Below are a few of my favorite comments from my old AskJohnKremer website. I thought they were valuable enough to feature again here for all to read.
On Marketing Poetry
I agree, but there is a lot more that can be done.
1. Publish individual poems in magazines before collecting into a book. This gives you more readers, more potential readers, and more potential reviewers.
2. Tie the book into local events and doings.
3. Get a feature article, not just a review.
4. Use radio to promote a live reading.
5. Make sure books are in bookstore for radio etc.
6. Get reviews on Amazon
7. Work Facebook and other social networks.
Lets be honest, no one lives mediocre poetry. Poetry that speaks to the reader will do well within the confines of the poetry market.
— Miriam Sagan
On Marketing Poetry
Of course, John is right — good luck catching him leading too far off base on ANY book subject — but short of being Rod McKuen, the idea of marketing poetry is faintly ludicrous.
A study of the 250 greatest poets ever found that five had successful marriages and family lives, lived to a reasonably ripe old age, and were at least somewhat acclaimed in their lifetimes. All the rest divorced and drank themselves to an early graves, alienating friends, family, publishers and the general public at large.
No one but a fool would write poetry for money (except on smarmy greeting cards); poetry is an oral tradition, and the printed word is a representation of a poem. So John is correct. Read, read, read, as long as people will listen. Then read some biographies of our great poets and see how many poems they published in their lifetime.
Start with Emily Dickinson, in many ways our greatest. i used to spend hours in her bedroom trying to soak up the atmosphere; for the most part, all I got were lungfuls of dust. And if one’s poetry is as lustrous, informed, emotional and insightful as Delmore Schwartz? Then you DESERVE to be heard, maybe get a job teaching future rock stars how to water-down your art.
So, once again, no particular point to make, except do as John says, as i do not recall being mis-lead by him in the last thirty years. But, still, marketing poetry? Something inside me shudders! Best of luck to you and all of John’s faithful, and I am carrying a banner in THAT parade!
— ed young (bantam, santa monica press, now holed up in the andes – writing poetry)
Creating a product or service is easy. It’s the marketing that’s difficult, time-consuming and expensive. Put another way: It’s easy to make a football. Getting it into the end zone is tough.
— Denny Hatch, author of Career-Changing Takeaways