I’ve finished the final rough drafts of the things I need to have written in order to send off the proposal. I need to spend the next couple weeks doing market research and writing a bio, and I’m still right on track for having everything sent in on the 15th of October.

I got the notice in the mail yesterday that the first set of illustrations from my mom is here, and I can’t wait to see them. I need her to write a bio for herself also.

And I could actually use y’all’s help on the market research part. The publisher that I am sending the book to wants a list of *every* similiar book already published, with an explanation of how my book is different from each one. I know that you all don’t know exactly what my book is going to be like, but if you could share with me the titles and authors of books you know of that are written in a naturalist notebook style, I would be much obliged. Feel free to include books that you did and didn’t like, and if you were feeling motivated enough to write a brief description of the book, so I would know basically what it’s about, I would love that very much.

Briefly, what I am considering a naturalist notebook style, is a non-fiction collection of essays written by a naturalist discussing natural phenomenon through their daily experiences. The books might be organized chronologically, like a journal, or they might be organized by topic, like by species or bioregion. A field guide would only count if it included a *lot* of personal stories about the naturalist’s encounters with the plants or animals referenced.

The more of these books I can come up with, the better. It seems counter-intuitive, but publishers don’t really want fresh new ideas. They want some proof that there is a market for this new book, and the best proof is that books similiar to this one have already been selling. So ideally, I would have a long list of successful books in this genre, with an explanation of how my book differs in a small but delightfully significant way from the previously published works.

And while I’m asking for help, if any of you have any experience reading and editing essays, I would love to have you read my drafts so far. I’m at the end of what I know how to do with the revision process, but I know there is still room for improvement. I would love to get some feedback from folks who have a sense of how constructive criticism works. Just drop me an e-mail or a comment if you’re interested in helping out. Feel free to pass this along to anyone else you know who might be interested in reading essays or who might have book recommendations for me.

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