Unfortunately, as much as I wish poetry books would sell themselves, they don’t. Poets still have to do their own marketing so that readers know about their books. With thousands of poetry books published each year, yours can easily get lost in the shuffle, especially as an Indie self-publishing poet.
Thankfully, there are some creative book marketing ideas for your new poetry book that you can do to make it just a little bit easier. Even if you’re not a marketer by nature, you can quickly and easily implement these strategies to boost your book sales.
1. Generate Mystery and Interest With a Cover Reveal
The cover is the first thing that readers will encounter when they find your book, and you can easily capitalize on this. Before your book is even released, you should develop a pre-launch marketing strategy.
This will start to generate interest in your book before it’s even published. You can post a section of the cover to get people interested and catch their attention. After you’ve generated some interest in the hidden portions of the cover, you can then plan a day to release the title and the cover.
Share the cover on all of your social media accounts, and if you have a newsletter, you can send it to your mailing list as well.
2. Send Out Previews of a Chapter
If you have divided your poetry book into chapters, consider sharing the first chapter of the book with readers. You can find these readers on social media or even offer them to people when they sign up for your mailing list.
If you don’t have chapters in your poetry book, select between ten to fifteen poems and put them in a Word or PDF document. You can then send it out to people along with details of your book. If it’s already released, send them a link to where they can purchase it.
If you haven’t released the book yet, you can also send them the details of when to expect the release and where they will be able to purchase it.
3. Make Short Video Content About Your Book
In 2022, short video content was the most engaging marketing content. Experts expect this trend to continue in 2023, so you’ll need to consider making videos to market your book. It’s not the only marketing solution, but it will be challenging to see a lot of sales without it.
Whether you’re on Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube Shorts, you’ll want to generate some kind of video content. It can be challenging at first, but one thing that can make it less scary is that you don’t have to show your face!
Search for popular poetry videos on TikTok, and you’ll see a lot of videos that are just of the poem itself, paired with an interesting caption and text and a trending sound. When you post these poem videos, you can also share what book they came from, and where people can buy the book.
Video content is what is most popular when it comes to going viral, and you never know which video will get you millions of views. That means millions of people will be seeing poems from your book, which can help to generate interest in your book.
However, remember that on average, most people need to see something at least seven times before they buy it. You can’t just make one video and hope it works; you’ll have to make several different videos.
4. Send out Advanced Reader Copies to Get Early Reviews
If you’re publishing on Amazon, having reviews on your book will help drive the Amazon algorithm and influence it to recommend your book to more people. However, it also shows other readers that people are interested in your book and actually think that your poetry is worth reading and purchasing.
Reviews are especially important for Indie authors because people want to know if it’s worth taking a chance on a poet they’ve never heard of. But generating reviews as an Indie author can be incredibly different.
One thing that you can do is send out advanced reader copies (ARCs) to poetry reviewers before your book is released. If your book is already released, don’t worry. You can still generate reviews.
Keep in mind that Amazon is very strict when it comes to reviews. They don’t let friends or family post reviews, and they also take down reviews that you paid for.
When you send an ARC, keep in mind that the reader doesn’t have an obligation to actually review it. When I did ARCs for my first book, I sent out about 85 copies, and I got 40 reviews. However, that was still a great rate, but I also engaged a lot with the reviewers.
This process was easy for me. I uploaded an eBook version of my poetry book, seven years, on BookSirens. From there, I could send a link to people who were interested in reading and reviewing my book. They could download an eBook copy, and then BookSirens would email them to remind them when to review the book and where they could review it.
That process was free, and a lot of people who downloaded my book were Instagram book reviewers. However, I also paid for the service Voracious Readers Only. This process was super easy, and I received a lot of interested readers from the service. I highly recommend it; Larry is amazing and super easy to work with!
5. Share an Aesthetic of Your Book
One thing that has become popular with book marketing is showing the aesthetic or mood of your book. Some readers prefer a specific type of aesthetic or vibe, and you can easily communicate this to your reader.
For example, you can search on Pinterest for images or art that fit the vibe and topic of your book. You can then put all of these together into a vision board and share it on social media! Here’s an example of one I did!
6. Engage With Your Community
Having a poetry community on social media is one of the best ways to sell your book. When you support other poets and their work, they are more likely to return the favor.
You can’t just schedule posts to go live automatically on social media and not answer DMs or respond to comments. You should also be interacting with other readers and poets on social media apps as well. It is called social media for a reason.
If you don’t feel like you have a community yet, try and reach out to other poets whose work you already admire!
7. Find a Free Incentive or Deal to Offer With Your Book
Keep in mind that marketing a successful book requires a short and long-term plan. Sometimes you need to make sacrifices, in the beginning, to make money in the long run. For example, if you have an eBook, you should offer it for free or at a discount for a limited time after release.
This is especially important if you’re a new poet sharing your first or second book. People will be more likely to take a chance on buying your book if it’s $.99 rather than $10.99. However, once they figure out that they did enjoy your book, they’ll be waiting to buy your second one at full price.
You want to find dedicated and loyal readers, and sometimes that requires sending your book out for free or at a discount. Another thing you can do is host a giveaway. This can be useful to boost your social media following as well, especially if you require people to follow you or tag other people.
Discover More Creative Marketing Ideas for Your Poetry Book
These (and more) marketing strategies helped me sell 90 copies of my first poetry book in just three months, and I can help you apply these strategies to your book as well.
If you’re looking for someone who can help you market your new poetry book, contact me today with the form below!
Disclosure: I am an Amazon and Planoly Associate, and some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.