According to the experts, every new writer needs a platform. From what I've read, I'd sum up a platform as defining the writer's expertise. Or in other words, what qualifies you to write this story. I can see why that would be important for a non-fiction writer. If I'm going to take advise from someone or lend credibility to their point of view, I'd certainly want to know their background in the subject. As a fiction writer, coming up with a platform is a little more difficult.
If you're a veteran writing war stories, a history professor who writes historical romance, or a mystery writer with experience as a lawyer, policeman or coroner, the theory is that people will be more likely to buy your books. However, what do you do if you write science fiction or fantasy?
Frankly, as a reader,I don't care about an author's expertise and rarely read the back of the book jacket when perusing the bookstore. All I care about is how well they write. With the availability of the Internet any author can research all the facts he or she needs to make the plot believable. Some of my favorite authors have never been anything but writers. Additionally, a list of awards for poetry or short stories won't convince me someone can write a novel. I look for a great jacket synopsis and a riveting first chapter. If I get to the end of the story and can't wait to read more, I'll research and buy every thing the author has ever written. If I get bored half way through, I'll avoid that author, even if they have a list of best selling novels to their credit.
In my opinion, the only reason for a fiction writer to struggle writing a platform is to sell your manuscript to a publisher. They are the only ones who care.
Just in case not every reader agrees with me, I was a Director of Human Resources for a Las Vegas strip hotel just like my heroine in Double Down and Jealousy.