By now, even the least tech-savvy among us are familiar with the most popular social-media platforms and the niche audiences they attract. Photographers flock to Instagram, dancers abound on TikTok, and gamers gather on Twitch. It’s good business sense for creators to gravitate towards apps that support and enhance their crafts. But until recently, one of the oldest groups of creators was largely ignored amid the surge of digital artistic expression: authors.
The lack of an outlet for authors inspired Allison Trowbridge to found Copper, a platform that uses curated content to connect authors with their readers, and vice versa. As an author herself who was publishing her book Twenty-Two: Letters to a Young Woman Searching for Meaning with HarperCollins while pursuing her MBA at University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, Trowbridge was discouraged by how difficult it was for authors — from debuts to New York Times bestsellers — to market and promote their work.
Soon-to-launch Copper does just that for any author, whether he or she is going the self-publishing route or has already dominated bestseller lists. “It allows the authors to really build a centralized place online to meet and connect with their readers,” Trowbridge says. With live events, curated reading recommendations and discussion threads, Copper focuses on deepening author-reader relationships and scaling authors’ audiences in a sustainable way.
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“Part of the inherent frustration for authors and publishers today is that when they’re trying to market these books, authors are left to try to write really short one-liners on Twitter or dance to TikTok videos or make Instagram reels,” Trowbridge says. “And none of those are fully aligned to the skills it took them to write and publish a book.”
Beyond offering a platform for marketing purposes, Copper allows authors to experience readers’ engagement with their work directly. “Musicians and other creators get to play in front of an audience and see their impact,” Trowbridge says. “Authors never really get to see the impact that their work makes on the lives of their readers.”
Image Credit: Copper
Beating the odds as a woman founder
Trowbridge had her work cut out for her in bringing Copper from idea to reality. Diving into the publishing and tech spaces as a woman founder comes with certain challenges, as women’s representation in both industries continues to lag. Although women make up the majority of publishing employees, they’re still underrepresented within the industry’s executive ranks and typically earn less than their male colleagues. When it comes to tech, a study by the AnitaB.org Institute found that women only make up 28.8% of the workforce, and that percentage plunges to just 4% for women of color, according to a …….