Creative ways to promote your poetry
Corine La Font • Contributor
If you're not a Derek Walcott or Maya Angelou, then face it, marketing poetry can be quite a challenge. Poetry is a literary device that is not easily attractive to some, so its marketing takes the simple form of being placed on the pages in a book. Today, we want to look at some creative ways to bring those words to life using visual, audio and kinesthetic techniques in order to reach a wider audience.
Ok, so we already know that, traditionally, poems usually go into a book, so let's look at another visual way but one that can breathe some life into the words.
How about a book trailer? A book trailer is similar to a movie trailer that is used to stimulate interest and build curiosity. Book trailers can be produced with or without audio. Dramatic use of visuals only can have as great an impact as one used with audio. Usually produced for a duration of 30 seconds to a minute, it takes a creative eye for detail and the ability to effectively communicate the message in the poems. Visual marketing avenues such as your website, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo or Oovoo will certainly get you noticed.
Design and develop support materials such as bookmarks, colouring books, cups and other gift items that can carry either excerpts of, or the entire poem. Use your supporting materials to complement your book as a giveaway. For example, a cup with a book (remember people normally like to drink their favourite tea or coffee while reading).
Create downloadable wallpapers from your desktop and market them on your website. You can use your poems, images, or some other visual element to promote your message. I found a cool web link that does just that. Check it out: www.wallpapersmaker.com/
How about doing an audio book? An audio book allows your book to be listened to on devices such as iPods, CDs and MP3 players and diskettes (if they are still in use). Quite a versatile and convenient medium, you can listen to your audio while jogging, driving, relaxing or even working or cleaning the house. Either voice the poems yourself or get someone to do it professionally.
Poems can also be great as lyrics for music. Never thought of that, huh? Why not check out a production company to determine the feasibility of your poems to be produced as musical lyrics? You might need to make some changes, but it's worth a try and it is said that the big bucks in the music business is made by the lyricist! Post your lyrics on iTunes or even combine the audio with some images and post to YouTube and you can have more than one type of visual medium being promoted at the same time.
Conduct webinars and teleseminars to have that personal contact with your audience. You can start with readings and discussions and then move to study groups and online workshops where you may find yourself educating others on writing and appreciating poetry
Use your poems as jingles for companies or look into this as another avenue to complement your written work. Extend yourself to organisations that need a voice. Your poetic words may be just the right words that represent the company's image as a theme song or jingle.
Do you remember those pop-up books as a child? I used to love them. You don't see many of them around anymore. Poems for children are great when combined with pop-up books, based on the paper-folding technique, Origami. It takes the words and brings them into a movable story. It adds visuals and movement that both children and adults will enjoy.
Tie your poetic works with holidays like Christmas or Mother's Day or a cause like cancer or HIV and do promotions at libraries, bookstores and organisations with a similar initiative. Plan an event and act out your poems like a play, dress up and act the parts, it will allow for drama and added interest.
Get nominated for awards and enter competitions. This will certainly build your credibility and will assist greatly in getting your name and work out there. Even better, create your own contest and invite interested participants to create compelling videos, wallpapers, stories and so on, around your poems. Submissions can be featured on your website and social-media platforms and the winner could get a cash prize or award. You could go crazy with ideas using this one. See an example here: http://knopfdoubleday.com/design-a-poetry-broadside-sweepstakes
Collaborate with companies such as Hallmark and other reputable postcard companies to sell your work, or negotiate a contract for continuous work or, better yet, make your own e-greeting cards for download or sale. This can be another avenue to sell your work and you can be as creative as you desire. If you're not into design, then collaborate with someone who can design and put in your poetic words and, voila! You have your very own e-greeting card.
A simple, yet effective strategy that can be done for free is to promote samples or excerpts of your work using your email signature line. Most persons have Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail accounts. These accounts allow you to customise your own signature line. For added customisation, check out http://bit.ly/MJsJEO.
It also goes without saying that you should attend live events and sell at locations such as gift shops especially at airports, hotels, salons and boutiques which are high-traffic areas.
I am sure I have tickled your mind to think of more creative ways to market your poetry that you never thought possible before. Now all you Derek Walcott's and Maya Angelou's in the making, go and have some fun doing what you do best!
P.S. Check out this book I found which might be useful to you http://bit.ly/OtTwmS.
In the next instalment, two weeks from today, I will feature 'Do you really know your target audience?'
Corine La Font is a certified author assistant and online book marketing specialist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or visit her website at www.helpdeskja.com.