Despite the global economic issues facing us today and the rising competition on the book promotion market, poetry is a growing market with an increasing readership. In the world of writing it is generally well known that poetry is one of the hardest genres to market, however there are a number of opportunities if one knows where to look.
Over the years I’ve noticed a growth in online radio programs that focus on poetry. Like print publications, each radio program will have a unique focus – some may accept poetic works according to the region, genre or topic. If you have access to the internet, all you need to do is do a search at each online radio station using key works such as poetry, poets, writing and the genre you write in (i.e. gardens, environment, social change, etc).
When you prepare the query there are several options to consider. First, how do you appeal to their audience? When does the radio show go live? How do listeners access the archived show? How do you plan on promoting the event if they decide to feature your work?
Depending on the radio program’s operations you might be calling in to a live show, or you might be recorded for a later date. Most radio shows will simply have a conversation over the telephone, so your location is not usually an issue, and this helps you reach a global audience. Some radio shows are Skype friendly (skype.com); Skype offers a way for people to have conversations using their computer and a headset – which is a budget-friendly option helping us avoid expensive long distance telephone charges. The host might want to interview you about the creation process, your experiences with poetry readings or the publication industry. They will likely need you to read at least one of your poems on air, be sure to choose poems that suit their audience.
The host may ask you to offer a pre-recorded MP3 file of your reading, and this is where you can have a lot of fun with having background music, or a variety of sounds from nature to industry – depending on your reading. When creating an MP3 file you can either use a recording of a live performance you did recently at a poetry café or something like that, or you can do a reading specifically for that radio show. Some radio shows will ask you to provide only one poem in MP3 format, others will want a longer performance. Be sure you have clarified what the host or program director requires from you.
Occasionally a radio host will be open to playing a 30 second promotional MP3 for your published book, magazine or website during one of their shows for free – all you have to do is ask. MP3 files that were created for radio shows are useful for websites as well, allowing visitors to a website to listen to the author reading their work in their own voice.
Online radio is only one option for a poet’s marketing plan. We can also consider online publications from e-zines to blogs that are often very willing to highlight a poet’s work. Be sure to offer those MP3’s to these sites as well, you never know what they might like to use. Another frugal and useful option is YouTube videos (youtube.com) where you can record yourself reading your work, or presenting it to a live audience. These videos are helpful for websites, publications and blogs to enrich the experience for their audience.
~ Lillian Brummet: Award winning author, book marketing guru, owner of the award winning Brummet’s Conscious Blog, and both the host and executive producer of the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show. (www.brummet.ca)
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords