Christina Katz recently sent a message to me on Twitter:
Can you do #platformchat this friday from 2-3 EST? I’d love to have you talk about your pre-pub. platform development.
I said yes. Later, I realized this chat would have only two guests: Jane Friedman, the Publisher and Editorial Director at Writer’s Digest, and me.
The event itself went well, though. Christina asked thought-provoking questions about life as a nonfiction writer, fiction writer and blogger. Many of those who’d tuned into the event spread the word and retweeted lines that resonated with them; others asked smart questions, made insightful comments. Once finished, I had about 60 new followers–most of them writers. (You can read the transcript HERE and learn more about Twitter chats HERE.)
Since a lingering effect of the chat has been platform-on-the-brain, that’s the subject of today’s blog post.
What is platform?
In easy terms, platform is what’s available to you so that when you have something to say, you’re heard. In our interview with Christina Katz, she described it like this:
A platform is a promise, which says you will not only create something to sell (a book), but also promote it to the specific readers who will want to purchase it. A platform-strong writer is a writer with influence. Your platform includes your Web presence, any public speaking you do, the classes you teach, the media contacts you’ve established, the articles you’ve published, and any other means you currently have for making your name and your future books known to a viable readership. If others already recognize your expertise on a given topic or for a specific audience or both, then that is your platform. Your platform communicates your expertise to others, and it works all the time so you don’t have to.
How do you build a platform that will stand out?
You build a platform by building a specific reputation, developing a niche, and connecting with others, regardless of what you write. But take care if your plan is to latch your name to a big genre label. [Read more…]