Don’t assume my reading Get Known Before The Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths To Grow An Author Platform in any way hints that I want to be known or that I am planning on getting a book deal. In fact, every writer and business expert will benefit from reading the book because it helps with marketing your work by building a platform.
“Platform?” you say? “But I’m not entering for Miss (or Mr.) America and I am sure you’re not talking about that thing speakers stand on.”
You’re right that those are platforms, but writers and experts need another kind of platform in between the speaking they do. Christina Katz’s definition of platform follows:
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.
Many people write because they enjoy the work and love the thrill of seeing their work published. They don’t do it because it means fame. Smart writers know they need name recognition to lead to bigger and better assignments. Writers who plan to publish a book soon or in 10 years need to build a platform starting now. It’ll increase your chances of landing a book deal with publishers if they know you’ve established yourself and did your own marketing and PR.
Katz outlines everything you can do to build that platform of yours. The book splits into three parts: Defining platform, marketing and putting everything together. She offers actionable ideas and assignments on how to identify your platform. Once you figure that out, she goes on to show you how to capitalize on your platform with a variety of activities and exercises (not the floor kind) with some you already know and others you might not have considered.
Before I finished reading the book, I took steps to pinpoint my platform (still am). Some how to books overwhelm the reader and don’t identify a clear place to start or they throw too much at the reader. Though Katz lists a diversity of things for writers to do, she does it in a manner that compels you to take one action at a time rather than make you feel overwhelmed. And that’s the sign of a successful how to book.
If you like online and blog writing, you’ll love Katz’s first-person, easy-going and straight-forward writing style that comes across like a teacher or mentor who cares about your success. I recommend reading the book all the way through the first time and start doing her suggested activities while you read the book. Then refer back as you complete activities to find the next thing to do in building your platform.
Platform building never stops even if you become a best-selling author with a solid platform. You still have to make sure it stays standing. This book applies to anyone who wants to be an expert on a topic while landing new opportunities whether it’s a authoring a book, keynoting or being the go to expert for a specific topic.
How did you pick your platform? Or if you don’t have one yet, how will you identify your platform?