Remember shoes with platform heels? We had a friend who was unhappy about his lack of height. He loved the excuse the fashion gave him (it wasn’t confined to female footwear) to become a couple of inches taller.
This memory has been brought on by my use of the word ‘platform’ in a comment I made in a discussion in a LinkedIn group, ‘Books and Writers’. The discussion was started by the question ‘How can an author find readers?’ There’ve been many comments. I added one which I will paste below with slight editing.
The comments so far are about the quality of a book’s contents and its packaging – the cover, title and the descriptive blurb which indicates its genre. But we haven’t yet answered the question. Think of finding buyers for, say, sausages. First, the ingredients must be good. Then package them in an appealing way. Are they pork? Beef? Vegetarian? Make it clear what the package contains. That’s the easy part. Now you’ve got to find buyers. You need a stall in the market. Similarly, a writer must create a platform on which to present the book that’s been produced with all necessary care. This means creating a website, becoming active on social media, contacting local bookshops, courting publicity in regional magazines and so on. I’m a beginner at marketing, although an old hand at writing. Other ideas are welcomed. Of the 102,259 members of this group, I bet the majority are writers looking for readers, rather than readers looking for writers. But here’s a question for readers – where do you find the books you want to read?