Augury editor Kate Angus’s article on The Millions today discusses the audience for poetry (wider than people often think!) and strategies that independent presses such as Augury are using to increase sales. In her article, Angus shares the idea that because of the increased capability of reading poetry outside of a bookstore or a library, Americans might in fact be reading more poetry than ever. Things like the “Poetry in Motion” project in New York, along with the increase of sharing poetry through social media, have sparked a higher readership in the US, and people have access to more poetry than they did in the past.
Thanks to the ease of sharing poems through email and social media, it’s possible that poetry’s audience might be greater now than ever. According to The Academy of American Poets director Jen Benka, the Academy’s Poem-a-Day has over 300,000 readers, so large an audience that the Hearst Corporation recently partnered with the Academy to include the poems in their online and print newspapers and magazines.”
While the readership for poetry might have increased, book sales are down overall when it comes to people wanting to actually buy poetry. In her article, Angus outlines some of the ways that smaller presses are trying to keep poetry sales alive, such as widening readership in general by branching out to publish other genres in hopes that someone reading a short story might see what else a press has published, therefore becoming interested in the published poetry.
Our hope is that readers who like the prose we publish may discover, as they poke around our catalog, that they like the poetry too (and vice versa). “
For more on poetry readership, as well as many other ways that presses are trying to increase the sale of poetry, check out Angus’ full article here.