This month’s guest blogger is J. Daniel, author of Suds Series: Baseball, Beer Wars, and the Summer of ’82. He writes about his experience in the publishing world and how his book, Suds Series, came to fruition.
Jonathan “J.” Daniel spent twenty years working in sports, both in front of and behind the camera, producing five seasons of Rays Magazine, a weekly television show about the Tampa Bay Rays, and working as a sports producer at Fox affiliates in Tampa and Chicago. He currently works in communications for Indiana University. He is the author of Phinally!: The Phillies, the Royals, and the 1980 Baseball Season That Almost Wasn’t and blogs at www.80sbaseball.com.
Here’s a peak of his blog post!
With the release of my new book, Suds Series, I thought I would give people some insight into how the book came to be. It is an arduous process and not one that will likely make me a lot of money, but it was something I wanted to do and I’m glad I did it. Please note: This is not a “How to Write a Book” post, this is a “How I wrote my book” post and there is a big difference. I am not claiming to be an expert and I absolutely made a lot of mistakes. I am hoping that those who would like to write a book may find this helpful and those who are simply interested in the process may enjoy the “behind the scenes” look.
Jeff Pearlman sent me this message on Twitter when I was working on my first book, Phinally! In addition to being a tremendous writer, Jeff is also very supportive of young or, in my case, inexperienced writers. He recommended someone for me to contact and I was off on my journey. After some research, I began soliciting agents and I made a spreadsheet to track replies.
What I quickly discovered is that getting an agent to represent you, especially for a first book, is very difficult. It is kind of like trying to find a job and a spouse online at the same time. Several of the agents I contacted were interested at first but quickly bowed out with excuses such as “too regional” “not right for me”, etc. I’m not blaming them, but I was operating in what a friend described as a “zero feedback loop.” Rejections kept coming but I didn’t know what I could do to better my chances.
Finally, an agent told me, to paraphrase, that he thought my book was a good idea and that he liked my writing, but he didn’t think he could sell the book to a publisher. It was a bummer, but I was also grateful that someone had leveled with me. It was nice to have someone in the industry confirm my suspicions. I abandoned my search for an agent and began soliciting publishers directly.
Shortly thereafter, I signed a deal with McFarland Publishing to do my first book, which came out in 2018. Fast forward to the end of 2019 and, with one book already out in the world, I thought it would be a lot easier to get an agent for my next project. I was wrong. More rejections followed but this time I stopped chasing. I figured it would be best to go the same route and solicit publishers directly.
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Read the entire blog post on J. Daniel’s blog here.
Interested in hearing more from J. Daniel? Here is an interview from a recent episode of the sports show, High Noon with Nate Lucas, which aired on 590 The Fan.
Suds Series: Baseball, Beer Wars, and the Summer of ’82
By J. Daniel
Cloth | $29.95 | 280 pp., 12 illus.
Forthcoming Paperback | $27.95 | 280 pp., 12 illus.