Advice: How Do You Promote a Chapbook?

So, any day now (well, probably around June 1), my chapbook Secret Rivers will come out, from the fabulous Evening Street Press. (Oh, hey, and it’s available for preorder there.) From any of you who have done one of these before, I could use some promotion tips. I don’t want it to just lie there, but here’s the thing: I’m reeeeeally introverted and not given to self-promotion — despite all my blah-blah here and on Facebook and Twitter. Do I walk into my neighborhood bookstore and ask them to stock a few, or is this just “not done” — like, so “not done” that I’ll be laughed out of the store? Not really … but you know what I mean.

Also, I could swear I saw something here on WordPress about bloggers who are authors with things currently out. Does anyone know what I mean, and how I go about telling them, “Me, too?” Also, here is a stupid WordPress question that might vary a lot depending on what theme you use: How do I put the cover image somewhere on my blog, with info on how to order, so that it lives there until I decide it’s no longer needed? (Which would be “never,” or until it sells out — whichever comes first.)

I know I need to line up a reading or two — and this will involve (erk) talking to people and asking if I can do this at their space. I’m on this part. Sort of.

But I keep thinking that there may be other great ways to promote a chapbook, and I’m just not thinking of them. I do not want to fall down in the hustle department. So … How do you promote a chapbook, anyway? Thanks for any ideas!


Nothing But Upstairs

I believe this will all work out fine;
all the umbrellas will open on time,
none of the ducks will fall into the river
without first unfurling their pink-orange feet.
No one will get cancer who does not actually
want cancer. No one will suffer from needless
rot, or from not being needed. No longer will
sentimental favorites mildew in the basement
of the mind. There will be no more basements.
We won’t need them. Everything we love,
we will keep upstairs with us. The whole
world will be nothing but upstairs then.


Not Mine

This is not my animal.

I would never leave it

malingering in the yard.


How it slinks. How it howls.

It disgusts me, its belly all

fantastic like that. All its

feathers sticking out

like that, silver as



I do not recognize it, nor

its sovereignty over my

garbage cans or the shed

where I keep broken things.


I will not listen, not even if

it crawls up my bedroom wall

at night, calls my name.


Or yours.


You’ll Never Catch Me

Listen, I watched ‘night, Mother just like everybody else.
Sissy Spacek’s got nothing on me. I know where all my
onions are. I know where I keep my guns, and my onions,
and my guns for shooting onions. You’ll never catch me
in the parking lot of a Wigwam discount store, trying to
sell shoplifted tube socks. You’ll never catch me,
no matter what I’m up to. I spray myself with PAM
morning, noon, and night so I can slide through this
world with the slickness of a wildebeest. You’ll never
catch me unawares at some watering hole. Go be
someone else’s lion, or your own, or no one’s. I’ll be
lying in a field—counting my onions, watching
night rise around me like gnats from damp grass.