The Book will be published!

I received some exciting news Friday… my book proposal was accepted! Here is the e-mail I received:

“Good news. I just wanted to let you now that your proposal was approved with flying colors! Congratulations!

I’m in the process of getting formal authorizations from various departments internally here, but I expect to be able to send you a contract next week or the following.

At our editorial board meeting, we discussed the title a bit. The word primer, when used with books, dates the book a bit because it had been in fashion and no longer is. I wonder what you think of simply, “Industrial Automation”? Of course, we have time to formalize the title, as this is a working title at this point.”

It has been over a year and a half since I started writing The Automation Primer, shortly before starting this blog. In the Fall of last year I started looking at publishers and got a tip from a guy at the Rockwell Automation Fair in Chicago. His book on robotics was published by Industrial Press and he gave me a name and suggested that I start there. I sent them a proposal and received really good feedback. They seemed very interested but after my trip to Central America this past January they sort of seemed to back off.

I don’t know if that counts as a rejection since they really never said no. They said they had a lot of projects ahead of mine and encouraged me to look at other publishers. A friend told me yesterday that most authors get hundreds of rejection letters and they kind of take pride in it… for me it was kind of disheartening. I started looking at self-publishing and realized just how much I don’t know about the publishing industry and book writing in general.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I got my daughter Mariko involved with helping me edit the book. She asked who I had submitted the proposal to and I said only Industrial Press… she took it on herself to look at other publishers and rewrite the proposal a bit. She submitted the proposal in late May, and I now have a publisher… McGraw-Hill!

I have come to understand how unusual it is for an unpublished author to be accepted without the prerequisite hundreds of rejection letters. Some of the publishers I read up on won’t even accept an unsolicited manuscript, they only work through agents. Maybe not knowing any better has been my saving grace.

Of course since I have had this blog up for a while, own the Automation Primer domain name and have thousands of loyal followers (as evidenced by my spam comments) the name of this site will remain the Automation Primer, but I like the suggestion McGraw-Hill has made to simply title the book “Industrial Automation”. Believe me, after searching online and through a lot of bookstores for good reference material there don’t seem to be any readily available books on the subject. The books I have found online all cost upwards of a hundred dollars and are not very well reviewed by readers. I dearly hope that this book will be much less expensive, more readable and readily available.

They also seem to concentrate on some specific aspect of the field rather than touching on a little bit of everything. My book is not intended to teach any specific technique like CAD, machine building or programming but will hopefully serve as a good general reference. It should lead people new to the field to discover what questions to ask. If you don’t even know that a subject exists, how can you find more information on it?

One of the things McGraw-Hill has asked me for is who will be my technical reviewers. I have quite a few contacts in the industry and know a few of them that I will ask, but are there any of my blog readers who would be willing/interested in doing some technical reviews? Tony? Gordon? Gary? Jim? I really need a good mechanical guy and a good manufacturing business guy, if anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

This is very exciting and motivating for me and I hope I can produce something worth reading and more importantly, keeping on your desk as a general reference. Its a huge task and though I thought most of the content was there, I discover something new to add regularly.


Electrical Engineer and business owner from the Nashville, Tennessee area. I also play music, Chess and Go.