Greatest Manuscript of the Century Sucked into Black Hole!

 Can that happen? Can a truly great manuscript, truly great writing, just disappear? Yep.

The greatest book of the century can be sucked into a black hole. Can lie undiscovered.

Why? No platform.


But My Book Is Exceptional!

The two most exciting words to type are “The End.” With my book, Vaccines & Bayonets: Fighting Smallpox in Africa amid Tribalism, Terror and the Cold War, at the bottom of page 302 it was a thrill to type “The End.”

A thrill because I know I’ve written a pretty terrific book:My kids think so too. So does my sister. And so do my friends.

Doesn’t matter.

But what about this? Beta readers who don’t know me say my book is un-put-down-able.

Doesn’t matter.

Without a platform.


What’s This Platform Thing?

 The short-short version: my platform is my circle of influence.

And Why Do I Need a Platform?

 The short-short version: So that people can discover my book among a million new titles published every year in the U.S. alone, and will want to buy it.

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Photo credit: Chuttersnap via Unsplash

The slightly longer version (for me who is seeking to go the traditional publishing route): Agents, editors and publishers want to make money, not lose money. Businesses are funny that way.


An agent out there somewhere who agrees to represent me, will put hours and hours of work into me and my book—helping fine tune it for best presentation, selling an acquisitions editor on convincing their publishing house to buy it, and if it’s a go, negotiating my contract.

Still, the agent is working on my behalf. Still my agent hasn’t made a dime off me. Even after months of working with my book. And won’t. Until it makes money. Then, said agent makes a percentage.

So. No surprise here. An agent has to have a strong sense my book will successfully leap all hurdles and make money before agreeing to represent me.

Editors, Publishers

The acquisitions editor my agent will pitch my book to has to sell the idea to a lot of other folks within their publishing house, including the marketing team. The publishing house won’t take my book, and invest the several tens of thousands required to bring it out—even if it’s the greatest book they’ve ever seen—unless convinced it will make money.

And just what convinces them–besides the brilliance of my writing and current market trends?

You guessed it. My platform.

My circle of influence has to say to a publisher that people eagerly await my book, and that I’ll be actively involved in promoting the book once it’s published.

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So I’d Better Build that Platform

There are dozens of experts out there teaching me how to build a platform. I’ve been making a start— pouring a little concrete to start a foundation, putting a few bricks here, a few bricks there—over the past year.

Some people want to follow me as I, a newbie at the platform game, am learning to build mine. If you’re one of those people, come along. We’ll pour a hot cup or an iced glass depending on the weather, and learn together.

And thanks for visiting. I blog about smallpox, about Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Cameroon, and about writing and promoting my manuscript. When there’s breaking news, I’ll interrupt planned topics to share that news with you.

While you’re here today, I welcome you to read previous posts and to take a look at the rest of my website.

* * * 

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The Book?

Grab your safari hat and venture into West Africa with this visionary smallpox eradicator and his small-town wife. She savors day-to-day life in an “exotic” culture. Until–sinister forces gather. What price will the young family pay?        

Be among the first to learn the whole story. For news of the release date  Sign up here

Right now. You can glimpse the humor and horror of a true story that few have ever heard as you explore the pages of this website. You’ll even discover that VACCINES & BAYONETS: Fighting Smallpox in Africa amid Tribalism, Terror and the Cold War reverberates in today’s news. Read excerpts.




10 thoughts on “Greatest Manuscript of the Century Sucked into Black Hole!

  1. Bee, although I am on vacation, I was able to take the time to read your latest blog about building a platform. I so admire your writing, your focus and how you share what you have learned along the way. I wish you great success with your book, and the support of a wonderful publisher. You deserve being recognized for what you have accomplished.

  2. Thanks for coming along, eleahreed. “They” say you should start building your platform a year before you finish your book. But I could not do a right brain activity (the writing) and a left brain activity (this whole business end of things) at the same time. More power to those who can.

  3. Wow–what A lot of work. And it all starts when the writing is finished. Will be right here with you, for sure, learning all the way.

  4. Good luck on enlarging your platform, Bee. Your story must get out there, and while you were writing the chapters for the Writers group, I was blown away at your ease with words and how you came up with perfect ones to describe a situation.

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