Friday, 9 November 2012

Readers Supporting Writers

Recently on one of my favourite book programmes the subject of discussion was the idea that as readers we are a very powerful, but hidden group. The main thread of this chat was that we tend to think of publishers, agents and marketing people as having the power, but if a group of readers were to get behind a writer, buying and recommending their book, pushing for reviews and prizes etc, all that could be cut though.

So many good books get ignored by the reviewers and prize givers, so many exciting stories and poems fall into too few ears when the closed circles of privilege, and who knows who are in operation. I know of many wonderful books & writers that just do not get the love they deserve because they are outside of this closed loop system.

Here in Hebden the local crafts people and makers are having a drive to encourage buying from independent traders this Christmas. Good sales make the artist feel valued, and also that they are part of the world, as well as providing some income. I thought we could think the same way about books and writers who are of great talent, but who may not get the breaks they deserve. A thousand extra sales of a book for an independently published writer could have a life changing effect, while another thousand sales of ‘Celebrity Chef In The Jungle - My True Story Volume 3’ counts for little. So if you would get behind a book or a writer, we can show them that what they do matters, and perhaps bring a little attention to someone who deserves it, rather than the same old, same old.

A Strategy?
Of course we need some way to make this work so that there is an effect. On the Radio show the host wanted all his listeners to buy a particular book as an experiment to see what difference that would make out there, I will keep listening and report back anything he says in future on the subject. But how do we do something? I am happy for this blog to be a hub. Perhaps we can have a book of the season which we all go and buy, which would mean we support four writers/books a year in a very strong way, I am also happy to make recommendations but of course I will need your help with that. I would love to have your thoughts.

Note: This piece is an extended version of the intro to my own November newsletter which goes out to my readers/subscribers each month - you can read the newsletter here which has a lot more about what I'm up to at present.


Maureen said...

Maybe something like a "Readers & Writers Together" site, with subsequently, a section titled "Blog Book of the Month", that links to radio interviews, news, GoodReads friends, a tour of blogs promoting the book, other social media in which the author is involved, networking activities such as readings, etc... the idea being to promote on multiple fronts at the same time (a kind of Blitz if you will from a centralized site) that ends with a point-of-purchase sale via author, publisher, or indie site. Probably would need an assistant (student as unpaid volunteer/intern?) to help with collection of links, etc., but it could be done.

Will think on this some more. Would love to see a site that tied to a U.S. version of the same thing to promote more globally.

Maureen said...

A "Communities of Interest" section also could be added to a site.

Hope you don't mind my using the comments to think aloud with you.