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To platform or not to platform?

Today I received an email notification from the QueryTracker blog which linked over to a popular editor's blog. I read over the editor's entry for today and then perused the rest of said editor's posts. One post touched on a guide to publishing and in that post the editor discussed platforms. See below:

http://editorialass.blogspot.com/2007/05/moonrats-guide-to-getting-published.html

This editor pretty much says that you better get your name out there if you hope to land on the big book chain's shelves. I can see the point and, as a business person, support the point. But, I then went on over to Verla's and ran a search. There are numerous posts that suggest a platform is not really necessary for children's books.

See link below to one such discussion:

http://www.verlakay.com/boards/index.php?topic=36869.0

So, is it true that platform is mainly an issue for adult books. What about YA? I would think YA books/authors would definitely benefit from a solid platform and know of several authors that specified how having a strong platform helped with no only getting an agent, but an editor to take a bite, and also with sales.

This brings me to my next question. If having a platform is essential, what does that involve? Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and the like? Tell me, is a platform important and if so, how does one go about creating a strong platform?

M.B.

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