Wednesday, 26 February 2014

A THOUGHT I JUST HAD ABOUT SELLING POETRY BOOKS

I think marketing poetry always has a flaw in it (the flaw of commodification is a given besides). Which is that you can't really "sell" someone a poem. You can't sell a trick or a joke. You can sell a BOOK of tricks, or jokes, though. So, marketing poetry/ poems is selling books. Not poetry. And here is the flaw - what people want from books is mostly fiction or non-fiction - they want either a) escape/ entertainment or b) information and/or advice or c) both. When you open a Book of Poems, you don't get either, exactly - you are pulled into something far deeper. A Book of Poems is like a book of deep water. Not something you might actually want on your shelf. This is why Books of Poetry need to be "sold" carefully, and for different reasons that many other kinds of books. You don't just "read" a book of poetry. You swim, or drown, in its depths.
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