* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where, when it comes to poetry-related stuff with the word "thirteen" in it, we have something that's almost as good as "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird." And Big Jewel first-timer David Ebenbach has a tremendous advantage over Wallace Stevens in that he is not dead.

Thirteen Awesome Pro-Tips For Promoting Your Book Of Poetry!

By: David Ebenbach


  1. Promotion starts with choosing your book’s title. Choose carefully. Pick something that captures the spirit of the book, stands out, and sticks in the memory. Poems by James Franco, maybe.
  1. Incidentally, by “book of poetry,” is there any chance you mean “paranormal romance novel”? No? Are you sure? Because the kids still seem to love those. I thought they had stopped loving them a few years ago, but no. Apparently they still do.
  1. Consider making promotional postcards, using your book cover as the image for the postcard. It’s a great way to see what your book would look like if it were significantly smaller. So cute! Then send them out to everyone you know, and even some people you don’t know. People like getting postcards of cute-sized books! They’re like fun-sized candy bars. On the back, write “Wish you were here, buying my book. Or anywhere, really, buying my book. The main thing is buying my book.”
  1. Promotional posters, on the other hand, make your book look bigger. It’s like when a cat puffs its fur up to seem scary. People may be intimidated into buying a copy.
  1. As you formulate a marketing plan, remember that the Internet is your ally; if you scratch the Internet’s back, it will scratch yours. Unfortunately, however, the Internet doesn’t have a back. And if you scratch its front, it will, like an ocelot, claw you to death.
  1. Speaking of computery stuff, how about creating a video book trailer? It’s like a movie trailer, but for a book! Of poetry! Are you feeling the natural chemistry there?
  1. Technology is great, but of course you shouldn’t discount the importance of in-person events. Giving poetry readings is a sure-fire way to find out who your real friends are. Maybe even your real parents. Take careful note of who shows up and cut everyone else out of your life forever.
  1. Reviews really help put the book out in front of people, at least if the review is from the New York Times. So, you know, if the New York Times offers to review the book, I say go for it.
  1. These days, the hot term in book promotion is “blog tour.” It’s like a regular tour of public readings, except that you do it online, getting interviewed by blogs like ihavefivereaders.com and paranormalromancenovel.com and actuallytobehonestijusthaveonereader.com. The main challenge here is that you can’t tell who among your friends and family takes the time to read your interview, and who doesn’t even bother. To be safe, cut everyone out of your life forever.
  1. Checking your Amazon ranking may cause your Amazon ranking to go up or it may not, but you’ll never know for sure unless you check it. A lot.
  1. Have you considered radio interviews? Do you know someone who does radio interviews? Because if so, seriously, e-mail me.
  1. Maybe you could include just one vampire — like, a cameo in a minor stanza? Paranormal romance poetry is a growing market. Or should be.
  1. Try, whenever possible, to be related to Michiko Kakutani.