Saturday, August 12, 2017

My book is out

As of Tuesday, my book is officially out. Rush to your local bookseller and demand they sell you a copy. Get your friends and family to buy one. Badger your local library to acquire multiple copies. Donate one to your high school. Nag the school board to design a course based on it. I'm available for interviews. I'm available for signings. I'm available for lunch (if you're paying). Let's sell this thing.

This is a huge milestone in my life. Actually, several milestones in several aspects of my life, but let me stick to the most obvious. This is a major punctuation point in that project. I came up with the idea, sold it to an agent, who sold it to a publisher, who helped me edit the final copy, which was printed, and officially came out Tuesday. Preordered copies were shipped and my friends have been reporting receiving them all week. Technically, the project isn't over. I need to help sell it; do interviews, readings, and signings; and possibly write some more related mammoth materials.

This milestone is also a call to start a new project. I've written before how the book grew out of the idea for a single blog post, that became a series of blog posts, to a short book, to a dissertation. The two things I want to write now are the book I've wanted to write for thirty-five years--my history of the aftermath of WWI--and the other is another blog post gone out of control--my interpretation of the psychology and history of American political partisanship. Both have contemporary relevance.

The WWI book is coming up against marketable centennials. This will be an easier book to write. I've not only been thinking about it for over half of my life, it's the field of history that I specialized in during grad school. I own over a hundred books relevant to the topic. Unfortunately, the books are all in storage in Washington while I'm stuck in Alaska.

The book on recent partisanship in American politics, is something I've started over and over again as a blog post. I always get stuck at the point where I want to start citing sources. This is where my mammoth book got out of control. Tracking down things I've read over the last twenty years, just for a long-read blog-post that fewer than fifty people will finish was too discouraging to contemplate. It would make a great magazine piece, but I doubt my mammoth book alone is enough credentials sell the idea.

I'm also tempted to drag out some of my other abandoned, long blog-posts and try out publishing an e-book just for the experience. Unfortunately, many of those posts are on a hard-drive, stored with my books over a thousand miles away.

Decisions. Decisions.

PS -- Buy my book.


  1. Well don't make your next project too wide open - the aftermath of WWI for instance is a humungous topic if you go worldwide on it.

  2. I found this book on the new releases shelf at our library (Cuyahoga County in NE Ohio). I have only finished the first chapter; but, I really like it. I will eventually finish it and give it a good review on GoodReads...assuming the rest is as good as chapter 1.

    I hope you write more nonfiction books. I really like nonfiction. The libraries are trending towards more and more and more popular fiction. But, I think we need nonfiction books, too!

    Ken in NE Ohio

  3. One thing more...
    You did have an extensive bibliography. But, could you possibly post a list of books to read next about related subjects that you found interesting? Maybe you could also include it in the next edition of this book at the end.

    NE Ohio

    1. I actually did think about breaking the bibliography down along chapter lines. If there's a particular subject you're curious about, I could send you some suggestions.

  4. Just received your book in France, can't wait to read it :)