How to Build a Platform in a Zillion (Not…

Listen now (40 min) | Alison Zak has just been “jolted from being a writer to being an author” with the interest in her non-fiction book proposals—but with that interest came questions about… The dreaded platform problem! That was the subject line of the reader email that caught our attention, and the problem is follows: you’ve got a great non-fiction proposal—but a relatively small existing “platform”. What is a platform, you ask? Well, it could be an offline community, a reputation, an academic or business space that you’re prominent in, or your reach as a professional writer in other’s spaces (i.e. the NYT, ESPN, McSweeney’s—but it’s more probably a question of online reach. As in, followers on email, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or for a blog or podcast. Numbers are important, but intensity and engagement matter too, as do being an active part of the community you want to reach, even if it’s led by others. We talk building platform and how to explain the platform you have to publishers who might think only numbers matter.

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