Sunday, June 17, 2012

Get ready, 'cause here we come...Just a quick note to let you know that Where's The Play will be published and ready for prime time in the next two or three weeks! Be on the lookout for it! And you thought it would never happen, didn't you! Yeah, well so did I! I'm self publishing through a POD (Print On Demand) company....I plan on having this out in hard copy (paperback) and then shortly thereafter, as an e-book. Here is the text from the back-cover:

WHERE’S THE PLAY? Three words that may not mean much to most people, but words that were seared into our tiny little orb-like brains by our new Knothole League baseball coach. These words would contribute to our perfect trifecta: achieving our every hope and dream, restoring prominence to our community, and saving our sponsor from the ache of financial ruin. My dad, our new coach, barked these signature words whenever the opposing batter came to the plate. Little did we know that words spoken to us on a baseball field as young children would continue to guide our lives many years later.

Few kid leagues exist with as formidable a team as Shotwell’s Shockers. They were every opponent’s nightmare and every coach’s dream. We were faced with just such a curse. We had the good fortune of two advantages; our pitcher, and a new coach to lead us through a most amazing summer.

There is plenty of summer fun and laughter interspersed with memories of days gone by. As much a book on the value of goodhearted, caring coaching and sponsorship as it is one of playing the game, the reader will be inspired by the positive, visionary coach; equally enamored by the loveable, affable sponsor; and unavoidably enchanted by a team of misfits that, against great odds, fights its way to the elusive championship game.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Proof Copies and Endorsements

I suppose it's time to post another semi-annual blog about the adventures of my book. I haven't been totally stagnant! After several great edits from family and a final edit from a professional editor, I finished and tried a couple of agents. Alack and alas, I was thwarted. I was not finished, however. I printed up 20 "proof" copies and my dad has given them out to several high profile people. I have already received 2 endorsements for the book now. My first endorsement was from none other than Vernon Law, 1960 Cy Young award winner for the Pittsburgh Pirates and winner of that year's World Series against the New York Yankees. I just got word that an old friend of Dad's who coached several college basketball teams has agreed to endorse it also.

This is fantastic as I have other potential endorsements in the works as well. Endorsements could be the difference between me getting a publisher to actually publish the book and my having to self-publish. Good endorsements always help sell the book as well. I am very excited about this and figure after about 1/2 dozen or so endorsements, I'll start pitching the book again to some publishers and see where it goes....Exciting stuff!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Final Draft

Last month I mustered up all my courage and hired a professional editor to edit my work. I was extremely nervous as the person I chose to do the work was an accomplished author and also someone who edits books for a living. I was afraid she would be repulsed by my amateurish writing. Instead, she was very supportive and encouraging. That's not to say that she didn't have constructive criticism and didn't tell me that I use weak verbs at times, etc. But she told me she loved my book and thinks it should be published. I was ecstatic. It cost a bit of money to do this, but I think it was worth it for my confidence. I have now sent my second query letter and a book proposal to another publisher just this week. We'll see what happens now.

The editor scaled my book back a bit (by about 5000 words!), but it's a leaner, cleaner machine and she kept my voice also. I guess with this economy that's what we're all looking for anyway. I suppose if this publisher doesn't like it I'll try with one or two others and if I still don't get any bites I'll just have to give the 'ol self-publishing a whirl. No problem there, just a bit more work and money involved...Oh yeah, money...Ok, well, slight problem, but we'll figure that out when/if the time comes! I figure if these folks will love it, the public will love it and want to make a movie out of it and the next thing you know, we've got the new "Sandlot" series, only this one is nonfiction...Who knows?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

REJECTED! And I Have a Title!

Ok, so I know it's been awhile, but I thought I'd let you know that I have a working title now for the book. It is called "Where's The Play?" 'Boys, baseball and the power of America's pastime' For those who have not read the drafts yet (which is nearly everyone), the saying, "Where's the Play?" is a pivotal part of the book and has great meaning. Hopefully, it translates well enough to someone who hasn't read the book too.???...???

Anyway, I have already sent in my first 'query letter' also and got my first REJECTION back...Ugh. Oh well, as one of my daughter's said, it just means I'm that much closer to the 'yes.' Letter! I have sent in another query letter, but don't have too much hopes on it, as it was an application you send in via their online template and I messed up when I did it online and submitted it before I could send in my contact info. I then had to resubmit w/my contact info. I'm sure this didn't look very good. I haven't heard back from them, but it's only been 10 days and they say if they like it that it will be at least 2 to 4 weeks before you'll hear from them (otherwise, you won't hear from them). We'll see. I will probably send some more query letters out in the next week just for fun and see what happens though. If I don't have any luck in the next couple months, I'll probably self-publish. That's it for now, gotta go! Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Name That Book!

Ok. First, thank you to all of you for your great suggestions, comments, and encouragement. It's exciting to get on here from time to time and see the comments. I'm sorry that I don't update this more often. However, I have now essentially completed my book and am ready to begin marketing it. The only thing keeping me from doing so is...The title (well and a few jitters of just doing it-- You know, kind of like picking up the phone and asking that girl out for a date back in high school)...The working title I have currently, while maybe ok, is just a working title and maybe not perfect. So, I'm going to leave it to you guys to help me out. I'm going to put some possible titles that I've brainstormed w/Kelly and myself here. I'll leave it for you to either vote on your favorite one, or to add something that you feel inspired about. I don't know, maybe if you come up with something fantastic I'll give you the second copy signed by yours truly (sorry, the first copy goes to the wifers.)! Anyway, Here are the possible titles so far-- In NO particular order other than the first one is the working title...from there it is just as I'm writing them from my list or thinking of them...

"A Classics' Tale: How My Baseball Team Saved Its Sponsor; Put a Twinkle in the Coach's Eye; Restored Distinction and Prominence to the Town; And Fulfilled All of My Boyhood Dreams"
"A Classic Tale"
"A Tale of The Classics"
"True American Classics"
"The Last of the True Classics"
"A Classic tale of a Classic Game in a Classic Town on a 'Classic' Team"
"Boys, Baseball and The Power of America's Pastime"
"Double Play Classics: The Power of America's Pastime"
"We Want a Pitcher Not a Belly Itcher"
"Classics' Double Plays: The Power of America's Pastime"
"Saving The Classics"
"The Knothole League Knockouts"
"The Magic Valley Magic"
"Magic Valley Magic"
"A Tale of Two Teams"

...Please vote or add to it-- I want to finish this part quickly, so put your creative thinking caps on 'cause I'm ready to rock 'n roll onto the next phase of this little project really soon! Thanks for all your support in this! I'm really excited to get this done! I'll post again when I get a Title decided on (of course, if some big fat 'ole publisher chooses to represent me, they'll probably choose some other lamo title, but I should have a title to send w/my query letter) and when I start sending in queries. Wish me luck!

Monday, July 7, 2008

I've Written a Book!

So, here I am nearly one and a half years into writing my first full on book. I started it last year around the first part of 2007. I'm nearly complete. It is a non-fiction (narrative non-fiction) book about my little league baseball team. For awhile now I knew that the story of our team was something that should be told, but when I started talking with my dad (who was our coach) about it, he even added more fuel to the fire because of the inside information he had that I had never even known. Then I started talking with my best buddy and true hero of the team and he had old memorabilia and other stuff that got me excited and also helped to jog my memory. I also called our old team sponsor who was as much a part of our team as the coach and any player and I also talked to his son who had been on the team and was a good friend of mine. This month I'll be going back to that town to get some final research done, see my old best buddy (the hero) again after not seeing him for a good 10 years and also see the sponsor and his son to bring up old memories that I can hopefully finish up my book with. I hope to then have it complete and ready for the editors by the end of August! Whoohoo!
So, below is the short little Query Letter that I'm sending out to the Literary Agents to see if I can get any bites for a publishing contract...Let me know what you think. I'm open to suggestions and critiques...Unless you get too overly critical-- Then I do have to draw the line, of course-- Even writers have feelings. If you just hate it, just don't say anything. But if you think there could be something else added to maybe 'hook' you in to wanting more, let me know! In any regard, I'm excited for this no matter what happens, because it's been a great deal of fun and I do think people will enjoy the story (in spite of my amateurishness in spots)...If it piques your interest some, be on the look-out for the book in the near future!

