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Publishing Poetry

Most of the work I do involves narrative publications such as novels, biographies, and such. Unfortunately, today's publishing world is all about money. In order to publish, the work has to be marketable. For poets, that isn't very good news. I've said this before. Poetry is a dying art. Sure, there are people who still enjoy poetry, but the hoards of people rushing out to buy books of poetry is slowly diminishing. That isn't to say that no publising companies publish books of poems. Some do. However, if you think it's difficult to publish a novel, then publishing a book of poetry is torture.   I'm a big proponent having patience and using the system. I tell my clients to polish their manuscripts and send query letters to agents and publishing companies. I tell my clients to 'keep at it.' I tell them to self-publish as a last resort. However, with poetry, I have different advice. I think it's very prudent to self-publish poetry. Your work can be distributed to those who know you best, and if you're work is good enough, friends will give your book to friends. It's a great way to get you name out there and have your words live on 'forever.'   I suppose I need to take my own advice. My grandmother was a talented poet. Though she never published her work, she did have her poems printed into booklets that she distributed to family and friends. Her poems are magical. I've been told that I need to publish them, but I fully know the daunting task that comes with publishing poetry. I have been thinking, however, about self-publishing her poetry. I think that's a great idea.   What are your thoughts on the art of poetry? Do you think it's difficult to publish poetry? Do you believe that self publishing poetry is a good idea?   In honor of today's blog, I'll post some of my grandmother's spring poetry
“In after days when I’m no more —may one recall the days before and say, ‘'With love, she penned her lines —in memory of another time.'’ And may that one go on to say, what satisfies my soul today—‘, 'In God she chose to put her trust, thus penned not lines of shame or lust— but lovely thoughts  and lovely lines —in memory of another time.’' 
Virginia P. Carlisle
Hallelujah it is Spring
The gardeners with their plows
Are turning over the earth
Preparing beds for little seed
That soon will sprout in birth.
The children of yesterday
Felt the earth between their toes
As they followed Daddy’s plow
Up and down the garden rows.
When his plow overturned the wiggle
Of a redworm ‘twas a signal,
Then and now, to shout and sing,
“Hallelujah, it is spring!”
Oh Herald the Spring
With the coming of springtime
There are songbirds and flowers
But when I was a child
We spent many hours
Down on the creek bank
With old tin pails
Dipping for tadpoles
We found without fail;
Where a fall in the water
From a crossing log
Was just part of the price
For capturing a frog.
Our captives were carried
In fruit jars to school
Where they swam ‘round and ‘round
Like fish in a pool.
Fascination grew daily
Throughout the classroom
As tadpoles lost tails,
Growing legs very soon.
O herald the spring
Songbirds and bright flowers
But when tadpoles compete,
Try not to look sour.
The Merry Month of May
Spring is calling my attention
To the merry month of May
Where out in the rural areas
Wild daises have their day.
Clusters of pink roses
Climb old fences here and there
And white magnolia blossoms
Are seen most everywhere.
The woods are lush and green
Where wild life romps and plays.
I think of Sherwood Forest
Featuring Robin Hood’s day.
The songbirds are a ‘twitter,
Each sings a different way.
Queen Anne’s lace blooms in meadows.
What a lovely display.
Yet there’s something that I miss
In the merry month of May.
Could it be the bare-foot children
Playing games of yesterday?

Long Term Marketing Plan for Self-Published Authors

Long Term Marketing Plan for Self-Published Authors
1.      Start Blogging. There are many websites whereyou can set up a free blog. Try to write a blog at least once a week. You canwrite about your experiences as a writer, but you’re not limited to that. Writeabout your experiences as a teacher and as a mother. Talk about how importantit is to you to improve literacy. Examine politician’s literacy views. Write one blog post a week.
2.      Use social Media. I know you have a facebookaccount, but if you don’t have a twitter account, get one. Post something aboutWandering Sam at least once a week. It doesn’t always have to be a sales pitcheither. It can be as simple as “I just read SillySandra to my kids again. They love that story.” The point is to keep it inpeople’s head. Post one post about yourbook on Facebook and Twitter every week.
3.      Join LinkedIn, and join groups. There aremillions of groups you can join. Join as many as you can. Doing this willextend your network, which simply ‘gets your name out there.’  Joinat least one group per week, and participate or start a discussion once a week.
4.      Once a month, submit your book to a bookcontest. There are millions of awards for self-published books. For the mostpart, you’ll have to send a free copy of your book, so only do this once amonth because you’ll go broke and be overwhelmed if you try to do a lot atonce.
For authors of children’s books, theChildren’s Writers Resource Center puts all these contests in a book too. It’sunder 20 bucks, so if you want to buy it, then it has great information for allof 2012. Here’s the site for the book:  http://www.resourcesforchildrenswriters.com/
Submityour book to a contest once a month.
5.      Get your book reviewed. Having professionalreviews of your book increases its publicity. If your book gets a positivereview, websites will want to list your book. There are hundreds of children’sbook reviewers, but like the contests, you usually have to send the reviewer afree copy of your book. However, if the reviewer writes a positive review ofyour book, only positive effects ensue. Submityour book for review once a month.
Thesesuggestions are Optional
1.       You may consider going on a ‘virtual booktour.’ That pretty much means that you’ll do interviews for various peoples’blogs. It gives you a lot of exposure, and it’s not that expensive. Again, youhave to pay for your virtual book tour, so this is optional, but IF you pay forANY marketing, then this is a good way to spend your money. Here’s the site Irecommend IF you want a virtual book tour: http://www.virtualbooktourcafe.com/virtual-book-tour-package.html
On this tour, a professionalreviewer will review your book, and you can choose how many ‘stops’ you make,depending on how much you want to spend. Plus, you’ll have a radio interview.
2.       Another good idea is to offer a contest onyour BLOG or website once every 3 months. There are multiple ways to do this,but this is one of the best ways to do it: To participate in the contest, aperson must ‘write a review of your book on Amazon.com.’ Create a start dateand end date for the contest. After the end date, put the names of all peoplewho wrote a review in a hat. Draw a name, and offer a prize. (Most people do agift certificate- for example, a $25 gift certificate to Chili’s).
3.       Selling books is a business. If you want tosell A LOT of books, then you can hire a publicist. This is pretty expensive,and I don’t recommend you hire a publicist until you have multiple bookspublished, but there are many authors who have hired a publicist for one book.A publicist will ENSURE that you sell books, but you do have to pay for it. Ifyou’re interested, here’s a service I recommend: http://maxbookpr.com/
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