Ira Mark Egdall
What I'd Wished I'd Known Before I Published
Writing a book is hard (at least for me it is). Trying to find a publisher is even harder. Like so many things in life, the key is persistence. It's not a guarantee of success, but it sure improves the odds. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. I spoke to an author who found a publisher on her first try! That was certainly not my experience.
|Ira Mark Egdall|
I found that in the face of rejection, you have to somehow find the inner strength to overcome your self-doubt and keep on trying. Like I said, it ain't easy. But success is possible. I'm an example. My first full-length book, Einstein Relatively Simple, is about to be published. (I still can't believe it.) It's for those who always wanted to understand Einstein's ideas but perhaps never thought it possible. (Shameless plug.)
The road to publication was long and difficult. Here are a couple of things I wished I had done to make it easier:
1. Listen to the experts -- At my first book fair, I was told by a literary agent and a bookseller that my manuscript would have its best chance with an academic press. But I was stubborn -- I wanted to try for an agent and major New York publisher first. After lots of rejections, I found an agent. She was unable to find a publisher. They praised the writing but not the market. So I turned to academic publishers on my own. After more rejections and two "almosts", an academic publisher said yes. I thought I would burst with joy.
I should have taken the advice of the experts and queried academic publishers first. It would have saved many months of time and heartache.
2. Listen to your reviewers. - Early on, I asked (begged) some friends, two physics experts, and a published author to critique drafts of my book. Several told me the book was too long. But I couldn't bear to "cut my darlings". Two years later, an editor advised me to cut the book by a third. I did this with the help of my wife. I then began to receive serious interest in the book -- resulting in a publisher.
As an author you have to evaluate criticisms from draft reviewers and decide for yourself what to change. But chances are when someone tells you your book is too long, it probably is.
My wife urged me to seek academic publishers first, and to cut the size of the book. That's another lesson learned: always listen to your wife!
Einstein Relatively Simple brings together for the first time an exceptionally clear explanation of both special and general relativity. It is for people who always wanted to understand Einstein’s ideas but never thought it possible.
Told with humor, enthusiasm, and rare clarity, this entertaining book reveals how a former high school drop-out revolutionized our concepts of space and time. From E=mc2 and everyday time travel to black holes and the big bang, the book takes us all, regardless of any scientific background, on a mindboggling journey through the depths of Einstein's universe.
Along the way, we track Einstein through the perils and triumphs of his life — follow his thinking, his logic, and his insights — and chronicle the audacity, imagination, and sheer genius of the man recognized as the greatest scientist of the modern era.