Rod Pyle: Space 2.0

For this column, NASW book editor Lynne Lamberg asks NASW authors to tell how they came up with the idea for their book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. She also asks what they wish they had known before they began working on their book, what they might do differently the next time, and what tips they can offer aspiring authors. She then edits the A part of that Q&A to produce the author reports you see here.

Publication of NASW members’ reports in Advance Copy does not constitute NASW’s endorsement of their books. NASW welcomes your comments, and hopes this column stimulates productive discussions.

Cover: Space 2.0

Cover: Space 2.0

SPACE 2.0:

Rod Pyle, foreword by Buzz Aldrin
BenBella Books, February 26, 2019, $21.95
ISBN 10: 1944648453; ISBN 13: 78-1944648459
E-BOOK: Kindle, Mobi, PDF

Pyle reports:

In 2014, contemplating my next book after the publication of Innovation the NASA Way (McGraw Hill), I scanned listings of books in the nonfiction space/tech genre to find obvious gaps that matched my general ideas. I wrote a proposal and sent it to my agent. We agreed that this book would be a good fit for BenBella.

Because BenBella is a small house, I knew that obtaining a traditional advance was going to be a challenge. I turned to the National Space Society, a nonprofit advocacy group with whom I have been working for years. One of their leaders, Stan Rosen, undertook the challenge of raising funds to underwrite the project, the equivalent of a customary book advance. I will split royalties with the National Space Society.

Rod Pyle

Rod Pyle

This book was a departure for me, as I previously had written books of a historical nature, not forward-looking, policy-driven products. I did about a year of research, and then interviewed 35 leaders in the field from NASA, international space agencies, and the commercial spaceflight sector. Gaining access to some of these folks was a challenge—parts of the commercial spaceflight sector are highly proprietary—but I found what I needed and wrote the book, exceeding my word count by about 40 percent.

My editor, James Lowder, then entered the scene. Together we reshaped and pruned the manuscript, taking another year to arrive at a mutually agreeable text. I then spent about a month finding appropriate imagery and commissioning what I could not find from my wonderful illustrator, Jim Vaughan.

I asked Buzz Aldrin, who is on the Board of Governors of the National Space Society, to write the book’s foreword. He generously agreed to do so. I'm greatly indebted to Buzz for his vision and willingness to share it in this book.

BenBella invested time and effort to assure a premium product with high-quality paper and printing and has provided exemplary publicity support. The book will be released in paperback, audiobook, and in Mandarin.

Contact info:

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Tell your fellow NASW members how you came up with the idea for your book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. Include what you wish you had known before you began working on your book, or had done differently.


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Mar. 13, 2019

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