I’d like to welcome, poet Patricia Neely-Dorsey to my blog today, on the next to last day of poetry month! She a fellow Mississippi author, in fact, we’re basically next door neighbors! At least our towns are! So, I’m more than thrilled to help out our local author and host her during her blog tour.
MY LITTLE BOOKS OF SOUTHERN POEMS
I didn’t really intentionally try to come up with an idea for a book or intentionally try to write a book of poetry . It all sort of just fell/landed in my lap. I woke up on Valentine’s Day February 2007 with a poem dancing around in my head. I quickly got up and scribbled it down. The rest, as they say, is history. After that day, poems just started pouring out. They just keep coming and coming day after day. In about two months, I had well over 200 poems. A friend of mine kept telling me how good they were and said that I should do something with them. I had no idea what that really meant !
I certainly had no intentions or thoughts of publishing a book! It had never entered my mind. Eventually, of course, that is exactly what happened. Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia -A Life in Poems was published in February 2008. My Magnolia Memories and Musings In Poems was published February 2012 .
From the very beginning of starting to market my book(s) and getting advice on how to proceed, all I heard over and over was how much of a “hard sell” poetry is. Everyone painted a very bleak picture of the prospects of ever getting people interested in buying a poetry book. I had so many brick walls that I had to break down, climb over, or go around. It is amazing how many reviewers, bloggers, newspapers, basically, had a “No Poetry ” policy. I just really believed in what I was saying and what I was promoting and I just would not take ”No” for an answer.. Many doors were eventually opened.
Although spoken word poetry has become wildly popular in recent years, written poetry is often like the “stepchild” in the literary world. Many literary journals and reviewers dismiss poetry altogether. Some newspapers even have “no poetry” reviewing policies. It is a rare occurrence for a consumer to walk into a book store and decide, “I think I need a book of poetry today.” So, publishers, advertisers and bookstores don’t put a lot of emphasis on promoting poetry. I must say, though, that my experiences with both books has been very positive. I have received wonderful reviews and the books have been overwhelmingly well-received by readers. I have had almost no negative feedback about the books at all. I have found that they do have a very special niche with Southerners. But, my “southern poems” don’t just appeal to Southerners. I have found that the books/poems have had widespread appeal. I have received e-mails complimenting the book from readers from all parts of the country. I have even had many readers outside of the U.S who have expressed how much they have enjoyed them, related to it and learned from it.
Social networking sites have been wonderful tools for promoting my message and my books. People have gotten to know me on a personal level, see some of my work in my posts, and get feedback from other friends. Social media sites put a modern spin on the old “word of mouth” concept.. It still remains the absolute best way to get your message out. Someone tells a friend and then they tell a friend about something and it just snowballs. I would say that I have gotten about 90% of my speaking engagement bookings from Facebook friends, alone.
My basic platform for promoting my books is “Celebrating the South and Promoting a Positive Mississippi.” I actually refer to them as a celebration of the South and things Southern. There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the South, in general. In my book I attempt to give a positive glimpse into the southern way of life.
It is a goal of mine for the books(s) to be adopted into school/college curricula. I believe that the book(s) can play a part in helping to preserve the rich, cultural history of our state and region for future generations .I also frequently say that I think the book(s) should be in every home and on every coffee table in the state of Mississippi. So, I am constantly working on that goal, one book at a time. I will continue to spread my message of Celebrating the South and Promoting a Positive Mississippi, which, also entails me promoting the books. That is something that I see myself doing for many years to come.
For more past tour dates, view WorldWind Virtual Book Tours.
Where to Purchase Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia
My Magnolia Memories
Add Patricia’s Books to Your Goodreads List: