Common Platform Mistakes Writers Make

In General on April 15, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Today is day three of my interview with Christina Katz, author of the brand new Get Known Before the Book Deal and Writer Mama (both from Writer’s Digest Books).


Q: What do you think is the biggest mistake writers make regarding platform?


CK: I have a list. Here are a few common mistakes that writers make when they think about platform:


  • They don’t spend time clarifying who they are to others.
  • They don’t zoom in specifically on what they offer.
  • They confuse socializing with platform development.
  • They think about themselves too much and their audience not enough.
  • They don’t precisely articulate all they offer so others get it immediately.
  • They don’t create a plan before they jump online.
  • They undervalue the platform they already have.
  • They are overconfident and think they have a solid platform when they have only made a beginning.
  • They become exhausted from trying to figure out platform as they go.
  • They pay for “insider secrets” instead of trusting their own instincts.
  • They blog like crazy for six months and then look at their bank accounts and abandon the process as going nowhere.


I’ll stop there. Suffice it to say that many writers promise publishers they have the ability to make readers seek out and purchase their book. But when it comes time to demonstrate this ability, they can’t deliver.


My mission is to empower writers to be 100% responsible for their writing career success and to stop looking to others to do their promotional work for them. Get Known shows writers of every stripe how to become the writer who can not only land a book deal, but also influence future readers to plunk down ten or twenty bucks to purchase their book. It all starts with a little preparation and planning. The rest unfolds from there.


 Stay tuned for tomorrow’s question:

Most writers I work with express overwhelm or fear or utter ignorance about platform—what advice can you give to help them get past these roadblocks?

  1. […] Common Platform Mistakes Writers Make Fiction writer, editor, freelance journalist Jordan E. Rosenfeld (Make a Scene) gave three blog posts to her interview with Christina Katz (the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal). I like the way she’s turned the usual list of Do’s upside down and into a list of Don’ts because I think it emphasizes the consequences. For example: “They undervalue the platform they already have” reminds us not to abandon something we’ve already worked hard to develop just to move on to something new that captures our interest. In fact, you can still move on to a new area…just don’t leave your previous hard work in the dustbin. Use it as a launching point for getting into something new. […]

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