In honor of national poetry month, I’m going to talk about how to get your poetry noticed. I love poetry and have published three books of it. Some of my favorite poets include Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Frost, William Butler Yeats, and David Jones. However, it seems as if poetry is kind of a lost art. It’s not as popular as it used to be in the late ’90s. Therefore, being a poet can be hard. How do you get your poetry noticed? How do you promote it? There are actually several ways to do this. You probably won’t make tons of money but at least you can get your poetry out there.
Ways To Get Your Poetry Noticed
1. Book some readings-Call your local coffee shops and bars and see if they do any open mic nights.
2. Look for a poetry group-Some cities have groups of poets that meet once a month to share their work. If you find a group, see if you can do a reading and a book signing.
3. Instagram-Well known poet Rupi Kaur started posting her poetry to Instagram several years back. Hire someone to create professional graphics with your poetry on them.
4. Post on your website-Set up a poetry page for your website and publish your work. Don’t forget to add a books page if you have published a few collections.
5. Make sure you have the right cover-Your cover is important and it’s a mistake I made on all three of my books. My covers don’t match the genre. Go to Amazon and look up bestselling books of poetry and choose two or three that you want your cover designer to “model”. This way, you will be sure to have a cover that matches the genre. I will be fixing my covers soon.
6. Donate your poetry books-Donate your published books to the library or other places that may be interested. Leave a copy at a coffee shop or in a doctor’s office.
7. Join groups online-Find like minded people online and share your work.
8. Hold a book signing-Getting your books into the big stores can be difficult, why not approach your local indie store and see if they would like to have you for a book signing.
9. Approach Podcasts-Seek out different poetry podcasts and see where your work would be a good fit, then write to them to see if they would like to have you as a guest. Make sure you have something to offer their listeners via a link.
10. Submit your work for publication and attend poetry events-Enter contests or submit your work to different literary magazines/web sites and attend poetry events near you. You can find poems, events near you, and contests on www.poets.org.
11. Visit a college level class-If your local community college has classes for poets, see if you can do a reading and talk about the publishing process.
12. Local Indie bookstores-Offer your books on consignment and see if they will carry them.
13. Promote, promote, promote-Enroll your books in KDP Select then run “Free” and “Kindle Countdown Days” for your books. In addition, book promotions on different sites to drive downloads. I use BookDoggy for my poetry promotions.
14. Contact Book Bloggers-Search for “poetry book bloggers” or “book bloggers” and see what comes up. Some good sites to start looking on are BookSirens, Reedsy, and BookBloggerList. However, don’t just follow them for two minutes and then pitch your book. Comment on their content, like their content, build a relationship first.
15. Run ads to your books-I recently started running Amazon Ads for my books and I have seen results. Check out Bryan Cohen’s FREE Amazon Ad Challenge twice a year.
Want more tips? Check out Indie Poet Rockstar by Michael La Ronn.
As a poet myself, I have done some readings, put my work on my web site and Instagram, have donated copies of my books, and have had agreements with local stores to sell my books on consignment. I am also a member of one or two poetry groups on Facebook. What have you done to promote your poetry? Is there something you have tried that I didn’t think of? I would love to know in the comments.