11.15.2006

More on platform

Culled from today's deal announcements on Publishers Lunch:

NON-FICTION: REFERENCE
Apprentice contestant and attorney Stacy Schneider's HE HAD IT COMING: How to Outsmart Your Husband and Win Your Divorce without a Lawyer, a guide that empowers women before and during the divorce process, to Terra Chalberg at Simon Spotlight Entertainment, by Frank Weimann at The Literary Group (NA).


NON-FICTION: SPORTS
Deadspin editor Will Leitch's THE BALLAD OF RON MEXICO: Why ESPN, yellow bracelets, fantasy leagues, and yes, bloggers, have ruined sports for real fans and how we can get them back, a humorous call to arms in which the ringmaster of the influential sports blog punctures today's out of control jockocracy and offers a blueprint how to put the fun back into our games, to David Hirshey at Harper, in a pre-empt, by Kate Lee of ICM.


NON-FICTION: GENERAL/OTHER
Journalist and filmmaker Sanjiv Bhattacharya's TO BE A GOD: A Journey into American Polygamy, a humorous and compelling study of America's definitions of faith through the stories and facts regarding abuse, incest, forced marriage, and religious fervor within Mormon Fundamentalism, to Hannah Morrill at Simon & Schuster, in a very nice deal, by Frank Weimann at the Literary Group International.


NON-FICTION: REFERENCE
IndieBride.com "IndieEtiquette" columnist Elise Mac Adam's SOMETHING NEW: Wedding Etiquette for Rule Breakers, Traditionalists, and Everyone in Between, a modern guide to wedding etiquette, including case studies that show how careful manipulation of etiquette can spare all kinds of heartache, to Emily Westlake at Simon Spotlight Entertainment, by Lauren Galit at LKG Agency.




This is the kind of thing people are talking about when they say you need platform.

11 comments:

Tulie said...

It boggles my mind that OJ has a book coming out about how he "would have" [ahem] murdered his wife and her friend if he'd been the killer. Alrighty, then.

The platform thing must be how *that* little project ever saw the light of day.

Anneliese said...

I know.

I receive the email of Publisher's Lunch as a Daily Motivational Tool. I mean, I got as good a chance as anybody with the likes of that being published...

Oh sorry, there I go being snide... =)

Mad Magazine had it right though, "What, me worry?"

Anonymous said...

Quality of writing comes way after platforms and hooks. There's no such thing as story anymore.

Anonymous said...

Item #1: So, an otherwise undistinguished attorney (public defender--not even a divorce attorney) gets a book deal to write a how-to, reference book about divorce because she happened to be a (losing! Fired after 2 weeks!) contestant on The Apprentice.

How in the world does this make sense to anyone in publishing?

I guess the best advice for aspiring non-fiction writers is not to work on our ideas or our writing, but to land a spot on a top-rated reality show.

Miriam said...

Miss Snark, since you obviously have an amazing platform (The mysterious Divine Miss S, shepherdess of millions of aspiring authors online, presents her guide, How Not To Be A Nitwit now on sale for just $29.99. Get your $5 off coupon with every proof-of-purchase of Bombay Gin)... um, need a ghost writer? Just a small advance is necessary....

Anonymous said...

Did #3 make anyone else cringe, or am I the only Mormon reading this? Please let me take the liberty of pointing out (for those who may not know) that when it says "Mormon Fundamentalism" it means small, radical groups that have broken off from the main church. Most Mormons are NOT like that.

Okay, end rant.

Back on subject, what exactly is the platform here? Is it just that he's a journalist, so people will recognize his name and want to buy his book? Is platform more about publicity than it is about qualifications? (I don't know much about non-fiction publishing, so please forgive me if that was a silly question.)

ORION said...

I think the point being made here is that platform is a great premise coupled with an individual that has either name recognition or a following i.e. reality show, columnist, reporter/filmmaker/editor-
Many academics, even though they are well known in their field, do not have this unless they go around the country lecturing or do workshops etc.
It is not at all that the writing is secondary. The writing must also be good.
We get side tracked when we do not look at the author's ability to come with a preexisting audience or to acquire one.

ORION said...

I think the point being made here is that platform is a great premise coupled with an individual that has either name recognition or a following i.e. reality show, columnist, reporter/filmmaker/editor-
Many academics, even though they are well known in their field, do not have this unless they go around the country lecturing or do workshops etc.
It is not at all that the writing is secondary. The writing must also be good.
We get side tracked when we do not look at the author's ability to come with a preexisting audience or to acquire one.

katiesandwich said...

Weird! I'm sitting here reading #3, and on TV is a program talking about polygamy in the background. Talk about freaky coincidences.

Anyway. So this post talks about platform as it relates to nonfiction writing, but more and more, I'm hearing that fiction writers still need to have a platform. I know that good writing trumps all, but if a platform will give me an additional appeal, I want one! But I have no idea how anything related to real life would serve as a platform for a book that takes place in a made-up world with magic and stuff. So I guess I'll just forget about it for now and finish revising my novel.

archer said...

I make a layman's observation, however, that for inspirational stuff the less platform the better, e.g., Ewww! One Family's Struggle With the Ebola Virus or She Came To Make Us Feel Really, Really Guilty For Complaining About Anything.

tinkerbell said...

> know that good writing trumps all, but if a platform will give me an additional appeal, I want one! But I have no idea how anything related to real life would serve as a platform for a book that takes place in a made-up world with magic and stuff. So I guess I'll just forget about it for now and finish revising my novel.

Hi Katie :) Basically what you have to do is use everything you have going for you. If, besides writing, you grow prize aubergines (eggplants) then in your free time throw yourself into writing about it, blogging about it, or giving presentations on it, whatever, and in the meantime mention to everyone in the competition aubergine growing world that you happen to be writing a novel. It can't hurt; most people are genuinely interested that you're doing something they've often dreamt about doing.

If you haven't yet done so, then please do read Paolo Coelho's The Alchemist for an idea of how one thing can lead to another.

It's just a question of "putting yourself out there" and yes, it's scary - the fear of people thinking "who does she think she is" is overwhelming at times, but you've got two choices. Sit on your butt and do nothing, or get out there and put yourself about. The link at the end of this post is how I'm approaching it, and I don't mind admitting (on here, in this esteemed and understanding company) that at times I've cacked my pants at putting myself so much in the public eye under my own name. But we'll all be dead relatively soon so what is there to lose? As long as you're bringing a smile to the faces of all the people in the aubergine growing world, then you are doing no harm and publicising the fact that you're writing a book simultaneously.

To have a platform, you need to build a platform. And you start with a plan, a big smile, and some wood, then get working. You don't look at other people's platforms and say to yourself "Oh I could never do that." You just work as hard as you can, and try to bring as much joy to other people as you can, so get cracking Katie, you can do it :)

my time on the turn of the 80s music scene: The Clubbing Connection