post by Jennifer Carter
I've heard agents and other professionals say that for the prepublished author, platforms are not all that important. Then again, I've heard others say it's crucial and I should definitely have one before I try to get published.
If I were to assume the latter is correct, then it would be a good idea to figure out just what the heck a platform is to begin with. Now, I've gone to some workshops and read some articles about building your platform, but I have to admit, when I picture mine it still looks something like this photo. And just as empty. I hear the words they're saying about what it is, and I do understand English most of the time, but I have to say--I still don't get it.
From a nonfiction standpoint I can see how it would work--you are an expert on something and that's your platform. In certain cases of fiction writers I can see it, like Mike Befeler's geezer lit or Cricket McRae's homecrafting mystery series, but what does a run-of-the-mill literary fiction writer's platform really look like?
I've heard that whatever your book is about, that's your platform. Well, I'm not sure I want sin and repression in a small town to be my platform, because what if I want to write about something else? Do I need two or more platforms? One for every book?
We have over 200 writers in NCW, so I would love to hear from any or all of you on your take on platforms. Are they necessary? Do you have one? How did you "design" it? And if you had one before you got published, did it help? If you didn't have one, did it hinder you?