Also, just so you know how it works in the posh and pompous publishing world out there, most publishing companies don't accept manuscripts directly and will simply throw them in the garbage if you send them unsolicited. Therefore, you have one of two options, if they accept unsolicited 'query letters' you can send them to the proper person...However, you must know exactly who that person is for your 'genre' of writing, etc. And also you must know if the publishing company you are sending to even accepts your genre of writing, etc. and if they accept unsolicited query letters, blah, blah, blah.

Therefore, there are literary agents who act as the go-betweens. Not that they are any better, really...Most of them don't accept unsolicited manuscripts either, so you have to send them (correct person) a query letter as well. These query letters are very precise. Normally, not more than one page long, 12 point font, spacing, margins, etc. are specific. You must 'hook' the literary agent or publisher by the first 2 or 3 lines or you're pretty much toast and you better have perfect spelling and grammar and address the correct person. That's pretty much the game!

There are several websites that talk about prominent authors who were rejected dozens of times before they got a yes (such as John Grisham who was rejected 16 times before an agent accepted his work-- and that agent was a loser so he had to start over with another). With that said, here's my query letter be what it may...


There aren’t many nine-year-old kids who can say that they achieved their hopes and dreams, saved their community, returned balance between good and evil and delivered a man from the ache of financial ruin within the span of one memorable summer. My little league baseball team, The Classics, did just that one season in 1969. In my 40,000 word narrative nonfiction book, experience the excitement as we journey with a team of misfit kids who have a dream of playing on the hallowed field of the AA minor league baseball stadium for the little league tournament championship. The monumental task in this accomplishment is both agonizing and exhilarating.

If there were a T-ball World Series, the team in our league, Shotwell’s Shockers, would have won it. Every player on their team was bigger, faster and stronger than any other team in the league. We were the kind of meal they might have for breakfast. But T-ball was over and it was time for pitch ball. We had a new coach and our team had been largely rebuilt. Both of these events were scary for several reasons: Our new coach had never coached before, and our team had never played together before. I wish that were the only problem though; the new coach also happened to be my dad. Our pitcher, Robbie XXXX, would prove to be the greatest pitcher and player that Twin Falls would ever see. However, he still required some good coaching. We soon found out that as much as our team needed Robbie—Robbie needed my dad.

So we embarked on our championship season to show the world that we could conquer a giant. Our team soon gained a tremendous following of fans and now this little magic that we had created rubbed off onto our financially strapped sponsor who found solace and joy in this small clan of kids playing a game of baseball.

I am currently a computer systems administrator with a varied career. I have been married for 27 years and am the father of six children. This is my first attempt at a full-length book. In contemplating my experiences and writing this book, I have discovered that while my background may be unique, the feelings associated with simply growing up and the desire to overcome great odds are universal. This is a tale of a different time and place where life was a little slower-paced and our whole world revolved around the outcome of a game. We went out and created our own magic and cast a spell on the rest of the community in the process.

It is my sincere hope that you will take a moment to let my book cast its spell on you. I certainly appreciate your time and consideration as I know that both are very valuable. I will gladly send you a copy of my completed manuscript upon your request. Thank you again for your time.


Well, let me know your thoughts here! I was just reading it and can see some possible areas where I may want to tweak it a bit already, so don't feel badly if you want to critique it some...That's why it's there!