Oh, I knew "platform" is a polysemous word. Sure. Platform shoes. Train platform. Political party platform. I am a savvy word user. Proud of my vocabulary, in fact.
But, this past weekend, at the Southern California Writer's Conference, I learned a new meaning. "Platform" in writing these days is the difference between me getting published and not, between me selling books and not.
I admit to being pretty naive when it comes to the business side of publishing fiction. Though I have published extensively in professional journals and college textbooks, I did little other than sign contracts and submit manuscripts.
Nowadays, if one isn't on Facebook (I just joined), Tweeting (I rarely turn on my cell, so that's not going to happen), setting up a website (done: go to my nascent site: AuthorSAM.homestead.com), and blogging (welcome to all of you; keep coming), promotion of one's self and works will be virtually non-existent. Gone are the days of publishers setting up and paying for book tours and signings for the vast majority of us journeymen writers. In fact, the line behind John Grisham and Stephen King is pretty short and not accepting new applications.
So, I am going to blog regularly and seek readers. On my website, I am going to post some excerpts of my writing and seek feedback. I have business cards and Facebook. Publishing, here I come!
I just hope I have time to get back to my manuscripts. Write Away, Reader.