Tag: Dennis Peterson

Combat!- Part II

“In the Christian life, one fact is crystal clear: we are at war. It involves every Christian—and collectively the entire Church—and it is a holy war. It does not involve physical combat; it is against spiritual enemies. It is a hard-fought war, demanding everything a believer has and is…To do their part in this war, individual believers must engage the spiritual enemies with the weapons and equipment with which God has endowed them. We can learn about all of this through God’s Word, but His truths are also illustrated through the events that have occurred in human military history. This book uses both, surveying the military history of Israel from Abram’s operation to rescue Lot through the fall of Jerusalem and examining our spiritual warfare in the light of military history and modern military organization.” (From the back cover.)

Write2Ignite featured Dennis Peterson last April talking about his path to publication for his latest book, Combat! With the release of the book in February by TouchPoint Press, Dennis is now on the other side of the process. In this second interview he answers more questions about the book and how he plans to market it.

How did you research the military aspects of Combat?

 Having taught history for a number of years, and having conducted quite a bit of research as a history textbook author, I already had a good background in military history. I conducted even more specific research into biblical Israel’s warfare and military theory and strategy by reading copious amounts of material by experts in the subject–ancient historians, Sun Tzu, Jomini, Clausewitz, and veteran high-ranking officers from America’s modern military. I then applied what I learned from that research to the individual’s spiritual warfare.

Do you think of the book as a devotional? 

If it is, it’s an awfully long devotional! I see it rather as a Bible study. Each chapter has four or five (or more) discussion questions that relate to the information contained in the chapter.

How are you marketing Combat?

I posted Facebook updates on its progress all along the way, announced its release date as soon as I learned it, announced when it was available for preorder and where, and then announced its actual release. I also had several partners (I guess the term for them now is “street team”) who also promoted it on social media using their platforms, thereby broadening the reach of the news. I also printed business cards that showed the cover on one side and basic ordering information on the back and bookmarks, which also showed the cover and ordering information but also gave a description of the book and information about the author, and began handing out those at every opportunity.

Are you speaking to any groups?

I have spoken in one local Christian high school’s chapel. I am willing to consider more as opportunities become available.

Are you planning on holding bookstore events?

There are several local bookstores that I intend to approach to arrange book signings.

The believer is to “put on the whole armor of God,” as the complete Roman panoply shown here illustrates. Illustrator: Preston Gravely

What was different about writing and publishing this book?

 

The publisher of this book was different than the one for my first book. The previous publisher was an academic publisher that tended to market solely to libraries and schools, and they did little to help spread the word beyond their catalog. The current publisher has posted numerous social media announcements about the book. They even monitored my own Facebook posts about the book and shared them, further broadening the market. They expressed confidence in me and my work, even offering me a contract for my next book! The only negative aspect that I’ve experienced is not having access to my book earlier. The first publisher had author’s copies to me several days before the book was available to the general public.

Have you had any reviews?  Interviews?

I had the first customer review appear on Amazon as soon as the Kindle version was available. It was written by one of my former Basic Composition students, and it made me feel as though all my efforts in the classroom so many years ago actually had made a difference after all, at least in one student’s writing life! “Suite T,” the blog site of Southern Writers magazine, published Part I of a two-part feature story about the book on February 21. Here is Part II of that feature.  As for interviews, a reporter for the Greer Citizen newspaper interviewed me and devoted about 1/3 of a page in the paper’s entertainment section to a write-up about the book before it was released.

Thanks, for sharing all of this with our readers. In addition, TouchPointe has contracted Dennis to write his next book which is titled, Christ in Camp and Combat: Religious Work in the Confederate Armies. Look for an upcoming review of Combat! on this site.

Check out all of Dennis’s books at Amazon.com by searching “Dennis L. Peterson.”

Visit and follow his blog at: https://dlpedit.wordpress.com.

 

COMBAT!

Do you have an idea for a nonfiction book but you’re not sure what goes into finding the right publisher and writing the proposal? In this post, Dennis Peterson, a W2I 2018 attendee, shares the backstory for his forthcoming book, COMBAT! Lessons on Spiritual Warfare from Military History

 

CAROL: Please tell us about COMBAT! that recently went under contract with TouchPoint Press. What is the backstory behind writing it? What was your inspiration?

DENNIS: I’m a history buff with a special interest in military history and a student of the Bible. Those two interests merged as I saw parallels between the Christian’s daily struggles and military history. I thought that held possibilities for a book.

