Have you Ever Checked an Author's Source and Found it Wrong?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Finding Authors, Developing Projects

X
"Can you tell me how you find manuscripts to publish?" That's a common question in this business.

Last week I had an interesting conversation with an non-fiction acquisitions editor who works for a sizable house on the East coast. She voiced concern about a lack of good material. "It's flooding in," she explained, "but by and large it is so poorly written I can't stand to read it, or it has been published a hundred times before." I acknowledged her pain, we conversed a bit longer, and I hung up.

Where do we get our manuscripts? The material keeps coming in, but where does it come from? How does it end up on the accepted/contracted list?

In the vast majority of cases, manuscripts that make the accepted/contracted list follow one of four avenues. Here is how I view this process from inside Savas Beatie:

1) UNSOLICITED: Complete manuscripts, partial manuscripts, or query letters arrive via email at editorial@savasbeatie.com, or reach us through snail mail;

2) DEVELOPED: We see a need in a particular space, and seek out material through a variety of means.

3) FOLLOW-UP: We work with an author, enjoy the process, publish a book, and develop new material with him/her.

4) NETWORKED: One of our authors recommends a friend's / acquaintance's work, and either we follow up or we ask the author to follow up on our behalf.

If you are a writer and desire to publish a book, ideally you want to find yourself sitting at either Number 3 or Number 4. The former is the four-lane freeway to publication with Savas Beatie, and it moves at 75 mph; the latter is a two-lane sidestreet that moves a bit faster than normal traffic patterns.

The first option is the congested on-ramp leading to the freeway. There are at least three accidents along that glide path, emergency vehicles blocking the way, a flooded water main, and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Regardless of the difficulties facing you along that route, nearly everyone has to find a way to avoid and overcome those obstacles at some point in their writing career/avocation just to get a glimpse of the four-lane freeway ahead--which is moving fast with a lot of traffic.

Number two is a unique animal unto itself. (More on that later.)

As I have expressed before on this blog, authors who do not follow guidelines for submission or come across distastefully to the person most likely to accept their work will find it sleeping with the fishes.

My next several posts will discuss each of these options, and how we work them. I think potential authors will find it interesting, and hopefully useful.

--tps

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Manuscript Process (Part 3)

X
A small detour in our ongoing discussion. . . As the managing director and acquisitions editor for Savas Beatie, I do my best to evaluate both content and author. Both are important. Sometimes an evaluation tool I use is how authors respond to my suggestions via a rejection letter.

For example, occasionally we get manuscripts we can't use, but I know agents or other editors/houses who might want to see them. So when I reject the query/manuscript, I pass along a suggestion to the author to consider posting comments on our blogs (and others) pertinent to the post topic of the day, and discuss their own situation and manuscript. I also always offer a tip or suggestion that might help them.

Why do I do this? Because you never know who is watching. And as I tell them, agents, other bloggers, other publishers, other editors, et. al., track my blog.

I like to see which authors even take the time to say " thank you" or acknowledge this with a reply (about one-third do, which means the other two-thirds are essentially brain dead when it comes to manners and seeing past square one), and which authors take the time to post a pertinent comment that might help them.

Question: What does this tell me?

Answer: That I likely made the right decision to turn down their manuscript and reject them as authors.

If an author can't follow simply suggestions that will help him or her potentially get published, why would I want them as a Savas Beatie author? There is a reason for everything we do here--even in rejection-suggestions.

Another quick example: We had a full length manuscript biography of a Civil War general cross our desk (I requested to see it). I sent it out to a reader, paid a few bucks to have it read, and he evaluated it pretty carefully. Generally he liked it as a first cut, but had some very straight-up criticism for the author on how it had to be improved before we should accept it (more tactical battle detail, more analysis, and so forth). Tough, fair, and honest. No BS. And we know the market.

I took the time to put all this into an email and send it to the author. It was a long, careful, email.

Guess what? The author did not take the time to even reply. Obviously it was not what he wanted to hear, so he handled it by  . . . not handling it. And by doing so, he told me much about what it would be like to deal with him after the contract is signed.I saw the book a few months later being announced by another publisher who takes almost everything, edits almost nothing, prices their books sky high, and markets into a very narrow niche. What a mistake.

Authors take heed: There is a reason for everything we do here (and this is true in most credible publishing houses). How you handle your end may determine whether you get your work published. Publishing is a very, very small world.

