A portion of this blog appeared previously, but given that new ‘venues’ for my work are now available, it seemed appropriate to see it here again:
There is nothing better, or WORSE, than marketing your own work. I’ve downloaded the books, spoken to both Indie and traditionally published authors, scrolled through hundreds of blogs looking for tips… and in the end, I still have no idea what I’m doing. And since I find many of the pushy salesmen types on Twitter to be insincere and annoying, I’m in a quandary.
How EXACTLY do I convince people to buy my work (at the price set by the publisher, no less!)?
I could and do mention the following:
* supporting my work benefits me directly (do you like me? are we friends? were you going to buy me a birthday present?)
* supporting my work benefits the small press that is taking the risk of publishing my chapbook (because let’s face it, no one is getting rich off of poetry and the relationship between press and poet is far more symbiotic than in mass-market publishing)
Beyond these two basic premises, I have a difficult time. I wholeheartedly believe that my work is a contribution to the permanent body of poetry, a continuance in a very long tradition. I also think there’s humor and honesty that many might enjoy, even those that wouldn’t normally ‘like’ poetry. But I just can’t bring myself to constantly bring it up to people.
I was at an open mic last night and really enjoyed the camaraderie of the poets and audience. I even read, not something I always opt to do. But when it came time (even at that moment when it might have been socially acceptable to do so) I did NOT plug Sand River and other Places I’ve Been.
WHY NOT? It’s simple, really. I didn’t want to destroy that fragile rapport by turning friendship into a commodity.
I suppose I’m going to sell far fewer books than I need to.
On that note–it’s available here.
Have an opinion on this? Run into a similar problem and have suggestions for solutions? Leave a comment below!