Monday, June 25, 2018

PR for Poets

As a book blogger, I've participated in many online tours with Poetic Book Tours.  It's been a joy for me to read, think about, and write about poetry.  In the past, I've shied away from reading poetry, as I thought it would be too difficult to decipher.  Fortunately, modern poetry is a lot more accessible! Additionally, I've relished two collections of poetry by Jeannine Hall Gailey, The Robot Scientist's Daughter (2015) and Field Guide to the End of the World (2016), so I jumped at the chance to read this new guidebook, even though I'm not a poet who hopes to publish a book of poems, and then take on the daunting task of marketing it.

Published in 2018, PR for Poets: A Guidebook to Publicity and Marketing by poet Jeannine Hall Gailey is packed with information and tips that will help poets market their work.  Gone are the days of reclusive poets clad in somber clothing, who never socialize and wait passively for their work to be discovered.  In this new age there are numerous ways that poets can reach and connect with readers, and successfully promote their own work.  Although Gailey says that "poetry book promotion is a marathon, not a sprint", there's a wealth of valuable information in this book that will facilitate the process.

This guidebook is well-organized, and the chapter titles in the Table of Contents will help poets find and employ the information they seek quickly.  Discussion about using social media occurs throughout this book, and it even has its own chapter, Chapter 12: Social Media and Blogs.  I enjoyed reading Gailey "take" on social media platforms, and how to use them effectively.

"Participating in some variety of social media will allow you to connect with readers you might not reach in other ways.  It also allows you to connect with readers in other parts of the country and around the world, something that was previously impossible without travel."
~ Jeannine Hall Gailey, PR for Poets

Gailey herself has a charming blog, comprised of personal posts and photos.  Over the past several years, I've definitely noticed more authors on social media sites such as blogs and Facebook (I've become online friends with many), as well as on other platforms.  It almost seems like a necessity or requirement for authors today.  The world of books, including poetry books, has become more social, due to social media. (It feels kind of strange to call authors and others in the book world by their last names in my blog posts, as things are so much less formal now.)  Of course, you don't want to spend too much time online, but Gailey recommends using more than one social media platform to reach potential readers and generate interest in your book(s).  She provides useful information about the various social media outlets available, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads and LibraryThing, Instagram, Tumblr, and websites and blogs.

PR for Poets includes advice from poetry publishers, and from those who work in poetry marketing.  It features a couple of interviews with publishers, as well as a terrific, informative interview with poet and blogger Serena M. Agusto-Cox, the owner of Poetic Book Tours, an online virtual book tour marketing firm for authors of poetry, as well as some fiction and non-fiction.  Agusto-Cox says that "online book tours are less costly and time consuming for the authors--definite benefits for authors who also have full time work--online tours allow them to reach a wider audience, and through tailored packages, they can reach target groups".  She also says that  "poets can reach poetry readers--those who already read poetry--while at the same time, expose new readers to poetry".

One of the main points of the book is that poets should not be too shy about promoting their books, on social media and in other ways.  Gailey tells poets to celebrate the release of their books, in a lighthearted fashion, with readings and parties and swag.  After all the hard work, it's time to play, and share your work with others.  Work hard, play hard!  In other words, after all of the long, difficult, solitary hours of writing and editing, freely enjoy the social aspects of book marketing.  Gailey says to call your book launch a party, because it should be a festive and fun event for all.  The poet offers many other excellent suggestions as well, based on her own experiences, including giving away swag to readers, such as postcards and bookmarks.  It's a pleasure to get nice swag, and I received the postcards pictured below from her, along with her books; they are "keepers".

Chapters in PR for Poets are aptly titled, short and pithy, and full of helpful ideas, insights, and tips garnered over the years by Gailey.  Chapter 32: PR Calendar will help poets organize their calendars in regards to book launches (parties!).  The last chapter of the book, Chapter 33: Go and Do Some PR, provides a handy, concise summary of the ideas in the book, and additional resources are listed at the end of the book.  If I were a poet, I'd definitely follow the ideas in this thoughtful guidebook! 

PR for Poets is a wonderful book filled with a plethora of practical advice.  Having read Gailey's exquisite poetry, I'm not surprised at the amount of care she put into this book. Her attention to detail shows that she genuinely wants to help her readers, and she talks about her own experiences in an honest and appealing way.  This helpful and talented poet generously shares her knowledge and experience to help others promote their work.  PR for Poets is an essential guidebook for poets.  It was a pleasure to read.


Many thanks to Serena from Poetic Book Tours for inviting me to participate in this tour, and for sending me a complimentary copy of this book.  For more reviews and guest posts, please visit the other stops on Poetic Book Tours' tour for PR for Poets.

I'm also linking this post to Savvy Verse and Wit's PoeTRY Something New 2018.  I learned a great deal about this new-to-me topic, the marketing aspect of poetry, and how poets now need to actively market their work.

As always, thanks for reading!  Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Some of the books featured here were given to me free of charge by authors, publishers, and agents. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


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