Word travels fast.

--tps

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Manuscript Submission Process, Pt. 2

XX
(For Part 1, click here)

Don't be a Submissionist. (More on that later.)

We receive submissions like the following routinely: A large envelope (priority mail or sometime overnight) offering several graphic novels for publication, or a traditional work of fiction, or a history of the Congo, or how to breed and make money on designer dogs (no, I am not making this up).

I have nothing against graphic novels (but have never read one and likely never will), good fiction (which  I occasionally read), the Congo (one of my favorite places to visit). But I don't like designer dogs.

Getting these in the mail irks me even more than waking up in the morning to discover I am out of cream for my coffee. (And I like my coffee in the morning while I shave and ponder the day.) Even a cursory examination of our list of titles makes it vibrantly evident that Savas Beatie does not publish graphic novels, fiction, books on Africa, or dogs. These "Submissionists" (doesn't that sound deliciously dark?) expended time (say 30 minutes) and money (say $10 for the postage, certified return receipt, interior binding, paper, ink, etc.) to submit a manuscript to a company that does not even publish (or dabble in) their genre. He wasted his own time, and the time of my staff to handle them, and me to look at them right before I drop them into the bin that my son empties each weekend into the shredder.

Which leads me to reiterate a couple common sense rules to follow. Many authors pay too little attention to both of them when submitting manuscripts. A few minutes well spent will save you copious amounts of time and energy, and keep acquisition editors from pulling their hair out.

RULE NUMBER ONE: As obvious as it seems, make sure the books produced by the publishing house and the manuscript you are submitting actually have something in common. A completely unrelated query communicates a lot of information, none of it flattering for the Submissionist. It tells me the author (or agent) did not research our company and list. It also means he/she/agent is using the "shotgun" approach to getting published--i.e., send out as many queries to as many publishers as possible in the hope that one will stick.

Would you interview for a job with a company you know nothing about? Would you tell your interviewer you are knocking on every door in every building and up and down the street, ready to take the first offer someone makes? Of course not. But that is exactly what an unsolicited submission in a genre we don't publish tells us. You are willing to waste our time, which is already sorely constrained, to pitch a book we likely would not publish regardless of how well it is written.

Credible publishing houses receive a slew of manuscripts and queries (we get several each day from around the world). The first ones tossed into the round file are those that do not match what we publish. If it has a return envelope, we bundle and return. If it has a SASE, I write NO in big bold letters and drop the envelope into the post box.

And RULE NUMBER TWO: Click here and read Part 1 of this series.

There is a reason for a submission process. Ignore it at your peril.

Don't be a Submissionist.

--tps

Friday, August 3, 2012

How to Write Good, by Frank L. Visco

X
This is at least a cousin of the "How to submit a manuscript" story line
 currently occupying my attention. And hopefully yours. Happy chuckle.

How to Write Good, by Frank L. Visco

          1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

          2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

          3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)

          4. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

          5. One should never generalize.

          6. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

          7. Be more or less specific.

          8. Sentence fragments? Eliminate.

          9. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

          10 Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

          11. Who needs rhetorical questions?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Getting Published--A Refresher Course. Pt. 1

X
X
Every publishing company has its own way of doing things, and we are no different.

At Savas Beatie, we have always been careful about how we select manuscripts for publication, and as I have written, we are blessed with stacks of publishable manuscripts. Back in 2008 when I began this blog we were receiving  about one query a day. As of this writing, that number has jumped to about four.

But dusting the chaff from the grain is not always easy. Out of that trio of submissions, one will be fiction (it says clearly on our website that we do NOT publish fiction), one will be in area we do not publish ("Sharks Can be Sexy, too"), and the third and fourth will be something in our area of expertise and interest. But two a day is fourteen a week, or sixty or so a month and  . . .you can do the math. That means, generally speaking, for every twenty or so potentially manuscripts we get in, we will publish . . .  one. (The real number is lower, because many books are ideas we develop ourselves and seek authors to help us with.)

The process of acceptance is of interest to most authors, and rightly so. Sometimes authors inadvertently make the decision for us, without realizing it.

