- Build community around the journal by creating personal, ongoing relationships with contributors
- Send one e-mail a month to your e-list – no more or it gets too much, no less or they forget about you. Weekly is too much; monthly is appropriate.
- Build your audience organically by having some patience and letting people come to you; don’t overdue it with email blasts and online publicity
- Encourage editors to respond to emails in personal ways, including signing their own name when rejecting submissions
- Build a sense of trust among other literary journals, and focus on cross-promotion not just of your journals, but of the artists and writers for whom you share a mutual appreciation
Blogs & Social Networking
- Blogs are flickering fireflies of promotion; make connections with both new & established ones
- Tap into the blogosphere with a niche genre
- Use your blog for in-depth content – book reviews, interviews, spotlights on contributors
- Create a Facebook page for the journal & encourage your editorial board & contributors to use their personal FB pages to announce new issues
- For online journals, use social networking & interactivity tools to find a way for readers to be able to discuss what they’ve just read
Word of Mouth
- Mail your call for submissions to all department heads you can get email addresses for
- Make sure your faculty who have connections talk up the latest issue among their writer friends, colleagues, and in their classrooms
- Some of your better known contributors will bring a lot of people to each issue, with their mailing lists, students, and colleagues, plus in Google searches of their name
- Pitch to Poets & Writers & try to get special issues reviewed in other popular literary outlets
The Real World
- Give the journal some sense of presence in the world by holding readings and events in the community
- Attend conferences and book fairs, most especially AWP’s book fair, where you have a captive audience actively looking for new journals to read and submit to.
- Put up posters around campus
- Hold poetry slams and other student readings at the local bookstore, library, or other literary outlet
- When your literary journal is established and has built a solid reputation, pitch it as a learning tool for English courses in high schools and undergraduate programs
- Sponsor live events open to the public, inviting artists in multiple genres together; these will help you connect to your readership and create a lot of energy around each issue.
- Provide your contributors with announcement cards that they can spread around
- Make a hand-made version of your first online issue, which you can pass out at local readings and at the local book fair. Make about 500 of these mini-mags (2 in x 2 in). People enjoy the novelty of these hand-made items, which will drive traffic to your site & they can keep as a momento.