Are you an aspiring writer? Do you want an edge that will get you an agent or publishing contract? If so, you’d be doing yourself a favor to read Christina Katz’s new book, Get Known Before the Book Deal. This book is not only packed full of information on creating your platform, it’s also presented in a positive, inspirational way that’s sure to get your motor revving. Be prepared to read it with a notebook nearby so you can jot ideas down as you go.
The only thing that would make this book more effective is if it came with a couple gig of motivation that could be installed directly in your brain, but really, that’s not necessary. Katz has a talent for stirring up passion and addressing our timid-writer issues in a way that will allow us to be ourselves and still get known. In fact, she stresses that you shouldn’t try to be someone who you aren’t, but instead your platform should be “a natural extension of who you are inside.” Lest you think that as an introvert this book is not for you, don’t worry. Katz offers so many ideas that will appeal to different personality types that you’re sure to find something you feel comfortable with. And while she stresses that we are ultimately responsible for all aspects of our own writing careers, she provides tips for those who have trouble getting up in front of people and otherwise promoting themselves.
In the first section, Katz presents a step-by-step plan for brainstorming platform ideas, including identifying your readership, coming up with a specific focus, and testing the viability of your plans. She then goes on to demonstrate how to promote yourself through teaching classes, making presentations, writing articles, and volunteering, among other things. She finished up by explaining how to develop an identity, style, and other promotion devices, then use online tools to grow your platform. At every juncture she not only tells you what you have to do, but how to do it, providing examples and exercises to get the gears moving in your head.
As I read this book I kept thinking, okay, she’s given me a lot to work with, things have got to wind down now. But no, there was always more. And all along the way, Katz addressed the questions that popped into my head almost as soon as they formed.
While this book is particularly useful for writers of non-fiction, Katz also details how fiction writers can find their own niche and use it to build a platform. I came up with several potential ideas for my YA novels as I read and constantly had to set the book down to scribble comments.
If you buy no other book on how to further your writing career this year, buy this one. Borrowing is not good enough. You’ll want to mark up the pages, underlining passages and making notes as Katz ignites your passion and supercharges your creativity.