But I wanted my book to go beyond the typical treatment of Ephesians 6:10–18; there’s so much more to spiritual warfare. My book discusses parallels of chain of command and control, communications, logistics, weaponry, strategy, and tactics. It surveys the major military engagements of Israel’s history and modern warfare.

CAROL: That sounds fascinating! What qualifications prepared you to write this book?

DENNIS: I’m a Christian, study God’s Word, taught history for nineteen years, and have been published widely.

CAROL: What did you include in your proposal to TouchPoint?

DENNIS: The proposal included a synopsis, a statement showing my book’s uniqueness, my credentials, a market analysis, an annotated table of contents, a statement concerning documentation, a blurb about my artist, and three sample chapters. I sent out five initial queries simultaneously, but I sent a complete proposal package only to the publishers who requested one.

I researched various publishers to identify those that were most likely to publish material like mine. After several rejections from other publishers, TouchPoint requested a full proposal and later the complete manuscript.

CAROL: What attracted you to TouchPoint?

DENNIS: I liked the fact that they refused to consider manuscripts that contained what both of us consider “objectionable elements.” Only a short time earlier they had entered the Christian marketplace, and I figured that they might be “hungry” for new writers with a Christian message. They said that they published history and military as well as Christian living, and my book combines all of those topics. They are small, and I figure that they will have more time and motivation to promote my book than a large or mid-sized publisher would. I had studied their web site and the books they’ve already published, and I liked what I saw.

CAROL: Was the manuscript complete when you queried?

DENNIS: I had essentially finished writing the manuscript before I submitted it. I knew that if publishers were interested they would request sample chapters. Not knowing which chapters they might request, I decided to write the whole thing before submitting.

CAROL: What is next in the publishing process? Do you expect it will be edited?

DENNIS: I’m proofing the manuscript, writing captions for the illustrations and photos, and waiting for the artist to finalize his illustrations. Then I’ll scan and send them plus the completed manuscript to the publisher. I don’t know the level of edit the book will receive. I always aspire to write so well that the editor has an easy time of it.

CAROL: Can you tell us about some of the illustrations? Is the illustrator also doing the cover art?

DENNIS: The illustrator I hired is creating nine watercolor illustrations of such things as military vehicles, armor, weapons, and other equipment, both ancient and modern. I also plan to include several photographs of historical military subjects.

The illustrator will not be doing the cover art; the publisher will do that. They asked for my input–what I did and did not want the cover to show–and requested any photo possibilities. I did a mockup cover to show what I envisioned. Not sure if they’ll use it, adapt it, or come up with something entirely different.

CAROL: Can you give us an example of one of your lessons?

DENNIS: Although I can’t provide the actual text, one of the lessons in my book deals with logistics, or the supplying of troops with food and equipment. In the Christian life, the individual “soldier” must eat properly and regularly on spiritual food. That includes the encouragement of communion, fellowship, and prayer with others.

CAROL: Do you have a pub date?

DENNIS: I’m not yet sure of the publication date. The publisher says “within 18 months of acceptance.” My experience with my first book indicates it might be sooner than that. The publisher’s editor is scheduled to begin work on my manuscript the first week of August and has scheduled two weeks. I suspect she has a built-in buffer and am hoping that she will get through it faster than that. I’m hoping that the entire production process will be completed by November or earlier. But who knows?

CAROL: How did your conference experience at Write2Ignite in 2018 help you move forward in your writing career?

DENNIS: The most important thing the Write2Ignite conference did for me was to motivate me to take a chance and submit my work. I struggle with the fear of failure. No one likes to be rejected! The conference sessions inspired me to submit despite those fears and to leave the results with God.

CAROL: We all struggle with that! Thanks for this interview, Dennis, and best wishes on your forthcoming book. I think it will be one that will inform and inspire adults and teens.

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If you have questions about how to write a nonfiction proposal, leave them here and Dennis will do his best to answer them. Look for a review of COMBAT! next year.

 

Dennis L. Peterson is an independent author and historian and a former editor and educator. His first book was Confederate Cabinet Departments and Secretaries (McFarland, 2016), and he has had articles on historical, educational, and religious topics published in many journals and magazines, including The Writer, Blue Ridge Country, True West, Smoky Mountain Living, and Nature Friend. Find out more about Dennis’s books and the writing process on his blog.

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