Platform isn’t just for Shoes!

In General on April 13, 2009 at 11:50 pm

christina_katz_by_mark_benningtonThis week I’m featuring a great, informative interview with Christina Katz, whose new book: Get Known Before the Book Deal is crammed with detailed, useful information about how writers can build a platform. Her answers are so meaty I decided that I’ll post one question and answer per day for the next 7 days. Each one is fabulous, so don’t miss them!

Your book Get Known Before the Book Deal is about writers building “platform” — can you demystify this scary term for us?


Sure. A platform communicates your expertise to others. It 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.


Basically, your platform is everything you do with your expertise. A platform-strong writer is a writer with influence. Once you establish a platform, it can work for you 24/7, reaching readers even as you sleep. Of course, this kind of reach takes time. If many others already recognize your expertise on a given topic or for a specific audience or both, then you likely have an active platform.


I find it helpful to define a platform as a promise writers make to not only create something to sell (like a book), but also to promote it to the specific readers who will want to purchase it. This takes both time and effort, not to mention considerable focus.

Stay tuned for the answer to tomorrow’s question: I have long been in awe of your ability to promote your books, through blogs and newsletters, which are all essential parts of building a strong platform. Did you learn to do this along the way once your book Writer Mama was published, or did you have this kind of natural savvy all along?



Christina Katz is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform (Writer’s Digest Books). She started her platform “for fun” seven years ago and ended up on “Good Morning America.” Christina teaches e-courses on platform development and writing nonfiction for publication. Her students are published in national magazines and land agents and book deals. Christina has been encouraging reluctant platform builders via her e-zines for five years, has written hundreds of articles for national, regional, and online publications, and is a monthly columnist for the Willamette Writer. A popular speaker at writing conferences, writing programs, libraries, and bookstores, she hosts the Northwest Author Series in Wilsonville, Oregon. She is also the author of Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (Writer’s Digest Books).





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