Simple Steps for Promoting Short Fiction and Poetry
How to Get More Readers for Published Short Pieces
If you’re a writer of short fiction or poetry, it can sometimes feel like you’re shouting into the void to get your work read. But as an editor, I am here to tell you: I am the void! I keep an ear to the ground for new writers to read and I can’t hear you if you’re not loud enough.
I get it. Self-promotion feels weird. Especially in today’s world, where everything is a blip on the screen. So I wanted to provide some simple ideas on how to market your work, tailored to writers of short fiction and poetry. These are simple ways you can get the word out without being annoying.
Promotion is about simple steps. It’s not about being pushy or bugging people, because most of the time, readers want to find your work.
(Note: This list is geared towards folks who have already published their work. It’s specific to short pieces in online journals, magazines, and newspapers.)
Tips to Market Short Fiction and Poetry
- Post a link on all your social media accounts. For Twitter, post it twice, once when it comes out, then again the next day. A tweet lasts 15 seconds, so don’t be afraid to post a few times.
- Post the link again at the end of the year in a round-up of your publications for the year. This also makes a good blog post.
- Post the link in Facebook groups for writers.
- Post a link on your website, both your blog and publications list. (This is super important because as an editor, I look for writers to solicit and if I can’t find a list of your publications, I might not be as interested in your work!)
- Consider including a list of recent updates on the first page of your website so people can easily find your publications.
- Share the story with your email newsletter or Patreon.
- Make sure your blog is synced with Goodreads so the link appears there as well.
- Make sure your blog is synced with your Amazon author page, for the same reason.
- Read your piece at open mics. Practice it until you know it and it sounds good.
- Send your work to workshops, conferences, and awards for previously published work.
- After the exclusivity period has passed, consider resubmitting the piece to reprint markets (Places that accept previously published work. Just make sure they allow it in their guidelines.) You can also post the piece after it’s published on your website.
- Consider compiling your work into a chapbook or book!
Holly Lyn Walrath is a freelance editor based out of Houston, Texas. She holds a B.A. in English from The University of Texas and a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. She provides editing services for writers and organizations of all genres, experiences, and backgrounds, but enjoys working with new writers best. Find her on Twitter or visit her website.