How to sell more art and poetry

I made a video review for Cassandra Arnold and it’s worth sharing, because she’s both and artist and a writer, and she’s struggling to get visibility on both or figure out how to sell her poetry books and short stories.

I touched on some really interesting book marketing ideas for poets and artists, so I hope it helps some other creative people as well. Scroll down for a summary.

 

I focus mostly on content marketing, which means building great or useful content that appeals to my audience and shows up in search results. This is hard for art and poetry, because it’s short and / or nonverbal. 

So how do you show up in front of people?

1. Make it matter.

People will pay for what resonates with them; they buy because it’s a statement about themselves. But you have to make it meaningful for them. The value is in the meaning. So don’t be afraid to tell your story.

2. Design matters.

Artwork and poetry could be combined brilliantly into graphic image quotes – perfect content for social media, especially Pinterest. You can hire someone on Fiverr.com to turn your poems into beautiful art-posters or graphics, with stunning typography, which will instantly increase the value of your work. You can sell prints, offer downloads or postcards, or turn a short book of poetry into amazing content you can share with your audience. Focus on related keywords or hashtags to get visibility (#inspiration #motivation etc).

3. Selling art.

Like selling anything, you need to be telling stories and building a platform. Getting people to like and trust you, by letting them into your creative process, or pulling back the curtain and showing how you create the work – and also what it means or why it matters. People will be much more likely to share and support your work if it aligns with their own ideals or interests.

KEYWORDS + POSITIONING

You can sell stuff in person, but it’s easier online – however they need to see your work first, which means you need to learn a little bit about SEO, blogging or content marketing. Mostly, show your stuff in places readers already are. Maybe find some bloggers that share your audience and offer them to use your art as their featured image in popular blog posts with a link at the bottom.

Also remember, it’s HARD to educate an audience on why they should like your art or poetry. It’s EASY to sell if what you create aligns with what people want or are already searching for.

For example, mermaids are big in 2018, with Shape of Water and Siren (new TV series). People will be much more likely to buy mermaid or siren art than usual, so why not do a short series of art or poetry? It doesn’t have to be your “main thing” but it will help with visibility and create fans and get more shares, with less work.

I’ll post a followup with specific examples of artists and poets who are doing smart stuff to sell their work.

 

About Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors build profitable publishing platforms. Find me

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