Of course, the genre, topic, research depth, and writing skills are important. But what most authors do not realize is that for many presses, acquisition editors (at Savas Beatie, I wear that hat) sometimes employ a process akin to alchemy. Call it a gut feeling, call it reading tea leaves, call it learning the hard way, but over the years I have come to understand that if the genre is what we publish and the topic is right, research can be improved and writing can be cleaned up. But unlike fixing commas, rewriting clunky sentence structure, or digging into an overlooked archive, authors--like leopards--don't change their spots. They are who they are. They have their idea on how the process works, and how hard they will work once their manuscript is published. For large houses, this is not as important, but for smaller independent presses who rub shoulders with their authors and work closely with them, personalities, outlook, character, and work ethic matter and affect everyone's bottom line.

Consequently, I have turned down many publishable manuscripts because of how authors present themselves. Unbeknownst to most writers, many of the hoops and mazes established to weed out manuscripts are also designed to weed out  . . . authors.

Here is one concrete example. Our website has clear and specific submission guidelines. They are there for a reason: they work well for us. They are also there for another reason: authors who can't follow simple directions won't follow simple suggestions or directions later--after we have invested significant time and money in their manuscript. Thus, when an author (or agent) calls and tries to pitch something on the phone, sends in a complete unsolicited manuscript, or does not follow our step-by-step guideline for submission, it tells us as much about them as it does about their work. And experience demonstrates that authors who will not follow requirements up front--or who buck against them--won't down the road, either.

Just the other day an author called and ARGUED with one of our staff about having to provide the information we requested. "Why can't I just email you my manuscript?" he asked. "You can take a look and that will be there." 

I once told an author that for most writers, obtaining a traditional publishing contract is like running around outside in Kansas trying to get struck by lightning. I'm kidding: it is easier to get struck by lightening (at least in Kansas.

So writers take heed: if you have a manuscript and you want to submit it to a publishing house, determine specific submissions requirements (they vary house to house) and follow them exactly. Editors are evaluating the procedure as well the substance.

Parts 2-4 to follow.

--tps

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Winston Groom's Shiloh--Have you Read It?

Hello all,

Sorry for my absence. After my dive trip to Central America I had hand surgery and am just getting back into it. (And, several posts have disappeared. Weird.)

So . . . all of you know I love the Shiloh Campaign and that we published one of the outstanding books on the battle in Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862, by Cunningham and Smith.

I received Groom's latest from his publisher's marketing department and promised I would read and comment on it. I have finished it. I enjoyed it. I am curious how many of you have read it, and what you think of it? It is very different than Cunningham, but then it was intended to be.

-- tps

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hello all

I will be gone from June 1 through June 9 in Belize (Central America) diving with my son and 25 others from Fisheye Scuba in Folsom, California. We are staying out on a small island at a place called Banana Cove, and I won't have cell or email service--the first time I will not be checking in daily to my office since 1999 when I hit the Dominican Republic.

I have longed to hit the Yucatan  Peninsula since I was a kid. On the second to last day we fly to the mainland to hit a pair of Mayan sites and then raft back down a jungle river through caves, etc. Should be a good time, and a trip I am very much looking forward to. As those of you who know me can attest, I don't take vacations. It is time.

So back on once I return. Have a safe early June. And remember--Maps of Antietam hits our warehouse right when get back . . .

-- tps



Diving the arch in the Blue Hole. We will not be doing this, as it is very dangerous and is called the Diver's Cemetery. I would do it if my son was not there, but he is not experienced enough--yet.

This is the Blue Hole from the air. It is deep, and often home to Hammerhead sharks.




Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This is probably better suited for Sarah's blog, but I want to share what I am thinking these days (in a relatively short post) about working with authors a second time--especially in this environment.

As we all know, the economy is not healthy, the entire Borders chain is history, the majority of independent bookstores have closed their doors, and those that are left have limited shelf space, questionable balance sheets, and little appreciation for how to actually SELL a book.

Into this environment steps two SB authors. Mollie and "Robert." Mollie is real. Robert is a fictional name, and his story below is a composite of events and times spread over two or three of our titles, but the main point remains accurate.

Each of these folks has published a book with me, and each has pitched a second project onto my desk.

MOLLIE: She learned how to master social media, maintains a vibrant blog with an equally vibrant email database, schedules one event after another from county fairs to service clubs to you name it (and has for years--YEARS), checks Amazon and every time it says "only 10 copies left" sends out a blast to her base, constantly asks for feedback. She sets Google alerts, writes articles for magazines, newsletters, etc. She never goes anywhere without a copy of her book, and she never fails to mention it when she meets someone who converses with her. Her book is still in hardcover in its fourth (and maybe fifth) printing. Total returns year over year as a percentage: about nine percent. Industry average: about 35%.

