1. Readings can be an excellent way of promoting your work and hopefully selling it at the same time. Readings and performances are vital for poets.
2. Festivals can be a good idea and local festivals in particular may be an effective way of reaching a local audience. There's been a huge explosion in literary festivals over the last few years and it's worth investigating whether there's a festival or specialist event in which you could participate.
3. Seize any opportunity to take on the role of poet in residence, or to go into schools, or otherwise to make your work more widely known.
4. Local bookshops can be enormously supportive of local authors, especially independent bookshops. If you are self-publishing they will be particularly important, and may even provide a large proportion of your sales, especially if the subject of your pamphlet or collection is also of local interest.
5. Can you write an article about your poetry or something relating to it and place this in a newspaper or magazine? Once again local media are most likely to be interested and local papers in particular are often short of material. They have been known to publish articles offered, especially with photographs, pretty much in their entirety. Make sure your article is succinct and attention-grabbing, and focuses on the story, rather than reading as a piece of selling copy for your book.
6. Similarly, local media may be prepared to publish a single poem, particularly if it relates to a local matter, place or figure.
7. Don't forget the rest of the media. Could you talk about your writing or offer yourself as a contributor on local radio or television? This may seem to be aiming high, but think carefully about what you have to offer and how to approach them.
8. Have you explored all the web opportunities there might be for your work? Having a web presence of your own is the best way of going about this. Consider setting up your own website, which will give you a place to display your work and a platform for your blog. There are many other ways of promoting yourself online. You need to seek out other writers and web communities to link into any network.
9. Blogging is becoming an increasingly important way of attracting attention to your writing, bloggers are becoming key in terms of reviewing books. Publishers are learning to use this medium and so can you. It's individual, direct and spontaneous - and a great way to reach readers.
10. It's worth thinking about email lists, because if your poetry has a special interest market this may be a good way of reaching it. Of course you should put together your own email list as soon as you can and work at building this and sending out bulletins when you have something interesting to tell people. This will be particularly useful when you want to publicise a reading.
11. Don't forget writers' magazines, many of which are full of articles about writers' own stories and which are always looking for new material.
12. The same goes for writers' websites, it really is worth exploring them fully and seeing if there's a space for your work or for you to write something about it for one of them. If you have your own website then link it to as many of these sites as possible.
13. Consider entering competitions, as this can be a good way of publicising your work.
14. Above all, turn yourself into your own publicity machine and never pass up an opportunity to talk about your poetry.
Chris Holifield is the Director of the Poetry Book Society and the Poetry Bookshop Online. She is also the co-founder of Writers' Services, the largest writers' website in the UK, which offers a range of information and services for writers.
Other articles in this series:
Getting your poetry published