Monday, October 4, 2010

Marketing/Promoting your Book of Poetry

I have been told many times, by people in the industry that a book of poetry is a very “hard sell" and is so often seen as the step-child .
I didn’t really know what they meant until I started running up against brick walls in getting reviewers to even consider reviewing the book. So many people told me that they had “no poetry” policies in reviewing books. That was very surprising to me. Of course, I didn’t take no for a final answer and some of those same people who said that they did not review poetry eventually gave in and I received some glowing reviews from them. On top of that, self-published authors are , in many cases, given so little respect. I have been told, again, by reviewing sources that they did not do self-published books. I have been told by some venues that they didn’t have self-published authors on the roster for giving a book presentation. Of course, again, I didn’t take no as a final answer. My motto is always: If you can’t get in through the front door, go in through the window. Needless to say, some minds were changed and some policies were broken.

I always emphasize what I call Patricia’s P-Attitudes..1) Positivity- be positive, believe in yourself and your book, 2)Persistence-Be relentless. Never take “NO” as a final answer. Keep knocking. If you can’t get in through the door, go in through the window. 3)Perseverance-Never give up 4) Patience. .Hold on. Hold tight. Sometimes, the answer or outcome that you seek might take a minute ( days, weeks or months) but keep the faith. It will come.

I have found , that the real work of this business is not in the writing of the book but in the marketing and promoting. I think that for most writers, the writing is not hard because it is doing what they love to do. How does that saying go... “Do what you love to do as a vocation and you will never work a day in your life”. With a poetry book, a writer has to be extra diligent in promoting. People generally do not just decide to go into a bookstore and buy a book of poetry. It's usually not on their list when they go to select reading material.

People love to hear poetry and, perhaps , enjoy reading it when they run across it in a favorite magazine, but for them to go into a store specifically to purchase a book of poetry is rare. As a writer of a poetry book, it would be your job to help create that desire for what you offer. Help the reader to see how what you offer will enhance their lives in some way , strike an emotional cord or be of value to them. You must be able to relay some strong message or messages that the reader can really relate to. Poetry is all about that emotional draw. It must touch the reader deeply in some way. Before they can be touched , they have to open that book! your job is to find the way to lead them to what you know will be a rewarding experience.

Make lots of contacts and connections with people who do what you do or aspire to do. Ask lots of questions.. Do lots of research on the business side of it all. Join writers and book groups on the social networking sites. Shadow an author that you admire. Take note of their work (ie: how they market and promote their their book, what venues and events they attend.) Join a local writer's group for support and resources. Most importantly, believe in what you do. believe in what you uniquely have to share with the world.

Friday, July 2, 2010


A friend of mine here on Facebook recently forwarded a beautiful letter that she wrote to Governor Barbour suggesting that I should be recognized as an official Ambassador for the State of Mississippi. I am truly humbled and deeply touched.
Just wanted to share the letter with my Celebrate the South family!

Dear Governor Barbour,

Enclosed you will find a wonderful little volume of poetry by Patricia Neely-Dorsey. Although small in size, this book is very large in it's expression of the south and particularly Mississippi.

Ms. Dorsey's book, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia is an important work in many ways. First, she dispels all the stereotypes that have unfortunately defined the southern region in the eyes of our nation. Secondly, the poems cross gender, race and age. In a recent review I made the comparison between Ms. Dorsey and myself as “a tall regal black woman and a short dumpy white woman” standing together and seeing the same things. The poetry contained in “Reflections” indeed reflects the common bond we all have as Mississippians and as southerners.

Most importantly, this marvelous volume could be, and in my opinion should be used as a teaching tool included in the curriculum for the schools of this state. Children would learn to appreciate their heritage to it's fullest. Not only would there be more of an awareness and conception of the lives of their recent ancestry, but an idea as to what we remember as a less complex way of life. They would attain “new eyes” in order to grasp, have gratitude and pride in their southern culture.

Patricia Neely-Dorsey has forged through the unfounded supposition and opinion of how the rest of the country perceives the state of Mississippi. She is a true ambassador of her heritage. It is my most sincere wish that you will consider Patricia Neely-Dorsey as an Ambassador for the State of Mississippi. I honestly don't feel anyone could possibly surpass the understanding and the passion she has for this great state!

Warmest regards,

Olivia Wright King

Heart of Dixie ChapterPulpwood Queens

Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems
" a celebration of the south and things southern"
"Meet Mississippi Through Poetry, Prose and The Written Word"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dorsey to speak at Lunching with Books

Dorsey to speak at Lunching with Books

by The Itawamba County Times

Itawamba County Pratt Memorial Library on Friday, Feb. 26. Beginning at noon, the program will feature Mississippi writer Patricia Neely-Dorsey, who will be discussing her book “Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia: A Life in Poems.”

Neely-Dorsey is a 1982 graduate of Tupelo High School in Tupelo, Mississippi. She received a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Boston University in Boston, Mass. After living for almost 20 years in Memphis, Tenn., working in the mental health field, she returned to her hometown in August 2007. Her first book of poetry was published in February, 2008, by Grant House Publishers.

Neely-Dorsey currently lives in Tupelo with her husband James, son Henry, and miniature schnauzer, Happy. She is a proud, active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., an avid reader, and passionate writer.

The author hopes, through her writings, to have an intimate conversation with readers about the South, giving an up close and personal view of the Southern way of life.

Using poetic storytelling, she seeks to not only entertain but also educate and enlighten, while helping to preserve the beautiful, rich southern culture, history and heritage that she knows, along with promoting and fostering an appreciation and understanding of the importance of cultural diversity, individuality, self expression and regional pride .

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The New Year
The new year is often a time for reflections, evaluations and assessments.
But, mostly it is a time of goal setting and forging ahead.
One essential element of proceeding into the New Year with a positive attitude, positive aspirations and positive expectations is a positive self esteem. Unfortunately, it seems that many of the ills of our society are rooted and grounded in poor self esteem issues. Sadly, too, this problem
with self esteem seems to be running rampant among our youth.
Now is the time for each of us to take stock and consider all of the wonderful qualities that we possess and all that we have to offer the world.
Each one of us has very unique characteristics, talents , abilities, attributes and gifts. We should all learn to appreciate the one- of - a -kind, unique beings that we are inside and out and the special place that we take up in the world. There is not now, never has been and never will be another who is exactly like you.
This year, I challenge you to develop all of your natural resources and use them to make a positive difference in your world and the world around you. As we go forward into this New Year, each one of us should make this one resolve: "I Will Be The Best Me I Can Be".

I'm not eveyone's cup of tea, but I won't apologize for
being me"

'I am not a convenience store. I am a boutique. I don't have what everybody's looking for but I do offer something rare and unique.' ~inspired by J. Bryant

"Nobody can make you feel inferior, without your consent". Eleanor Roosevelt