Thought it might be fun and somewhat instructive (for anyone visited with that crazy, fleeting idea, “I think I’ll write a book and make a bunch of money!”) to show the chronology of getting TM written and published. Bottom line of all this is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
December 2007: The Mitchell Report comes out and Joe begins to segregate his baseball cards: Clean players vs. the cheaters. Jim writes an article about it that is published on CBSNews.com, and realizes he might have a book idea brewing.
January 2008: Had my agent at the time send out preliminary pitches for a book about how much the erupting steroids scandal affected a little kid and his baseball-loving father. Rejections follow from everyone, including the agent. Joe continues to bring up baseball and steroids at odd times, including on a ski trip to Calgary.
March – April 2008: Jim and Joe talk about baseball on a cruise to Hawaii, attend spring training in Arizona and Opening Day at Safeco Field, and see that baseball does nothing to address the steroids scandal.
May 2008: TM is accepted as a client by Seattle literary agent Elizabeth Wales, who asks for more pages before she can submit to publishers.
April – October 2008: The 2008 baseball season ensues, with more scandals and more questions from Joe, but no answers forthcoming from baseball. Jim begins to write drafts and more proposals of the book. We take a road trip down the west coast to see games in Oakland, LA and Anaheim (with Manny now playing for the Dodgers), move from Bainbridge Island to McMinnville and try to reach players and the commissioner’s office. Jim returns to Safeco Field in September and ambushes the late broadcaster Dave Niehaus for an interesting talk about ‘roids, and interviews former all-star pitcher Jeff Nelson.
Winter 2008-’09: Jim continues to write and rewrite drafts of the book in progress, not really sure what the ending will be. The steroids issue is still prominent with Joe. Alex Rodriguez admits in January that he had taken juice during his years with the Texas Rangers.
April 2009: Jim and Joe appear on NPR’s All Things Considered, talking about their reluctance to embrace baseball during the scandal. Jim’s article, “The House That Juice Built,” appears in Seattle Metropolitan magazine. The 2009 baseball season begins.
April – June, 2009: Jim and Joe make trips to Idaho to visit the town where Walter Johnson started his career, and to Seattle to interview a steroids doctor and the late-Taylor Hooton’s brother Don Hooton.
June 2009: Agent makes the first formal pitches of the book-in-progress to some 25 publishers.
July 2009: Boston-based editor calls to ask Jim for more info on the book and wonders where it’s going; declines to make offer.
August – Sept. 2009: Book gets endorsements from author/player Dirk Hayhurst and former AP sportswriter Steve Wilstein. Manuscript rejected by all publishers.
September, 2009: Jim and Joe make trips to Seattle, Boston, New York and Jackie Robinson’s grave in Brooklyn to complete research for the book.
October 23, 2009: Manuscript is fully written and completed for the first time. Agent begins new round of submissions. All are rejected.
December, 2009: Ms. gets endorsement from Doug Glanville, former player, author and ESPN personality.
January 2010: Mark McGwire reveals past steroid use; after lull in submissions, agent promises to send Manny out to fresh round of 20 publishers.
January – Feb., 2010: DaCapo Press asks to read manuscript based on query received from agency. A month later, they ask for a phone conversation with Jim.
March, 2010: DaCapo says they’d like to see a new beginning to the book before they commit to publish.
March 25, 2010: New pages written and sent to DaCapo.
May 18, 2010: DaCapo offers to publish the book and deal is struck.
June – September, 2010: Jim rewrites book from start and resubmits to publisher.
Jan. – March, 2011: Editor returns comments and suggestions; Jim rewrites again, scraps opening pages again and finally hits on chronological way of telling the story from start to finish.
April 2011: Final version accepted and turned over to production.
Summer 2011: Copyediting done, afterword written, map of Joe’s journey in the book commissioned and accepted .
Fall 2011: Cover and type design completed, promotion begins with new Trading Manny Facebook page, ramping up of this blog and revision of www.jim-gullo.com. More endorsements sought.
October 2011: Publisher’s lawyer weighs in with about 20 queries about the manuscript, requesting word changes and some minor deletions, and asks, “Are any of the ballplayers you write about particularly litigious?” Over the course of an hour and a half on the phone, we hash out changes that everyone can live with. This is the final hurdle to the manuscript advancing to final galleys.