May 10, 2009

Sorry About That

I spent the last eight days in an all-consuming workshop class about the book publishing industry – publishers, editors, agents, proposals, contracts, and a hundred other things – that I needed to get a better handle on before I can take my career to the next level. I thought I'd have time to do my regular job while immersed in this stuff, but that was impossible.

I'm back now, and much better informed and equipped than I was a week ago. And I'm just about finished with my next dispatch from Iraq. Don't go away.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at May 10, 2009 2:03 PM
Comments

It does appear that book publishing is very much a venture where one needs to be well versed in order not to get hosed.

Hopefully the relationships that you have developed over the years will also help your next "step up" be a successful one.

Posted by: Ron Snyder Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 7:06 AM

FYI MJT, here's a rather depressing TNR article on Lebanon (excerpt):

"Watching the ministers as they conducted their business, it was easy to see how the philosophical embrace of the physical world makes good sense here. Nasrallah and his patrons in Iran guarantee the stability of the country while, day to day, mouthing all kinds of insane stuff designed to paralyze the faculty of reason. Someday soon, the key will turn in the lock, the door will open, and they will blow Lebanon to smithereens. Meanwhile, there are precious moments of physical existence to be savored, such as a diamond necklace for one's wife, a pair of earrings for one's mistress, a sizeable deposit in a numbered bank account, and shrimp fettucini at the Albergo."

The Year of the Elephant

Posted by: Solomon2 Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 8:07 AM

I've taken a few of those career-related workshops, and have never regretted it. You get info and meet people that you wouldn't find otherwise. Sounds like a good way to spend a week -

Posted by: maryatexitzero Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 9:53 AM

It is kind of off topic (if there is one) but this is just in:

"BAGHDAD – A U.S. soldier opened fire at a counseling center on a U.S. base Monday, killing five fellow soldiers before being taken into custody, the U.S. command and Pentagon officials said.

The shooting occurred at Camp Liberty, a sprawling U.S. base on the western edge of Baghdad near the city's international airport and adjacent to another facility where President Barack Obama visited last month."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ml_iraq

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 10:34 AM

It does appear that book publishing is very much a venture where one needs to be well versed in order not to get hosed.

Absolutely. And it isn't just that. The publisher's side of the business looks mysterious and all but inpenetrable from the writer's side, and I had all kinds of dumb myths in my head that needed busting. I didn't even know what I didn't know until now. Thank God I took a week off and learned this stuff.

I also know now what book editors expect (or at least want) from me in book proposals, etc. Most published authors never fully figure this out, so it's a hard thing to learn even from colleagues who are way ahead of me. I asked all kinds of writers how to write a proper proposal, and nobody knew because there are no formal guidelines. I know how to do it now if anybody wants help.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 10:50 AM

Glad you enjoyed the course MJT.

Solomon2, we work closely with Nasrallah's publicly proclaimed allies; PM Maliki, the Najaf Marjeya, ISCI/Badr. We work with many Sadrist members of the Iraqi parliament. Do you think it is possible to reach out to Nasrallah as well?

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 12:20 PM

"We"?

Posted by: Solomon2 Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 12:50 PM

Anand: Do you think it is possible to reach out to Nasrallah as well?

Only if we decide to help him destroy Israel.

A few months ago Hezbollah refused to meet with even Jimmy Carter because Carter is supposedly a Zionist lackey. If he won't do business with Carter, he won't do business with anyone in America.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 2:40 PM

Do you think it is possible to reach out to Nasrallah as well?

That's like asking if Roosevelt should have reached out to Hitler, anand. Total "WTF!?".

You never answered my question about whether or not you agreed with me that the only way for HA to be "rehabilitated" is for those who are responsible to be prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity. I suppose I should just accept the fact that the people who murdered friends of mine got away with it? And why would I do that, anand? What possible motivation would I (or the US) have to turn a blind eye to the crimes Hezbollah has committed against us? What does HA have to offer us, that we care about that much? Realistically, I'd like to see your thought processes explained on this one. Because it makes no sense to me whatsoever. We are going to allow our people to be indiscriminately murdered and otherwise victimized over a period of decades and then tell the perp "hey, don't worry about it bro! no problemo!" and for what? So that HA looks good, and the US looks stupid? I'm sorry, anand, I don't see any benefit for the US in that. And if you're planning on parlaying American blood to help Iraq, in case you haven't heard the US is withdrawing from Iraq in the very near future? And if things turn to shit there after we are gone, that will be your friend Maliki's fault for cozying up to the likes of Hezbollah, and we aren't going to be able to fix it for him. And unless Maliki actually WANTS Iraq to turn to shit (again) he'd be well advised to stop being "good friends" with shithead murderers like Hassan Nasrallah.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at May 11, 2009 10:36 PM

"Anand: 'Do you think it is possible to reach out to Nasrallah as well?'

Only if we decide to help him destroy Israel."

That is exactly why anand wants us to "reach out" to this savage terrorist. That should be pretty clear to everybody by now. If anand were actually stupid enough to believe that Nasrallah (as well as Hamas) wants anything other than the annihilation of the Jewish state, he wouldn't be worth paying attention to anyway.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at May 12, 2009 12:02 AM
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