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It’s November 2005, and I’m 59 years old.  I’m sitting in the first base dugout of the City of Palms stadium in Fort Myers, Florida, where the Boston Red Sox will be playing their spring training games in but a few months. 

Although back home in Cincinnati, it’s cold with a forecast of snow, it’s 75-degrees and sunny for our game.  The grass is bright green and immaculately trimmed.  There are palm trees beyond the outfield wall—kind of a Florida equivalent of the corn at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa.  It’s the sixth inning of a game on the Wednesday of a week-long tournament.  I’m surrounded in the dugout, on the field, and in the tournament by “kids my own age,” still playing the game we love.Never-too-old cover

In one of those many moments of calm during a baseball game, I have time to think about the senior baseball community, about what the game means to those who play, and about how I’ve never seen a book on the subject.  And I have time to say to myself, “Somebody needs to tell this story.” 

An hour later, I’m in the car with my wife, Ann, heading back to the motel to relax after the day’s doubleheader and to get ready for tomorrow’s two-game set.  I surprise both Ann and myself when I suddenly declare out loud, “I’m going to write a book.”

Read more: Someone Needs to Tell this Story

You finally did it; you wrote that book you have always talked about. All of the long nights of feverishly typing your first draft are over, you talked yourself out of throwing out the entire manuscript even though you couldn’t stand to look at it anymore, and you meticulously edited until the book came to life. What’s your next step?

Authors pursuing publication with a subsidized press like CBP or a traditional publisher, or the representation of a literary agent, should create a one page query letter. The query letter is the first point of contact with a potential agent or publisher, and should be honed to perfection before it’s sent out.

Query letters, wherever they are sent, need to be short, sweet, and to the point. The letter is designed to grab the agent or publisher’s attention; in many cases, it’s the only chance you get to convince that person to read your book.

Read more: Writing a Query Letter

LandSoonCome Front Cover Art WebMeet CBP’s newest author, Barbara Coyle, and learn about her children’s book In the Land of “Soon Come.”

In the Land of “Soon Come” is an account of Coyle’s experiences in Negril, Jamaica. Coyle has been travelling to Negril and taking mission groups to the Mary Gate of Heaven Catholic Church since 2006, where she worked with Franciscan Fr. Jim Bok, a Cincinnati native and old friend of Coyle’s.

Coyle, a resident of West Chester, originally journaled her story to preserve the memories, and explain to her family why she felt so called to Negril. “Someday I want my children and grandchildren to know why this whole experience has been such a blessing,” she explained to me in a personal interview. Coyle didn’t consider publication until several years later, when she was thinking of various ways she could raise money for the Mary Gate of Heaven Parish. “All of a sudden, it was like I kept hearing in my heart, “Publish your book! Publish your book!” and I’m like “Who wants to read this story, God?”” But, like she allowed the voice to lead her to Jamaica, Coyle listened once more and began writing her children’s book.

Read more: Welcome to the Land of "Soon Come"

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