How to Market Fiction & Poetry

Fiction is notoriously hard to market.  However, there are many authors that make a good living from writing fictions.  Many platforms are moving towards non-fiction articles.  Medium is one platform, that has clearly moved away from fiction and poetry.  

If you are serious about writing you have to adapt and change. If you are a fiction writer or poet what can you do?

Substack Newsletter

Substack is unique, not only does it let you build a newsletter, but it lets you monetise it through a monthly subscription. It also provides you with a dashboard of all the newsletters you send. A back catalogue if you like, of all your work.

Initially, I thought this was the answer to where to place my fiction. A weekly newsletter, a different short story a week for everyone who subscribes.

That is when I came across my first hurdle substacks minimum monthly subscription is $5. I considered this too high for my weekly fiction. If I was being honest, it would also provide me with too much pressure to produce every week.

What is has provided me with is a brilliant platform to host my free weekly poetry newsletter. This allows me to feature a different poet every week and showcase their work. My small way of helping the poets in the same situation as me.

If poetry is your thing and you would like to receive a weekly newsletter with amazing poetry, then click here.

Competitions and Magazines

This one takes a little work. Finding a competition or magazine that your fiction or poetry works with. Do some research and find those that fit your writing style.

When you have, pitch them some of your work and enter those competitions. You will get rejected, but the rewards would be far higher than in most places. Many competitions and magazines pay good rates for quality work.

Have a Personal Website

I have my website where I share some of my fiction and poetry. The positive of this approach is that you control the content and distribution. It is your website, you can personalise it however you wish.

The negative for this is a website can take a long time to build up and gain income from. The rewards are not instant and could take as long as a year to start appearing.

Published an eBook

Whether you are a poet or fiction writer, you can put a collection together and produce an eBook. I use Amazon to publish my books, their KDP is easy to use.

There is even an option to produce a paperback, although the formatting for this is a little harder to work out. It took time, but I managed and I am nowhere near a computer expert.

My biggest tip with this is to go on Fiverr and buy a cover for as little as $20. It will make your book stand out. Unless you have some graphics experience, don’t waste the time trying to produce your own.

Once the book is produced you are responsible for marketing. Check out this post on some of the ways to use social media when advertising articles. What works for articles will work for your eBook.

Patreon

Patreon is a brilliant platform, that many people are reluctant to try. Through this site, I have already grown a small group of supporters who contribute monthly through a subscription.

For those that don’t know you can specify different tiers with different benefits. I already run my Facebook Group and mentoring through different tiers.

There are two ways of allowing supporters to contribute financially to your work. The first is through a monthly subscription. The second is through a pay per view method. Supporters sign up and are only charged after you produce content. Fiction and poetry, work very well under this system.

For me, because I already had a Patreon account I chose to add another tier for fiction of $3. Supporters will get everything from my lower tier as well as a story a week.

So if you like your stories twisted like Roald Dahl’s, Tales of the Unexpected, click here and become one of my fiction fans.

As Medium changes towards more fact-based articles, fiction writers will need to evolve.

I love Medium, I hold no resentment towards the changes. I welcome them as they have given me a challenge. If you are a poet or fiction writer I hope you take the challenge on with me. Think outside of the box and use one of the methods above to evolve.


Sam H Arnold is a UK writer and mentor. To support her writing and read her fiction work join Patreon. To follow all her work find her on Facebook. To receive regular writing tips join her Email List or join Poetry Paradise for a weekly poetry newsletter. © Sam H Arnold 2019

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