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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2015
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    Looking for Feedback: Query Letter for Sports History Book

    I am completely new to this world of trying to get something published. Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Date

    Agents Name
    Company Name
    Street Address
    New York, NY 10022

    Dear _________:

    I am seeking representation for my non-fiction sports book, working title The Little World Series, the true story of thirteen baseball games played between 1919 to 1923 that brought scores of Major League Baseball players from every team, including twenty future Hall of Famers, to Attleboro and North Attleboro, Massachusetts for a series of exhibition games that became known as the "Little World Series."

    The history of the Little World Series corresponds with a critical time in baseball history. 1919 was the year of the "Black Sox" and "Eight Men Out" (including Fred McMullin, who played for North Attleboro in 1919) and the rise to stardom of Babe Ruth, who established a new single-season home run record (and then playing for North Attleboro). This time also saw the end of the "dead ball era," and the rise of a new generation of young stars like Rogers Hornsby, George Sisler, Frankie Frisch, Pie Traynor, and Goose Goslin, all of whom played in the Little World Series.

    The history of the "Little World Series" is a compelling look at some of the greatest stars in baseball history such as Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, and Grover Cleveland Alexander and what brought them to the Attleboro area. The book also features some lesser known players, like Bobby Roth and Bob Smith, who outshined the stars at critical times in the series.

    I grew up in Attleboro, studied history at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and have worked as a public school teacher for six years. My interest in history, sports, and the Attleboro area led me to research and explore the history of the Little World Series that had been largely forgotten. My research took me to old newspaper archives of the Attleboro Sun, Providence Journal, Boston Globe, and Baseball Magazine. I discovered a great history, rich in details and personalities that should appeal to all enthusiasts of baseball history.

    Thank you in advance for your consideration.

    Sincerely,

    George Kelleher-Bianchi



  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    So these were basically All-Star games? Even as a baseball fan I'm not sure why I should want to read this. It's nice a bunch of great players got together and played some games, but what's the real significance of this? That seems like the first thing any agent will want to know. Especially since you're talking about games almost 100 years ago, so they'll want to know what the hook is to sell this to a publisher and the general public.

    A book like this you might have to end up self-publishing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    There are markets for baseball/sports history, and I think that's your best shot. If you visit "Hammer & Tongs" on my website, on the right side is a list of great writing links, including several writing market sites like Duotrope, Writer's Market, Publisher's Marketplace, etc.

    Another avenue is regional publishers. If you find a publisher interested in all things Massachusetts, you have a big foot in the door right off.

    Don't forget magazines - they might like to print a book like this as a series of articles.

    I'd try to send it to those markets first before self publishing. You might get some good insights for improvement, if not sell it. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    For a baseball fan, I think that this is an interesting story because the first Major League All-Star game was not held until 1933, making the Little World Series in Attleboro a rare event of gathering elite players together on the same field, and a rare example of Interleague Play decades before it became a part of the Major League schedule.

    I'm not afraid or ashamed of the idea of self-publishing my work when I'm finished. I have given some public lectures on the Little World Series to local civic groups and have gotten a good response. I'll think about how I can improve my hook for a more general audience.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    The history of the "Little World Series" is a compelling look at some of the greatest stars ...
    It's thought to be bad form to tell the agent how wonderful the writing isólike telling them that your mom loved it.

    The reader needs several things you haven't mentioned, like the length and if it's complete. Unlike fiction, nonfiction may be queried when incomplete, so if it is finished that's a plus, and should be mentioned.

  6. #6
    Member Lawrence Tabak's Avatar
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    Good feedback above. I'll add that "I'm seeking representation" is not needed -- just start telling your story. I do agree that there's something missing here -- what is the story, the hook? Were the players famous for carousing, hooking up with local women, fighting among themselves? Are there extant memoirs, diaries or survivors who can dish the dirt? If not, this might be material for a magazine piece in a specialist journal, but I'm not seeing a nonfiction book. Now, as fiction...Perhaps it could be done as a sort of "Field of Dreams" meets "Bull Durham," say as told by an old man who had formative childhood experiences as, perhaps, a batboy who takes in more than the players around him expect. That way you could expand the nonfiction background into a real story.

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