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5 Ways to Market and Sell Your Poetry Book

You’ll find selling poetry much easier if you know how to spread the word! These five tips for marketing your book of poems are from published poet and freelance writer Cherie Burbach.

“Happiness is sharing a bowl of cherries and a book of poetry with a shade tree.  He doesn’t eat much and doesn’t read much, but listens well and is a most gracious host.” ~ Astrid Alauda.

Isn’t that lovely? Go find some red cherries and a shady tree — and get a copy of Cherie’s latest book, New and Selected Poems.

If you’re more interested in selling your own poems than drifting into Cherie’s, then you’ll find her tips helpful…

5 Ways to Market and Sell Your Poetry Book

This is a guest post from author Cherie Burbach.

You’ve written a poetry book – congratulations! Now comes the hard part: getting people to buy it. While it’s true that poetry books don’t sell as much as other works overall, there is a market for them. You just need to reach the right audience.

1. Get Reviews on Your Poetry Book

Without reviews, people will be very leery to buy your book. While it’s nice to get a glowing review from a pal, it’s even better to get a professionally written (honest) assessment. This is true even if the reviewer didn’t care for your book of poems. Professional reviewers can highlight your book’s strengths and give a realistic assessment of where it fell short. Ironically, this kind of honesty will actually motivate people to buy a book more than an artificial (it was awesome!!) review will.

Getting book reviews today is no easy task, but there are still plenty of places that provide them, some of which were just listed by Reader Views. Please note: If a reviewer asks for money, it’s doesn’t mean you are paying for a good review! It means that they are covering their time and cost. Don’t listen to the folks that say a non-paid review is the only one you should seek out. Quite frankly, with major media outlets pulling their book review sections, more and more entrepreneurs are offering reviews, and yes, some of them do charge. Check them out.

2. Go on a Virtual Book Tour

There are a couple ways to do a virtual blog or book tour: set it up yourself or hire someone. Virtual tours aren’t difficult to set up, but they do take a tremendous amount of time. I wrote an ebook called Virtual Book Tours that offers a full description, or you could do an Internet search for “virtual book tours” or some variation (virtual book tours, blog tours). Prices usually range from $300-1,000 for a 15-20 stop tour. To sell your poetry, you may have to invest a few dollars.

3. Write Guest Posts That Relate to Your Poetry

To attract new readers, figure out how your book of poems is different, and write guest posts related to it. Some possibilities include:

  • how you sold and published your poetry
  • any artwork involved (especially if you designed the cover yourself)
  • benefits of writing poetry (did it help heal you from pain? help you deal with a specific issue?)
  • who the poetry honors (did you write it with someone – famous or not – in mind?)
  • is the poetry related to a specific part of the globe (did you write about your hometown?)

Places like HARO, Twitter, Yahoo Shine, Divine Caroline, and American Chronicle are all good places to experiment with when you’re selling poetry.

4. Advertise Your Book of Poems

Every business needs advertising, including your published poetry book. Luckily, Adsense and Facebook are cost-effective and can reach a variety of readers. One thing to consider before you placing an ad to market your book of poems is keywords. This is the number one most important thing when marketing your book online! Don’t use “poetry” or “poems” as your top keywords. Instead, focus on the specifics of your poetry book.

For example, for New and Selected Poems I would use: empowerment, faith, overcoming abuse, self-esteem, Christian poetry, inspirational poems, and poems with female perspective. Be specific, as it will help you reach more readers who are most likely to be interested in buying your poetry.

5. Set Up an Amazon Author Page

If your book isn’t on Amazon yet, get it on there! It’s easy to do and nearly every publisher and writer, large and small, can do it. Since I go through Lightning Source, they do it for me. (Isn’t that nice of them?)

Don’t forget to set up your author page on Amazon. Include an RSS feed for your blog, start discussion topics, post videos, and a bio. It’s a nice homepage that includes a listing of your books along with other info so readers can find out more about you.

For more marketing tips, read 6 Ways to Promote Your Book for Free.

How are your poems selling? If you have any writing, publishing, or marketing questions or tips for this poet, please comment below…

selling and marketing poetry

Freelance Writer, Cherie Burbach

Cherie Burbach is an author, blogger, poet, crocheter, and geek. She has penned ten books and ebooks, including Internet Dating Is Not Like Ordering a Pizza and 21 Simple Things You Can Do To Help Someone With Diabetes.

She has published over 500 articles on the subjects of health, sports, and lifestyle. She is the About.com Guide to Friendship, a sports blogger at Intentional Foul, and a Feature Writer with Suite101. For more info, visit her website.

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4 thoughts on “5 Ways to Market and Sell Your Poetry Book”

  1. Ok so i made this poem and i don’t know what to do with it and i don’t want to throw it away. if i could get paid for it that would be great but just getting it noticed would be pretty cool.
    *You Need Sleep…*
    A Poem By: Trevor Dean Vaughn:
    *Consumed by a sense of moral involvement with yourself*
    Personal interest dissolves into a formal calmness.
    A subtle blanket of positive thoughts,
    *Your Getting Tired…*
    *Personal Insight*
    A silver tongued metaphor leaves me hopeful, while drenched in saliva.
    Like how the wise man bribed the rich man with his 2cents. Buying the business with an idea. (Well, now I’m inspired)
    Common sense consents the contents of imagination *(Comma)* the con to this would be now you’re tired…
    *You Fall Asleep…*
    *A state of indifference* provokes an emotional tension
    Promotes Distance from social conditions.
    the existence you knew the moment you drifted into sleep is now void.
    (wait, that means your life is givin’ or taking at almost any minute)
    It’s suicide, pray for forgiveness and give thanks for your rebirth.
    *The Dream State…*
    *Subconscious layovers’
    Picture perfect, worth a 1000 words and a hangover.
    Your environment is made up of your personal insight.
    The people you see around you is a Self portrait
    Congratulations your an artist, and that’s coming from a man you know yourself because I love you.
    Vividly abstract I know, which is the reason why you become consumed
    *You wake up…*

  2. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for linking to this article, Jess. Your marketing strategies are good, and apply to both poetry and nonfiction books!

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