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The Importance of Book Sales

WordTech Communications is a bit different from most poetry publishers; we are a for-profit company that earns revenue only from book sales. We do not have contest reading fees, grants from government agencies or private foundations, or contributions from private individuals to underwrite the publication of our books. As such, we place a particular emphasis on selling a certain number of copies of each of our titles within the first year of their publication, and on small, recurring sales in subsequent years.

What We Do to Market Your Poetry Book

We have an extensive marketing program to increase audience awareness and drive sales of our titles. Our marketing activities are focused on cost-effective, measurable methods that directly and quickly increase sales. Our program includes the following:

As we hope this list makes clear, we strive to have a broad program of marketing support for the titles we publish. This program is also notable for what it does not include: advertising, for instance. (We have found that advertising our titles leads to no improvement in sales.) In the end, however, we regard the marketing of our poetry titles as a joint effort between the publisher and the author. It is the publisher's job to oversee the marketing efforts, complete a number of marketing-related tasks, and provide resources for the author to help market the book as well. It is the author's job to undertake a number of marketing-related tasks, especially arranging readings and similar events, to help promote the book.

How to Market Your Poetry Book

The purpose of this web page is to provide some tips to authors about marketing strategies and tactics that they can undertake to help promote their book. It is drawn from discussions with a number of our authors, who have been kind enough to share what works for them. The main part of selling a book is persistence and commitment; these suggestions can be adopted by anyone.

Tips for Marketing Your Book

We have spoken with a number of our authors whose books have been particularly successful--selling upwards of 500 copies--to share what has worked for them in helping to sell book copies, arrange events, and similar items. We have also looked at what works for us in helping to sell your books on our end. We hope that this list of ideas will prove useful.

Be prepared to do readings in support of your book from the outset.

The common thread of these suggestions is networking. If you are active in your local community, and active in the poetry world, then you are already active in cultivating your audience. The largest market for your book is your audience; your audience wants to read your book. It is very difficult to grow an audience overnight, and if this is a problem you face, then it will take additional persistence to sell copies of your book.

Strategies You Should Avoid

If the suggestions of what to do revolve around networking, then the suggestions of what not to do revolve around the smart use of your time and energy. Don't focus on tasks that present little opportunity to repay your investment of time or money. We certainly can't afford to do that, and we don't think you can, either.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, we have the same goals as you: to bring your books to the widest possible audience. If that happens, then everyone wins. Your books enjoy a good readership, and you earn royalties or profits from directly selling your book. And we earn enough revenue to pay our bills, and continue doing the work we love: publishing great poetry.