“Platform” has become the buzzword in publishing circles. Every agent and editor tells writers they need one, but few tell them how to build one. PLATFORM is a straightforward guide to building a solid platform. This is the book for people who don’t know where to begin (read: most novelists). There are a lot of things a writer can do to increase visibility and Hyatt details every single one. I took two pages of notes and have only begun to implement Hyatt’s suggestions. PLATFORM is firmly new media, telling writers how to set up a blog and maintain an active presence online. There is no information here about older forms of marketing, such as ads or book signings–a refreshing change from other marketing books.
Platform building starts all the way back at the product itself. If your product doesn’t have what Hyatt calls the “wow factor,” then no amount of hype will elevate it. As authors, we should always start with our books. If they aren’t the absolute best books we can envision, we shouldn’t even try to market them.
Hyatt goes on to explain some behind-the-scenes basics, like head shots and elevator pitches. These are things a writer needs before launching into any kind of online presence. From there, Hyatt tackles the online world, with an emphasis on blogging. He also covers the basics of Twitter and Facebook, but mainly as vehicles to drive traffic to a writer’s blog.
Ironically, I did not pick up PLATFORM because of Hyatt’s platform. Before buying the book, I had never read Hyatt’s blog, did not follow him on social media, and had no idea he was the chairman of a large publishing company. So what made me buy PLATFORM? I spotted it on a “recommended for you” page on Amazon. Does that mean Hyatt’s platform didn’t work? Not necessarily. Hyatt gave away hundreds of advanced-review copies to generate good endorsements and a successful book launch. As all writers know, when it comes to books, being visible on Amazon is the best platform of all.
rating: 4 stars
pie slices: 8 slices business
This book is best for: advanced writers
I recommend this book.