Insta-poetry and the numbers

This BookNet article asks: Should poets be on Instagram? I think the question should be more like, “Should Instragram poets be counted as part of poetry sales?” Maybe they should get their own category so our parents will stop asking us why we make no money when “that pretty girl who draws the flowers online” is a millionaire.

But then I asked myself,
Who are you
to say these things?
Who are you?
and my self replied,
You have always known.
So I was like,
That’s a cop out, Self,
but my self just shrugged.

In 2014, Instapoets accounted for just over 12% of all poetry sales. By 2016, half of all poetry sales were for books by poets with strong Instagram followings. Instapoets’ domination peaked in 2017, when their titles accounted for just over 80% of all poetry sales.

In 2018, Instapoets accounted for just under 1% of all poetry ISBNs with sales, but made up 70% of all units sold. Pretty compelling!

While it looks like Instapoets’ domination may have peaked in 2017, it’s hard to say what could happen in the future.

Depends on whose future we decide to go with. Mine is particularly grim.

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