Thursday, December 22, 2011

Promotions Rethink

Every writer inevitably must turn her mind to promoting her work. That’s something many of us don’t want to think about early in our writing experience. It’s scary, intimidating, and tends to smack of the ego.

Writers talk about publishing and marketing on a regular basis as a rule. Seminars, workshops, and articles instruct writers, regardless of experience level, on the best and easiest ways to pursue this course of necessary work. The stumbling block for some, like me, is when we must take a more intimate role in the process.

For instance, right now I have three poems in an anthology just released this past weekend. “Prompted: An International Collection of Poems” contains 120 poems grouped around ten poetry writing prompts. Forty poets contributed three poems each for this anthology, plus created two strand poems to specific prompts for the book. Our publisher is in England, our poets live around the world, and the Foreword is penned by none other than Robert Brewer of WD’s Poetic Asides fame.

We’ve taken the step to sign over proceeds to the LitWorld charity to promote and develop literacy globally, and we must promote the book. We are proud of our efforts and should be. We have award-winning poets here who are sharing their work.
Something we’re doing must be right. “Prompted…” sits at the top of the New Released Anthologies list on Amazon, and managed to make it there within its first days after release.

You’re probably wondering why I’m concerned about promoting this book. I’m not really concerned about this book’s advertising per se. I don’t mind telling everyone I know about the fascinating choices of poems and the diversity of voices and perspectives on each subject.

The book is a joy to promote, not because my work is in it, but because mine is such a small percentage of the work showcased. For someone in a business rampant with those who seek recognition and fame, I’m one of those who want to have anonymous recognition.

I want my work recognized without having to stand on the corner, hawking my wares. It smacks of insincerity, political arenas, and a snake-oil mentality. Now you see why I didn’t continue to write commercials years ago.

Though I want everyone to buy one of the anthologies to enjoy the work and words of such fine poets as grace its pages, I feel inadequate to the task of promoting it. The worry of whether friends, colleagues, and family will think less of me circle above my head, weighty and menacing.

Is there any real chance that I will lose respect of others? Probably not. Does that answer sooth me. No, it doesn’t, especially right now at the holidays.

However, I will take up the gauntlet, stand on that podium, and say in a loudly ringing voice, “Please show your support for the spread of literacy across the globe, to towns and villages otherwise without a chance, and zip over to and select one copy or more of “Prompted: An International Collection of Poems.”

There! I’ve done it. Now to other networks, other readers, writers, and delvers into the esoteric pages of poetry. Thank you all for listening to one introvert stumble through her first personal book promotion. I’ve met the challenge and come away without any visible wounds. You’ve been most kind to me.

Until later,


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