals. Underserved groups truly appreciate the outreach.
  15. If you have friends in other cities, see if you can arrange joint readings, allowing the local poet to draw in the crowd for you.
  16. Teach a free poetry class at your local library.
  17. Get involved with your local arts community.
  18. Post events in the calendar section of local newspaper and on community Web sites.
  19. Build a list of possible reviewers with local, regional, and national newspapers, radio and TV stations, alumni magazines, and public radio outlets.
  20. Have postcards made and send them out to your mailing list.
  21. Build a media kit featuring cover art, a photo, and reviews of the book/project.
  22. Create bookmarks or a nicely printed poem as a takeaway for your readings.
  23. Create business cards with your contact info and Web site. Always carry them with you.

Bottom line: It's OK to market yourself. Don't be shy about asking. You are your best advocate. If enough people hear your work, they will be ones championing you!


Collin Kelley said…
I think you got it covered right here. Brava!
January said…
You should try a virtual reading through Skype.
that's a good list, think you've covered most things there!
jeannine said…
This is a great post - have you read Diane Lockward's article in the new Poet's Market 2010 on the same subject? You covered many of the same opportunities...
Anonymous said…
This is useful information. Thank you so much for sharing. Looking forward to your book.

Tanya Shirley
author of She Who Sleeps With Bones
January said…
Glad you've found the information helpful. I may update this list regularly with new ideas and comments.
January said…
Jeannine, I have not but will check it out soon.

Anonymous said…
I'm so glad I found this post! It's great so thanks for putting it up. I will definitely use some of te ideas.
January said…
Thanks! Sorry it's taken me so long to respond but I'm glad the post was helpful.
January said…
Thanks! Sorry it's taken me so long to respond but I'm glad the post was helpful.

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