Thursday, January 13, 2011

“Get Known Before the Book Deal”—That’s What I’m Trying to Do!

I got a great book for Christmas: Christina Katz’s Get Known Before the Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths to Build an Author Platform. You gotta add it to your personal gift-getting-occasions list. If you are a serious author, that is, in search of how to become a published author.

If you already know this stuff (or are Stephen King), apparently you have no need to buy the book. But, I know from conversations with my various critique group members that there are lots of us who are unsure how to navigate the book-marketing waters.

This Brave New World we face is relatively new. Sure, authors have always had to promote their books, thus the 12-cities-in-four-days book tours of the past. But this is different. We must have a clear idea of how to promote our work to selected audiences that we have already developed a connection with/to. These are “fans” who will be delighted to hear that we have something they can buy from us.

So, if like me, you are trying to figure it out, get this book! Christina Katz writes clearly and specifically about what we need to do. She manages to break the whole scary thing down to manageable bites and she does it without talking down to the debut author.

She explains what a platform is and in subsequent sections helps you see yourself doing what she describes. Part One is “Platform Ready” which includes (but is not limited to) chapters on becoming visible, cultivating your expertise, aligning with the audience, thinking productively, and acting from passion. There are more chapters in Part One.

In Part Two, “Platform Set”, she includes chapters on teaching to learn, connecting with others, and offering a service. Again, there are more sections than I have listed.

In Part Three, “Platform Grow”, Katz discusses, among other topics, identity quest, getting testimonials, and broadcasting your blog.

Practical, authentic, realistic. This book holds your hand and leads you through the parts of self-promtion that seem so scary and unfamiliar.

I have bookmarked her website: because she has numerous helpful blog posts, a free monthly newsletter, and workshop offerings. It is a great site to add to your regular rotation of blog sites.

You CAN get known before the book deal. I believe that after reading her book. And you will, too. Welcome, Fellow Debut Author! And a round of applaluse for our guide there, Christina Katz.


  1. Shucks, thanks so much for the glowing review, Sharon. I really appreciate your support and recommendation. :)

  2. No, thank you! This is a book that belongs on everyone's shelf of resources. I'll be sure to let you know when I get that first book deal!

  3. As long as we're thanking people, I really appreciate both of you. I not only need a hand along the trail but an occasional swift kick to remind me there's more to writing a book than just writing the book.