ROBERT: His first book was well received critically speaking, won a prestigious history award, and is just now selling through its first printing after years in print. And it is a DAMN fine study. In fact, I have never heard a negative word about any of it.

So what's the difference? Yes, the topics are different, but the real constant is promotion. Robert does not maintain a blog, and won't despite request after request. He did a slim handful of signings when the book came out--and quit. He is not writing for magazines, newspapers, or historical society newsletters. He does not pen anything for other blogs (many of which would love content). He does not maintain an Amazon author page. He does not jump into bookstores to see if his book is present (and then sign any copies), and if they are not there, ask the manager to stock it.

Both have pitched another book project. One is a no-brainer for a publisher. I KNOW in advance what support I will get from the author. The other? Well, that's also a no-brainer.

Authors, if you choose to go the independent trade publishing route, support your years of research and writing by helping spread the word about YOUR book.

-- tps



Friday, May 11, 2012

How Important is the Publisher's Style Sheet?

X
As strange as this might sound,  it is not uncommon for some authors to complain about having to scrub their manuscripts according to a house style sheet in preparation for publication. (No, I am not joking.) These are often the same authors who also complain when an editor has spent untold hours trying to format previously inscrutable footnotes and makes mistakes doing so.

Then the phone rings: "Ted! On page 16, your editor inserted the wrong  . . . "

Submitting a manuscript that matches a house style sheet is important on many levels. First, it means that in most cases, editors will have to do less work fixing relatively simple issues like passive voice, run-on sentences, rank presentation, and so forth. The less time spent on these things means she can spend more time on developmental and substantive details.

Second, less minute detail work means there is a lower likelihood of an editor making a mistake trying to interpret or alter an author's work. Given the nature of our publications, citation format is critically important. No one knows his sources better than the author, so getting your footnotes in line with the house style sheet means makes it easier all the way around for everyone.

Imagine, for a moment, the room for error when an editor has to dig into hundreds of notes to change your "creative" citation of the Official Records . . . . OR, part I, Vol. 21, pages 232-233  . . . to match the preferred house style of OR 21, pt. 1, 232-233. Or "One O'clock" to "1:00 p.m.", etc. At first blush this might seem a small issue. I can assure you that, compounded over hundreds of pages and citations, it most certainly is not. As an author, do you really want an editor taking a spade to your work, or would you rather do it yourself to make sure it is done (and interpreted) correctly?

And those were simple examples. Cites to Internet articles, essays in anthologies, multi-volume works, and so forth, arrive here in a multitude of permutations, and many times within the same document are cited very differently. Trying to figure out the identity of the editor, the author, the volume number, etc., is simply a waste of time, money, and often leads to other problems.

Finally, another dirty little secret: an author's willingness to cooperate and help polish his own manuscript is indicative of his ability and willingness to cooperate later when a publisher decides where to dedicate precious marketing dollars.

So my advice is simple: The next time you get a style sheet, FOLLOW IT.

--tps

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Maps of Antietam--Coming Soon!

X
From "Ted's Daily Memo" (front right, home page of our website):

Just reviewed an advance finished copy of The Maps of Antietam by Brad Gottfried, our latest in the Savas Beatie Military Atlas series. It is stunning. Books hit our warehouse the last week of May. If you want a first edition, order fast. I don't think we printed enough of this one. --tps

Specs: 125 full-page original full color maps opposite full-page text description, extensive end notes, orders of battle, bibliography, index. Foreword by Dr. Thomas Clemens, 7 x 10, cloth, dust jacket, acid-free 70# art-matte coated paper, sewn binding. 344 pages. $39.95

Click here for the main Maps of Antietam web page, and read an excerpt (left column) and see a map.

I love all these atlas books, but God do I LOVE this one.

--tps

Thursday, April 12, 2012

DOJ Decides e-Book Price Fixing is a Top Priority

X
The Justice Department is pouncing on statements by Apple like “aikido move” and “trounce Amazon” to prove its case that Apple was the hub of a illegal conspiracy to fix the price of e-books.
While the statements sounds serious, the government’s overall explanation of Apple’s role in the conspiracy is far from convincing.  Read more HERE.

