Thursday, June 08, 2006

If I Have A Platform, I Don't Know What It Is

The folks at Readerville were talking about platforms today. According to the N.Y. Observer article I just sent you to, the term platform is all over publishing. Yet the article's author never actually defined it.

I need definitions!

To the best of my understanding (Ha!), a platform is something authors bring with them to the publishing table along with their books. It's something that will give their books a marketing edge. Does the author already have a large following for some reason or another? (Celebrity authors, for instance.) Does the author have something about her that will make the media want to cover her? (Brangelina's baby.)

A platform has nothing to do with the merits of the book. You can sell a bad book with a good platform. You can't necessarily sell a good book with a bad platform.

I'm not sure, but I think being really good looking is a platform. A good one.


Kelly said...

I believe you're right, Gail. "Being good looking and young" is the single most important platform.

Gail Gauthier said...


Kelly said...

I know. I'm going to be sending a MG out in the Fall and my "platform" is severely lacking in young and beautiful. I'll have to go with eccentric. Rings? Scarves? Purple Hair? Maybe all of it! Or, I'll just have my younger sister act in my place!

Gail Gauthier said...

I once had some professional photos done while wearing a scarf. I was told not to do it again.

Actually, if I understand this article correctly (and we know how I've been doing with that lately), having a web presence may be considered a platform.