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Status of the book-in-progress

After 6 months of trying unsuccessfully to find a publisher for my book-in-progress, Back Roads, Dark Skies, I have decided to put the whole project aside indefinitely. The feedback I’ve received from my agent, publishers, and advice from friends (including authors who have published successful books) has helped me realize two things: I don’t want to abandon the basic premise of the book to make it more like other popular-audience cosmology books, but in its current form no publisher will pick it up.

That isn’t to say Back Roads can’t be salvaged and made into something that will satisfy both me and a potential publisher. The problem is that I’m too attached to the book as it currently is to examine it objectively to see how it can be improved. My current hope is that, with some time away from writing it and from worrying about finding a publisher, I can come up with a new approach to it that will salvage what I like (e.g., the road trip aspect), yet be more appealing to a publishing house.

In other words, Back Roads, Dark Skies isn’t dead, but it may be some months before I work on it seriously again…and it may look a little different when I resume. This was not an easy decision to make, and I’m still not sure it’s the right call.

Thanks to everyone for your support over the last year or so that I’ve been working on the book. I hope eventually there will be a book for you to read, even if I can’t promise anything for the near future.

Addendum: I should also have linked to my frequently-asked questions post, which (among other things) addressed why I’m not interested in self-publishing.

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6 Responses to “Status of the book-in-progress”


  1. 1 rogerthegeek September 11, 2013 at 11:26

    Ever thought of self publishing in some way? I have heard a lot about it in the past. Maybe some of the other SciOX people would be familiar with self publishing.

  2. 3 galicolagfb September 11, 2013 at 12:03

    What about crowd-funding for self-publication? This is sort of like letting people buy the book in advance.
    If you raise the money (and you could also ask for money to cover the trip) then all is well. if not, then you will know you do not have enough audience for the book as is and know you have to re-write it.

  3. 4 galicolagfb September 11, 2013 at 12:05

    If you are against self-publishing, then you can try to strike a deal with a known publisher – that they will go with the book “as is” if you show, by crowd-funding, that you have enough audience that is willing to pay…

  4. 5 John Jaksich September 11, 2013 at 16:09

    I am sorry to see the situation you currently find yourself–my advice (for what it may be worth) don’t quit. I, personally, enjoy reading your blog.


  1. 1 The Solar System boundary and the week in review (September 8-14) | Bowler Hat Science Trackback on September 14, 2013 at 08:58
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