Sunday, April 29, 2012

Apr. 29, - May 5, 2012 Discussions

My Sunday comment was largely about the discussions I had last week with "Anonymous" (a.k.a. "DXer" from Lew Weinstein's web site).  "Anonymous's" argument seems to be that because I do not read what he reads, I'm not adequately informed about the case.  And, to "Anonymous," that means he is right and I am wrong.

But, I also argued with another Anthrax Truther who believes the anthrax killer was also responsible for the "Chicago Lipstick Murders" which took place before Ivins was born.

Meanwhile, I continue to work on the "Notes & Resources" section of my book while I wait for responses from two large literary agencies.  My plan is to self-publish about 300 copies of my book.  But, if a regular publisher wants to publish it, I certainly wouldn't object.  I'm just not relying upon that to happen.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Apr. 22, - Apr. 29, 2012 Discussions

Sunday's comment on my web site was all about the trials and tribulations of finding a publisher for a book.

I'm in the process of trying to find a literary agent. On Friday, I received my first rejection letter. But, it was more positive than negative, since my first query email was badly written and didn't even include the chapter summaries. The response told me that agents still DO read email queries, and it told me that 15 days to get a response is probably not unusual.

I'm currently in the process of writing the Notes & References section of the book, which involves going back through all my research. That process also is also causing me to find things I didn't include in the book, and I have to wonder if I should add them or not.

So, I've got a lot of work left to do with the book while I'm continuing to send out queries to agents.

I also had an unexpected surprise when I started writing this blog entry. The format changed. It appeared that nothing works the way it formerly did -- until I found the option of going back to the old format. 


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Apr. 15, - Apr. 21, 2012 Discussions

My comment on Sunday morning was primarily about the progress I've made on my new book. I've completed the "third draft," which means I'm ready to start sending it out to agents -- assuming an agent asks to see it.

So far, I've received no responses from the two agencies I've contacted. But, past experience says it takes about 2 weeks, and it hasn't been that long for either one. If neither of the first two agencies responds before Tuesday, I'll send out another query to a third agency.

The book was written in 6x9 book format. It's 441 pages long. I'm now creating the manuscript version. It looks like it will be about 700 pages when printed.

I've also discovered a new "Russian mystery" in my web site logs. I'll have to research it further when I get an opportunity.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Apr. 8 - Apr. 14, 2012 Discussions

My comment on Sunday was mostly about finishing the second draft of my new book. I thought it was going to be shorter than the first draft, but it turned out to be 847 words longer. I also sent out my first query letter to an agent. I did that on Thursday.

I hadn't realized it, but I've been working on the book since September 2010, about 19 months! On the other hand, when I started the second draft I didn't think I'd be done until mid-Summer. And, just a few weeks ago I stated that I didn't think it would be done until the end of April. So, I either didn't need to make as many changes as I thought I'd have to make, or I found more time to work on the book than I thought I'd have.

My focus now is on writing a much better query letter, in case the first one gets a negative response. If I get a negative response or don't get any response at all by Wednesday, I'll send out another query. There are dozens of agents looking for new material to represent. (I dealt with agents before. About 12 years ago I had an agent in Hollywood trying to sell my screenplays, and I had another agent on the East Coast trying to sell my novel "Clipper," which is currently available on Kindle.)

Meanwhile, I'll be re-reading the second draft while making notes on what needs changing or improvement.

In case you haven't read it, on Thursday I wrote a comment about the problems John Grisham had with selling his first book "A Time To Kill." The publisher printed only 5,000 copies and Grisham bought 1,000 of those. The book didn't sell well, and Grisham ended up giving away many of his thousand copies. Then his second book "The Firm" became a best seller. They re-printed "A Time To Kill" and it has since sold 20 million copies.

I don't expect anything like that with my book, but I thought it interesting that I happened upon the Newsweek article about Grisham just as I was finishing the second draft of my second book.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Apr. 1, - Apr. 7, 2012 Discussions

My comment for April 1 was about many things not directly related to the anthrax attacks of 2001, even though some seem to contain similar lessons. People seem to understand the need to have procedures in place to assure that airline pilots are mentally healthy before they take responsibility for the lives of their passengers. Is it really so much different to want policies to assure that microbiologists who work with deadly pathogens are also mentally healthy?

I also wondered if the lynch mobs forming in Florida to take justice in their own hands are much different from the lynch mobs that formed to demand Steven Hatfill's arrest in the anthrax case.

Then I got off topic and wrote about how Newsweek magazine has changed to the point where it no longer contains anything of interest to me. Last week's issue was all about the TV series "Mad Men," which I view as nothing but a soap opera. I prefer TV shows where something gets accomplished in every episode. My favorites are: (1) House, (2) The Mentalist, (3) Castle, (4) Justified, (5) Eureka.

And, I also mentioned that I've passed the half-way point on the second draft of my new book.