Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Marketing/Selling a Poetry Book: 3 Ideas

Unfortunately, poetry can be a hard sell...

especially to audiences who don't read it because they think it is stuffy or impossible to understand. 

My book, Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014) came out 19 months ago, but it is just now picking up speed from a marketing perspective. What have I learned? Here are three ideas you might try:

1. Belong to special interest groups on Facebook or other social media. I don't really know much about social media except Facebook (FB) and LinkedIn. But I have found FB to be invaluable. I belong to poetry groups where I've made connections with poets and editors who have blogged about my book/poems and/or published reviews or interviews with me. See number 2 for other opportunities that resulted from FB. 

Me at a reading from 

Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems

2. Grab every opportunity to read from your book. Besides the usual poetry reading opportunities and open mics, I have read at a senior citizen's residential community, a women's event at a synagogue (a connection made through my neighborhood's FB, though I'm not Jewish), and a professional women's networking luncheon (also a neighborhood FB connection).

3. Promote yourself as a subject matter expert, and as such, find opportunities to guest blog for national publications. Your subject could be writing, which would be fine. But because my book is the story of my divorce and healing, I wanted to reach a broader audience, one that doesn't necessarily read poetry. I was prompted to do this because people kept telling me that my book helped them and that they bought it for friends who were going through divorce.  I found a way to reach non-writer audiences by connecting with divorce groups on FB and reaching out to the editors with my idea of sharing my story -- each article I wrote would include a poem and the true story of how the poem came about. said yes, so I have posted three articles now. They were the first divorce related publication on the internet -- 17,000 people follow them on Twitter, and their FB page has 6300 likes. 

And... the exciting thing is that my last article was picked up by Huffington Post and re-published in the divorce section of their online news site. Their site has 79 million unique monthly users. I don't know how many book sales this will result in (I know of 2 that happened immediately), but I'm happy for the wide reach, and if I can help people who are suffering, that's a wonderful thing. Secondly, if I can promote poetry (in general, not just mine) to an audience who thinks they don't like poetry and change a few people's minds about that... then I've done a good thing for all poets, and that makes me very happy.

Here's a link to the Huffing Post article: Forgiving the Other Woman

Good luck to you with your writing and the promoting of your work!

Untying the Knot by Karen Paul Holmes is a "courageous, deeply human" book, according to internationally known poet, Thomas Lux, told with "grace, humor, self-awareness, and without a dollop of self-pity." Available on Amazon 


Karen's website


Karen's poetry Facebook page

Monday, March 4, 2013

What makes a good blog? Hope Clark has the answer,

“Every piece of content you write on a blog has to either solve
a problem or entertain the reader.”  Hope Clark

Hope Clark is someone I greatly admire. Her blogs and her newsletters are food for writers, in my opinion. So when she says a blog must either solve a problem or entertain the reader, I know she is right.

My Writers Circle blog is designed to give writers information about workshops and classes and the writers who teach at my home studio. At times, I throw in a post on the craft or my opinion.

Writing Life Stories has been all over the place since the beginning. It has changed in theme and content, but that is because I have changed since the blog was started in 2007. Many of my readers manage a blog or many blogs on various subjects. I understand that a blog concentrated on a theme like quilting, chicken farming, or single mothers raising kids, that discuss the problems and offer solutions is going to have a large audience. Those blogs require a concentrated schedule and plan I think. That might be too much work for me at this time in my life.

How I became a blogger and Netwest Writers was Born

It was fall of 2007 at a panel discussion at a writers conference that I realized what a blog was and what it could do. A young mother had written a book on stay at home moms working from home and she found out she could sell more of her books on a blog than by going through a New York Publisher. On the panel were three other writers who had found success from writing a blog.

I came home and told my husband I was going to learn how to blog, not for myself, but for the writers and poets in our chapter of NCWN. I had taken the job of Program Coordinator for NCWN West. Nancy Simpson and I had often talked about the problem of getting the voices of mountain writers in our area over the ridges and past the ranges into the rest of the world. I believed a blog was better than a website. A website at that time was static and unchanging. A blog gave us freedom to share new material everyday if we wanted. And the blog was free!

I was scared. After all, I didn't know anything about this new technology. Would our members accept this and use it? Would it do what I hoped it would? Soon I was holding classes on blogging and some of our members, Brenda Kay Ledford, Nancy Simpson, Carol Thompson, and Sam Hoffer began their own sites. What pleased me the most was that all of us were beyond the young stage. We were all over fifty. It wasn’t long before Netwest member and Poet Laureate of North Carolina, Kathryn Stripling Byer created a blog. When she became Program Coordinator for Netwest, she brought readers from everywhere to the Netwest blog.