Another article, slightly different perspective is "Why e-books cost so much." The average person has no idea about how LITTLE the cost of printing is when it comes to pricing a book. It is probably 15%, give or take, of the cost of a title. Everything else is acquisition, editing, design, indexing (in some cases), marketing, wages, overhead, etc. Read more HERE. The comments, for the most part, are pathetically ignorant.

Curious as to your thoughts.

-- tps

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Daily Memo

X
I often hear this question: "What exactly do you guys do each day?"

I thought about that recently and decided to post "Ted's Daily Memo"--found on the right side of our home page next to our blog links--for a quick hit about what we are engaged in each day. Hope you enjoy it.

Here is today's memo: 

I have edited, developmentally and otherwise, most of our books over the years, but the past couple years have been bringing in other editors. Finding good ones is very hard. I think I have 2-3 solid editors now, which is a real relief and will allow me to grow the company. One of the books I am keeping to edit is Lance Herdegen's The Iron Brigade in the Civil War, his magnum opus soup-to-nuts treatment. This is a stunning lifetime accomplishment with so much no one has ever read (or seen, since Lance has dozens of previously unpublished photos as well). Right now, the Western boys have just finished their first combat as a brigade when Jackson surprised them at Groveton in late August 1862. Stonewall really had an opportunity there--and blew it. --tps

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Title Updates

X
X
Hello all,

First, I apologize for not regularly posting. It has been a very long year (outside publishing) and I am finally getting back to speed. I promise to post regularly, and will try to make them as interesting, helpful, and worthwhile as possible.

As you can imagine, we receive bucket loads of emails, calls, faxes, etc., about title status, what is coming up, and so forth. Here are three updates on major titles that receive significant attention:

1) The Maps of Antietam, by Brad Gottfried. This title is at the printer. Yesterday, I reviewed the blue lines (loose unbound sheets based on our submitted files) to double check pagination, page flow, etc. one final time before we print them. We replaced two pages of text (one capitalization issue in a chapter header and we added a word in a title to match the table of contents), and three maps (because one sequential map section had the wrong regimental designation). So . . . we are good to go, and if the Somali pirates do not strike, will have books in our warehouse the last week of May.

I can assure you that if you like our Savas Beatie Military Atlas series, you will really like this book. It opens the entire complex campaign to a deeper level of understanding. It is very special and Brad has done it again

2) The Petersburg Campaign: The Eastern Front Battles (vol. 1), by Edwin C. Bearss with Bryce Suderow. This was delayed for some time, again my fault alone. It is fully edited, formatted, and we are awaiting the last of the maps while our production manager works with Bryce to place the photos. I am happy to say that George Skoch is drafting the maps (I believe there are 25 maps in just this volume) and they are really outstanding. We will be offering samples in the Libri Novus e-letter on the first of April, together with Bearss' Foreword, so make sure you read that. If you do NOT get our free monthly e-letter, click here for our homepage and enter your email in the top left box. That's it.

We anticipate getting this to the printer about April 15, and having it back the first week of June. Vol. 2 (Battles of the Western Front) is already nearly edited and about to be formatted, so we will be working hard to follow up with that as well.

.3) The Ultimate Marine Recruit Guidebook, by Nick Popaditch. This was delayed a long, long time because of Nick's desire to run for Congress in 2010 and other commitments (which we wholeheartedly supported). He is running again this year in a redrawn district (California 53), but the book is done, editor Rob Ayer is sending the chapters to production, and Nick is submitting the final photos this week. It is very similar to our other successful guidebooks (Basic Training, ROTC, Air Force, OCS, etc.) but what stands out is that Nick was an active duty Marine for 16 years, and spent three of those years as a drill instructor. The demand for this title is very strong.

Nick is internationally known as "The Cigar Marine" whose tanks pulled down Saddam's statute in 2003. He is also the author of the bestseller Once a Marine, which we published in 2008. You can visit his campaign website HERE, and see more about Nick and his platform, etc.

Thanks again for your patience, support, and interest in what we do. We have an amazing slate of titles this spring and fall, and are looking forward to bringing them to you.

--tps

Monday, January 30, 2012

What are You Reading?

X
Most of my reading is in the American Civil War field, but I have already read widely in other areas, including ancient history and World War II. Right now I am reading three books actively, and a couple others passively (which means they are strategically located around the house, if you get my drift).

