I was on a Teleseminar the other day with Peggy McColl and Randy Gilbert, and these guys are Amazon bestsellers with many of their books. They started with great ideas and a book, (just like we did), and they made it happen. Notice I use the word 'made' it happen. They wrote a book, and thought it was going to fly out the door, and when it didn't, said okay, what will make this happen, and put the steps in place to make their dreams a reality.
So anyone who is interested in trying something new, stick with me through this article, because I am about to start to change reality. I have a business background, and poetry is my passion, my mission, an important part of our culture, we need to adapt, and make use of the tools out there to help us succeed, and stop saying "Poetry doesn't sell."
Step one - Change the attitude, and it will change the environment.
That is a very simple, yet powerful thought. If we all stop saying and/or agreeing with the general population that states: poetry doesn't sell, nobody wants to listen to poetry, poetry is boring, poetry is only for intellectuals, poetry isn't mainstream, and the list goes on, ad infinituum, things will change. We have to face everyone head on, stop letting them suppress us, and shove us into the corners of coffee houses, and the back of bookstores, and change it!
Okay so that might be a tall order, but it is acheivable. Look at what has been changed throughout history. Blacks can't ride on the bus, women should stay at home, (I am using the slang of the times.) It took the voice and people of that time period - to change it. Lets not wait for that time period to come, lets make it! It didn't take a quiet voice from the back of the room, it took an all out movement.
The Mission of the Canadian Federation of Poets has been the same from the beginning - Creating One Voice - so that we can change reality together, and I am taking initiatives and trying new ideas (some may work, some may not), but change is better than another year of the same. In fact, things don't stay the same, they either go up, or down, and I have seen far too long the direction of poetry.
Do you know how far back it goes that poets have been made to be quiet. Centuries. Writers would have to put on plays secretly to get their work seen, and hide pages, and we are still carrying some of this energy, and stigma with us. We are going to break free from all of this, and get the job done.
For those of you who don't know my background - I am an Internet Marketer by trade, and poet by heart. Among other business ventures, this is what pays the bills, supports Poetry Canada magazine, and supports the Canadian Federation of Poets. But I want us to be able to support ourselves at what we really love to do - write poetry, read our poetry, listen to poetry, whatever that passion may be.
I haven't worked out the whole plan yet, it is in its infancy - and if you have ideas - email them to me and I will introduce each of them through the newsletter, and give you credit for them. Great ideas need to be shared, and this is the tool we will use to do that right now.
Are you with me so far? Good. Because I can't do this alone. It will take each and every subscriber to do something within their own environment, their own mindset and their own family and friends. And I think we will be amazed at how easy this will be when we do it together.
For starters, I am going to be purchasing master resell rights for some e-books so that you can get them for a bargain, that will help us to market, promote, and take advantage of the largest delivery method in the world, the Internet. I make millionaires in the business world with internet marketing, and we can do the same thing here.
So I am going to give you the first task which has two parts.
Think like a business person when marketing your book. Not like a poet, we use that to create the book, but now we have to switch our hats, and sell the book. You don't have to think like a salesperson, but think like a marketer - and look outside of your own box and come up with a different way to market your book. We need to get out of our own heads, and tell everyone what we have, what we do, and why they need it. We are helping them, and a book is a business.
Read something different to help you do this. I have an e-book that I can offer at a really good price about conquering AMAZON. Take a look at this, or find something else in the library, from your office, something that deals with the ability to give you a new skill, or a new way or idea to distribute and share the words you need to have heard.
And as an aside - if you have a book you want to get published, don't wait another year. If you believe in what you've written, get your book done, take it to a company such as LuLu Press.
You're going to need your book, because by the end of this year, you're going to also be a marketer.
President and Founder of the Canadian Federation of Poets
Bestselling author of 31 Days to Millionaire Marketing Miracles available at Amazon.com