Friday, December 5, 2008
Hand me the hammer, please?
If you've been thinking about getting published, you would have heard of the term "platform."
My understanding of a platform: that which gives you the authority and draws people to your book. It used to be that platform reigns supreme in non-fiction. After all, who wants to read a book about the migration patterns of miniature vampire bats if the author isn't someone who knows a thing or two about it. (Please don't google "migration patterns of miniature vampire bats" because there may not be such things. See, I don't know the first thing about bats or migration patterns or vampires, so you wouldn't want to buy a book on the subject even if I wrote one.)
Fiction these days needs platforms as well, I am told. What constitutes a platform gets slightly fuzzy in my mind. One example I can think of is the author Jeff Stone, who wrote the international best-selling series on five young monks schooled in kung-fu. Jeff Stone is a highly trained martial arts practitioner as well and can talk authoritatively on the subject. I can also imagine him performing some cool monkey-styled kung-fu moves in school visits.
What else? How do unpublished authors build their platforms? (Please don't say plank by plank, you clever and cheeky ones.)
Have no fear, there is a book out, titled Getting Known Before the Book Deal, in which one writer, a successful one, discusses platform-building. You can read an interview with the author and get the links to the book and her website at Writer Unboxed.
Know a not-yet published author? Need to get him/her a gift?
(Hint: I'm not published and I haven't read the book yet either. : D)