View Full Version : What's a "good" platform?

09-27-2007, 01:17 AM
I've read a couple of posts about platform. What's considered a "good" or "strong" platform? and what role does it play in your book proposal? :-)

Thanks for sharing your 2 cents!

09-27-2007, 07:50 PM
It depends what your book's about, of course, but generally, your platform should indicate that you are the go-to expert about your chosen subject and that you already command the attention of a book-buying audience. For example, if you are writing a diet book, you should have some sort of nutrition/medical background and probably an affiliation with a respected clinic (or you should be Oprah's trainer). If you're writing a dog training book, you should be Cesar Millan :).

On a smaller level, perhaps you have a high-traffic blog about a particular market niche you're exploring--but it would have to have significant hits. Maybe, as in the example of HACK by Melissa Plaut, you've "lived the life" and demonstrated that people are already seeking out your writing.

People whose queries are rejected because they have no platform are often those who either have no professional credentials or no means of attracting attention beyond what the publishing house can do. It doesn't mean that the actual writing isn't well-researched, articulate and engaging--just that not enough people will pay attention when another John Doe's book is published.

09-27-2007, 09:11 PM
I've read a couple of posts about platform. What's considered a "good" or "strong" platform? and what role does it play in your book proposal? :-)

I find one of those folding ladders set into an M shape, with a couple of planks laid across the top makes a servicable platform.


I tried not to.

The devil made me do it! :D

09-28-2007, 06:34 AM
I'd add one more thing. Credentials that show a ready-made audience include previous speaking engagements at conferences devoted to the topic you're writing about, media appearances/interviews on the topic, and positions as an officer or leader of a professional association directly related to your subject matter.

For a good discussion of platform, take a look at Susan Rabiner's Thinking Like Your Editor.

09-28-2007, 08:28 PM
Thanks Crinklish and Novelhistorian for your insights!

09-28-2007, 08:52 PM
Platform? I'm really dense today. What do platforms have to do with novels? Or is this a non-fiction specific question?

09-28-2007, 11:12 PM
I'm a big fan of the space elevator up to that orbital platform.

That's a darn awesome platform.

Also, there's a nation that's entirely one platform in the sea. That's a pretty cool platform, too. Sealand rocks.