Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More on platform

Recently a query writer mentioned he'd spent some time building a  "large social media platform." Well, I'd never heard of the guy, but what the heck, maybe I do live under a rock. And besides, I was interested in what a large social platform looked like.  So I googled "his name" and "writer."

First hit was an Amazon listing for his book (25 reviews, most clearly from comp copies provided by the author.)

Second hit was a listing on PRNewswire for a press release he wrote.

Third hit was a guest blog post with four comments.

The next hits were LinkedIn, Facebook, B&N and Goodreads.

The closest thing to a non-industry site was a newspaper and that was a letter to the editor about his book, written by the author himself.

Ok then.  Clearly we need to review:

The first thing to know about platform is that platform is not you talking about yourself. It's other people talking about you.

Second thing to remember: if the only social media you use is Facebook, you're missing the point.

Third thing to remember:  If you've got platform, I can tell even if you don't mention it. Somewhat like being beautiful. If you are, you don't gotta say.

Any questions?


Mister Furkles said...


You miss the point entirely. When you’re a porcupine, you must talk about your soft fur and how cuddly you. Who else will?

Karen McCoy said...

I've also heard (from past posts here and other sources) that a platform isn't always required if you're unpublished in fiction. It's the writing that matters.

Anonymous said...

I feel proud of the fact that my blog has gained approximately 140+ followers - although the first year I think the only ones reading it were me and the crickets. I also have about 1130 followers on Twitter...both built up over the course of time. I don't get a lot of comments on the blog...but I still try and post something every 4-5 days. (Ms. Janet - you rock -I don't know how you do it EVERY single day!) I also read (on another agent's blog) that a writer should spend 90% of their time writing - the other 10% on social media. I still am bad for not following that rule exactly. (ahem, as I sit here now poking around blogs, FB, general internet browsing and such)

Janet Reid said...

Karen, you're right. You don't need platform for fiction.

LynnRodz said...

Yeah, b-but...if I don't tell everyone how beautiful I am, how is anyone going to know?!

Jenz said...

LynnRodz, you follow the lead of real estate agents and plaster your headshots on everything. Easy!

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Sounds like the aforementiond query writer is confusing "Social Media Presence" with "Platform".

It's not that hard to create a social media presence. I managed it. (LOOKITMEE!!! LOOKITMEE!!) However, I have found it difficult to get the whole "platform" thing going. How does a fiction author build a brand?

You may be beautiful, but if no one's looking at you, beauty's rather moot.

Janet Reid said...

The DoK makes a good point there.