I have been disappointed that more of our members have not used the Netwest Writers blog. We have a number of authors listed who have the capability to write posts and other members can ask for and get permission to post on the blog. It was created for our members.

I am so thankful, however, that Netwest Writers blog has been successful in promoting our writers and helping them reach across the state and around the world. We have readers from many different countries every day.

Nicki Leone, president of the NCWN Board of Trustees at that time built a website for the state organization and plopped our Netwest blog right on the front page. Since they have thousands of visitors every single day, those visitors saw us here in the mountains, clicked on our blog with little effort and read about our writers and our poets and playwrights. The voices of our writers have indeed reached beyond the mountains.

Where do we go from here?
I hope that other members of Netwest will post articles that appeal to readers. One of our members said the blog had simply become a bulletin board of upcoming events. We need to change that. We need posts that will keep us worthy of exposure on the home page of the NCWN website. We need an administrator who will help keep the blog on the radar of the search engines. Who out there is ready to do that?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Many of our Netwest members are authors of this blog, That means you have permission to post your own work on this blog. If you are a member and would like to post on this site, please email me,, and you will be sent an invitation to post

This site was set up in 2007 to promote writing and writers in the Netwest area of NC, GA, SC, and TN. Since then, a number of our members have gone on to set up their personal blogs, websites and some have begun literary journals.

We urge you to continue to post here where we have viewers from all over the world. Send us news about your region and your successes. We love to post your photo and your good news on this blog.

Send us the schedule for writing events in your county and we can post those for you.

Exciting things are happening in the Netwest area and this is where you will learn about them.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Blog Class

Kay Lake (center standing) teaches computer classes to Netwest members in Hayesville, NC

Netwest hosted a free class on building a blog and eleven attendees are bloggers tonight. The group met with instructor Kay Lake at the Moss Library in Hayesville, NC today. They varied in range of experience from some who had never seen a blog to one who helps friends with websites. Within in a short time energy filled the room, and once the initial fear of the process passed, the new bloggers took to the keyboards like chickens pecking corn. Brenda Kay Ledford was the first to post to the Netwest blog. I'm sure we will see more from her in the near future.
As the internet grows in importance in the life of writers, and all people around the world, we must keep up with technology, no matter our age. Younger generations have set the pace and it is a fast one.
I heard more than one "damn" and "I can't, I just can't" today, but the frustration soon gave way to feelings of accomplishment and pride. As Kay Lake told us today, learning new things builds dendrites which connect cells in our brains. Stroke victims are often prescribed computer lessons to heal and rehab the brain
What better way than to build a blog and write every day? More senior adults use computers on a regular basis than younger folk. Of course the younger ones have gone on to more sophisticated technology than email and google research.

Today I was told I should subscribe to Skype. Guess that is the next project I'll try in order to increase my dendrites.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Followers of Netwest Blog

We have our first "Follower" for this blog. Thanks, Alice Osborne, are so glad you are following our writers and we are sure other viewers of Netwest Writers will check out your blog.

Many viewers of Netwest Writers don't leave comments but that doesn't mean they aren't counted. We know you are there. If you have a blog or website and follow our blog, add your site to our follower list.

I learned of another interesting site today. Have you seen ?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Comments on this blog

We are happy you are reading this blog and that you care enough to let the writer know you read his/her work by email or by leaving a comment at the end of the post.

As requested, the following is to help those who are unfamiliar with the comment process which we've tried to simplify:

At the bottom of a post is a line of type showing the name of the person who posted the article or story or poem. This may not be the writer. It might be me, writerlady, or Glenda.
Next to my name and the date you will see a line that looks like this.
'0 comments' or it may have a number before the word comment:

Click on comments. A window opens for you to write your comment. You may sign your name in the same window if you want.
If you don't want to sign in with your yahoo address, just click on anonymous at the bottom and the comment will be posted with no name at the top. If you want to sign your name in the comment window, that will show.

You will be asked to use your yahoo address if you have one or you will be asked to open a "google account" by completing the information asked for.
To make it simple, just post as anonymous and sign your name inside the comment window.
Click on preview and see your comment as it will appear. If your comment needs to be edited, you have the opportunity to edit.
When you have it like you want it, click on Publish.
A Message will appear at the top of the page saying that your comment will appear later. To protect the blog from SPAM, we must moderate the comments. Your comment comes to my email address where I will read it and approve it when I check my email.
If you are a member of Netwest and have contacted me saying you want to be on the contributer's list, and you have been sent an invitation to post on your comments will appear right away without moderation.

You can also email me if you have any questions or suggestions regarding the blog. I don't have all the answers but continue to learn, and blogger continues to offer new options.