1. Robert Citino's The Death of the Wehrmacht, 1942. Nearly done--simply first-rate. I really understand now, for the first time, the full breakdown of German logistics from Operation Blue onward to Stalingrad and into the Caucasus. Can't wait for his new release The Wehrmacht Retreats: Fighting a Lost War, 1943, which I just ordered.

2. Brian Holden Reid's America's Civil War: The Operational Battlefield, 1861-1863. This is an interesting book, generally well done, but it is not keeping me up at night like Harsh's Taken at the Flood or Freeman's Lee's Lieutenants.

3. Stephen Fritz' Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East.  Another "could have had a V-8" slap on the forehead epiphanies. An outstanding synthesis of existing research brilliantly written. The scope and breadth of this aspect of WWII, where 4 out of every 5 Germans who died in the war perished, is required reading for anyone with even a passing interest in this topic.

So . . . what are you reading?

-- tps

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some People Are Just . . . . [Fill in the Blank]

X
We got this email this morning to our customer service box. It speaks for itself:

Boy, I am really tired of Savas pushing back the release of [TITLE] by [AUTHOR]. It was originally scheduled for release a year ago, but, according to Amazon.com, you've changed the date no fewer than 4 times! It better be released this April, as Amazon now lists, or the trade journals will hear. -- Paul

Our reply:

Hi Paul,
Thanks for writing. There was a death in the family, sudden and unexpected. And then the author's wife grew very ill and was hospitalized for an extended length of time. Feel free to take your threats wherever you wish. I am sure that will make the [AUTHOR] family feel just wonderful.

Have a great day.

-------

So let me get this straight: A book is delayed, and without knowing a damn thing about why you threaten the publisher and the author? Yes, Esmeralda, that man wins the jackass award.

But God my friends has a wicked sense of humor and justice and balance, does he not? Right above that nasty email came this one

Hello, SB and crew!

I am eagerly waiting the arrival of two new titles: Tom Clemens' second volume of The Maryland Campaign of 1862 and Cap Beatie's fourth volume of Army of the Potomac.

I just this evening finished Beatie's vol. 3 of Army of the Potomac. Couldn't put it down! I am fighting terminal colon cancer and hope to get these two books read before my time comes.

When will they be released?

Most sincerely,

[SIGNED]

I wrote back and told this man, who has been a customer for a long time, that I will do whatever I can to see that he gets unedited printed copies ASAP from the authors so he can at least hold them, read them, and enjoy them.

(sigh)


--tps

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Savas Beatie E-Book Trailer

X
We took the plunge into the digital world two years ago, getting in as early as we could to position ourselves on top of the growing wave rather than wait to get buried by it and raked across the coral.

CLICK HERE to see a brief trailer about our e-books and what we are up to at Savas Beatie. It takes a minute or so to load, so sit back let it rev up, and then give us a shout as to your thoughts.

As of the date of this posting, fully 9 out of 10 of our books are available in digital format (iPad, Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony Reader, and all android platforms.)

This will be up on YouTube and in all the usual places soon.

Thanks for your continued support.

--tps

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Third Major Award for Wynstra's "The Rashness of That Hour"

X
Robert Wynstra's evocative The Rashness of that Hour: Politics, Gettysburg, and the Downfall of Confederate Brigadier General Alfred Iverson (2010) has garnered its third major book award. They are as follows:

1) Bachelder-Coddington Award for the year’s best new work interpreting the Battle of Gettysburg;

2) Dr. James I. Robertson Literary Prize for Confederate History Award; and now . . .

3) Gettysburg Round Table's Distinguished Book Award.

If you have not yet read Wynstra's first Civil War offering--which is perhaps best described as part battle history, part unit history, and part memory study, I highly recommend it.

Click HERE to see our press release about the earlier awards.

Click HERE to jump to our website and read more about the book, an interview with the author, an excerpt, and much more.

Click HERE to order an e-Book copy;

Congratulations Rob. These are well-deserved. Now get cracking and finish your study of Rodes' Division at Gettysburg. . . .

--tps

Friday, January 13, 2012

The CSS Hunley, in All Her Glory

Confederate Civil War vessel H.L. Hunley, the world's first successful combat submarine, was unveiled in full and unobstructed for the first time on Thursday, capping a decade of careful preservation. I am proud to say I was on the 1994 11-day expedition with Cussler, Newell, and the rest of the (very fractured) team. There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the discovery. I will leave it at that.

Click HERE and enjoy.

(Thanks Kevin)