Overcome Your Platform Roadblocks

In Interviews, Profiles on April 16, 2009 at 10:43 pm

christina_katz_by_mark_benningtonDay Four of my weeklong interview with Christina Katz, author of Get Known Before the Book Deal and Writer Mama.

Q: 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?


CK: This kind of response is understandable because there is a lot of pressure out there right now to come at publication via social networking or self-publishing. I believe that there is a much simpler, easier way — not that there is anything wrong with social networking or self-publishing per se. But in my opinion, they should come last, not first.


My advice to anyone interested in traditional publication (or self-publication, for that matter) is to first educate yourself about what platform is and isn’t. Determine your specific expertise, choose a topic and a target audience, then pick and choose from the various ways you can flex your expertise and start working it. You will gain confidence by doing, and I mean in the world too, not just online. Finally, build your online presence around all of these keys. That’s what I call establishing and building your identity, not “branding,” because I am so weary of that word.


I work with folks aiming for traditional publication and I work with them all the way from beginner to book deal. And there is only one way to get from point “A” to point “B” and that is step-by-step. I find that this kind of grounded progress tends to alleviate much of the anxiety around platform building.



Stay tuned for tomorrow’s question: Is it as necessary for a fiction writer to build platform as a non-fiction writer?



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