So. Another neologism as come to blight the world: Writing platform. According to the cognoscenti, it’s something a writer must “build” before even begging to think about, someday, possibly, maybe typing the first letter of . . . what? Well, a book, a magazine article, a piece on someone else’s website, a letter-to-the-editor, an ad for the Little Nickle . . . even graffiti in a shithouse stall. The “platform” is an evanescent thing built of websites, blogs (like this one, I guess), meetings and convocations, flacks and hacks, book readings, soirees, and standing on the corner like a Hare Krishna handing business cards to all passers-by. And hope like hell someone — anyone — pays attention to you.
Once you’ve worked on your “platform” for years and years and have “made a name for yourself,” you are in a position to approach an agent (hopefully, it has a platform of its own) who will deign to approach publishers with your stuff. Of course, you must stand the costs up-front costs of your platform all on your own. Figure $50,000. Personally, having sold stuff for over forty years, I can tell you this “platform” will be as productive as an Amway distributorship.
But perhaps my harsh judgement is premature. Flogging my stuff on my wee little platform has paid off: I put the books in Amazon’s Kindle library and, whaddya know, I made over sixty bucks!
Break out the booze!