Through a coincidence of marriage (my brother's) I happily got to know and occasionally play tennis with George Witte, Editor-in-Chief of St. Martin's Press and established poet.
He was a generous and invaluable font of advice and insight and I am forever grateful for that. For a variety of reasons I have not seen him in quite a while, but I did recently see an interview of him.
The interview can be found here. I found this interesting:
"When I’m reading, I’m really listening…for a voice, a sense of urgency, a passion for the subject that excites me even if I have no previous knowledge of or interest in the subject at hand. Yes, other things are important: how many books on this subject have been published recently, how have they sold, and how is this proposed book different? Does the author have a “platform,” which can mean anything from he/she is a journalist who has published widely on the subject, or is an academic writing for a general audience, or is an expert for some other reason, or has contacts with individuals, groups, organizations, and media that can help the publisher sell, market, and publicize the book. But the key thing is the author’s voice, which no amount of proposal-laundering and packaging can supply. The best books have a distinctive sound and it’s audible from the very first encounter."
Obviously, to get in his reading pile, you need an agent, but what the above hints at is there are considerations that outweigh the platform and that a platform can be many things.
Think different. Innovate. Be authentic. Be true. Be unique.
Or, as Saint Pio said, "Pray, hope, and don't worry." And focus on writing a damned good manuscript.