Update on Presidential Performance Book

by cactus

I’d like to thank Dan for putting up graphs from some of my previous posts, and for reminding people that I’m working on a book. Here’s the status: together with a co-author who currently wants to remain nameless, I completed a first draft of the book and went looking for an agent. We found one who has a good publishing record, and who has represented authors of a few books that are as offbeat as ours. He promptly told us the idea was good but the execution sucked. He was right. He made us write and rewrite the first chapter over and over until, if I might say so myself, it actually reads pretty well. We’ve also benefited greatly from a few other reviewers – some of them Angry Bears and readers of the site. Now that we know how its done, we’ve been working on some of the other chapters.

Meanwhile, our agent has been sniffing out publishers. Recently, he chatted one up who was interested in seeing our proposal. So we’ve written and rewritten and rewritten a proposal, and sent it to our agent. Depending on his comments, it may be ready to go to the publisher.

What I’ve learned about the publishing industry is this – there’s a long leadtime between when a publisher signs a book and when it shows up on store shelves – about nine months. Booksellers must be prepped.

In our case, assuming a publisher signs us, the book would probably be available about a year from now. This would be so that we could include complete data for the GW administration, comparing his administration to the others on an apples-to-apples basis.

A few brief comments about my co-author. As I noted, he wishes to remain nameless right now. However, I think he wouldn’t mind if I mentioned that he writes on economic issues for a well-known newspaper. As a result, he is very good at writing in a neutral tone, and he has done amazing work at ferreting out my biases from the writing as well. I would also add – in terms of politics, my co-author is officially independent, though the one statement he was willing to make about his politics at the start of the project was that he did admire the first President Bush. Of course, the data being what it is, it seems my co-author is somewhat less admiring of the first President Bush now, and regardless of our attempts to be nonpartisan, we will no doubt get called biased if and when the book gets published.
by cactus