What Is the Best Way to Market Poetry?

The Dash by Linda EllisPoetry Marketing Question:

What is the best way to market poetry? I have two published poetry books.

John’s Poetry Marketing Answer:

The best way to market poetry is to do live readings. Absolutely the best way. Always has been. Likely always will be.

In today’s world, you could also do podcasts, videos, and Google Hangouts featuring your poetry. That is likely to work as well.

Check out the following video based on a poem (The Dash by Linda Ellis). It has been viewed more than 30 million times via various websites:

Note: A day after I embeded this video, video embedding was no longer allowed by the poster. Very sad. And stupid. Not a wise marketing decision. But you can still see the video on YouTube. Do check it out.

If you can make a video like the one on YouTube, you can sell a lot of poetry.

John Kremer


John Kremer on Google+

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10 Responses to “What Is the Best Way to Market Poetry?”

  1. John Kremer says:

    Reading by candlelight is so romantic.

  2. Dean Pusell says:

    Great idea John, I’d love to read some pages of my book “Love the Universe in You,” by candlelight cause I’m shy.

    Peace to all~ :)))

  3. The video production technique would work for fiction prose as well. Thanks for the info, John.

  4. John Kremer says:

    Ah, but the video was clearly not as well produced or edited as the original The Dash.

  5. John Kremer says:

    Don’t worry about marketing poetry. Simply share it. If it rings true with your audience, they will buy your book.

  6. Linda Ellis says:

    Hi John,

    No, my “clunky” edited video is not my version of this work, it is an entirely new and different poem and book with a different publisher. Thank you for your interest however. ;-)

  7. […] Be sure to check out my previous post on What Is the Best Way to Market Poetry. […]

  8. Miriam Sagan says:

    I agree, but there is a lot more that can be done.
    1. Publish individual poems in magazines before collected into a book. This gives you more readers, more potential readers, and more potential reviewers.
    2. Tie the book into local events, doings, and get a feature article, not just a review.
    3. Use radio to promote a live reading.
    4. Make sure books are in bookstore for radio etc.
    5. Get reviews on Amazon
    6. Work Facebook etc.
    Lets be honest–no one lives mediocre poetry. Poetry that speaks to the reader will do well within the confines of the poetry market.

  9. ed young says:

    hola john y mi fellow kremer-istas!’

    of course, john is right – good luck catching him lead 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 i think it was five who 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)

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