As I mentioned in my last blog entry, I am at a quandary over my next book project and the perplexity continues. This interim period for me between books is an odd time. As I close out the editing process on my latest two titles, Hiking Alabama 5th Edition and Space Oddities:Forgotten Stories of Mankind’s Exploration of Space, I get the bug. It’s a feeling that I really need to write another book. These last two books have led me to a thousand new ideas for other titles. They are rushing around in my head, each one shouting at me that it needs to be the next one I need to pursue.
Unlike big name and world famous authors, writers like me are not under long term book deals. It’s a fight to get the attention of a publisher and have our book ideas get past the dreaded Acquisition Editor. We do this through query letters first where on a single page we have to describe our idea by making the words jump off the page and smack the editor in the face making them sit up and take notice and say, “Hm, interesting idea.”
When it comes to my outdoor recreation books, since I have been with Falcon so long, they usually come to me when it’s time to update my previous titles or to ask if I would be interested in writing this book or that book. That has been the case with PaddlingAlabama, Best Dog Hikes Alabama, Hiking Through History, Hiking the Gulf Coast, and Hiking Waterfalls Alabama. For my non-fiction history books, that is another story.
For my history titles, I make the bold move and skip the query step and go right to the proposal. A proposal is the blueprint of a book that outlines every detail, every nook and cranny of what I envision a book to be complete with a detailed outline of each and every chapter, how it should be marketed, and so on. Not to pat myself on the back but my proposals usually hit the mark and spur the Acquisition Editors to call, ask questions, and sign me on. That has been my experience with Baseball in Mobile, Hidden History of Mobile, and my latest, SpaceOddities: Forgotten Stories of Mankind’s Exploration of Space.
That last title, “Space Oddities”, was the most fun I had writing. The researching and writing was everything I believed writing should be and it spawned a dozen different ideas for future books, each one more exciting and interesting to me than the first. That is where my problem lies.
But this is a good problem to have. With retirement from my day job imminent, I see a whole new world opening up. I can’t wait for that adventure to begin. But before that time, I have a proposal to finish writing. Oh, wait. Look at that over there. That would make a good book.
The journey continues.