Saturday, September 27, 2008

Publicity for poetry

Kate at Kicking Wind did an interview with poet and publicist Lytton Smith last year. He's a poet who arranges publicity for poets. While still trying to imagine the net income for that kind of profession, I found several good ideas for promoting a poetry book, ideas you probably know already, but worth repeating:

* Write a press release and pitch letter for the book

* Make a list of reviewers and send it

* Contact your local or regional reading series with an offer to read from the book

* Organize a reading tour, especially wherever you have friends to can help, and possibly host you

* Plan a launch event

* Send postcards (Vista Print has good prices) to your mailing list

* Have a mailing list!!! (Start now)

I would add a few more possible activities:

* Write book reviews and as a book reviewer, offer to swap books for review

* Blog interestingly about something besides your book -- develop readership by earning attention

* Write articles, essays, fiction, to broaden your readership

* Cultivate booksellers

Your ideas?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Updated Non-Contest List

Thanks to feedback from poets who keep their own non-contest poetry publishers lists, or who are simply interested in this topic and wrote to me, I have updated my web page on Non-Contest Poetry Book Publishers. Some new presses added, some presses removed. I decided not to list any press with a catalog of less than ten books, not to list any obvious self-publishing presses (with, say, two or more titles by the publisher) and not to list any presses that don't have open reading periods within the next 12 months.

Sarabande Books squeaked in under the wire, as they say their September reading period is closed this year, but as it's almost October and I don't want to update the list in October, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming they'll do open reading September 2009.

Thanks for all the tips, advice, ideas and comments! And thanks, Steve Schroeder, for keeping your own list. While our lists don't entirely coincide, yours gave me interesting additions. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Punctuation Day

My good friend Regi has brought to my attention that this is National Punctuation Day.

Huzzah to the semi-colon (did I punctuate that right?) and the ellipsis (pretty sure I spelled it correctly).

And when is National Spelling Day? In a texting world, punctuation and spelling are what we need more of. Not to mention National Grammar Day.

Celebrate with the comma of your choice.