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Poetry and marketing. Not words that usually go together. There’s a stereotype in the writing community that a “real” poet isn’t concerned with making a name for him or herself, developing a strong reputation as a writer, gaining an audience, and being recognized for his/her poems. However, many writers have found success and gained notoriety with their poetry. Here are a few steps to help you market your poems without losing sight of the important creative work involved with being a poet.
1. Be a regular in the literary journal circuit. It’s important to submit your poems to literary magazines—regularly. By publishing your poems in both print and online literary magazines, you will establish yourself as a poet whose work is worthy of being read.
If you’re not getting results by submitting your poems, you might need to join a writers group or take classes to improve your craft. Or you might submitting to the wrong places. If you believe your writing is strong, but just can’t seem to make a connection to get published, Writer’s Relief may be able to help.
2. Create a website. Consider having an author website built or create your own to showcase your poems and to offer your thoughts on how to write poetry. A website makes your expertise public. Just be sure that you know what is considered previously published writing before you begin posting your poems online and then submitting them.
3. Network with other poets online. Join Facebook and Twitter to meet other poets, editors of literary journals and independent presses, and even literary agents. Online networking is a great, easy way to meet new people who share your interests. You can start by connecting with the community on the Writer’s Relief Facebook and Twitter pages!
4. Appear at local poetry readings. Because poetry isn’t exactly a mainstream pursuit, many poets form active local groups to support each other. You’ve probably got a poetry group that meets for open mike nights near you. Scope out bulletins at your local café or grocery store, read the newspaper, or search online. And if there aren’t any open poetry readings happening near you, why not start one?
5. Create a “poetry show.” If your poetry is good—and you’ve had some significant publications that support your writing—you may want to consider developing some kind of theatrical staging of your poems. You can offer to present your staging at schools or local libraries; there’s real satisfaction to be found in passing along the love of poetry. Or you might work with a musician to set your poems to music. If you’re creative enough to write good poetry, you’re creative enough to find an innovative way to bring your poems to audiences in real-time. Read more: Poet Susanna Rich’s Advice For Writers: Taking The Show On The Road.
Remember: The first and fundamental key to establishing your reputation as a poet is to WRITE FANTASTIC POETRY. Until your writing is the best it can be, your marketing efforts won’t maximize your reach within the community.
Be proud of your writing and the years you’ve spent learning how to do it. Then, seek to have your work published and start thinking about how you can connect with the poets of the world.
All poets are beginning, unpublished poets at some point. And if you don’t have any publication credits, you should not feel bad about that. The key is gaining skill and deepening your insights in order to truly develop a reputation for your poetry. If your writing is solid, but you’re not getting acceptances, it may be time to call Writer’s Relief.