I’m getting questions every day asking “what happened to the Baseball Prospect Book for 2017?” I haven’t discussed this in awhile and it is apparent that not everyone saw or heard about the previous announcements, so let’s clarify:
I did not write the Baseball Prospect Book for 2017.
Why? There are several interlinked reasons.
***I was tired and burned out. Over the last few editions, writing the book had become detrimental to my physical and emotional health. When I was 30 or even 40 I could stay up until 3 AM working on it every day, but once I hit 45, that became more and more difficult.
***I missed the deadline for completion three years in a row. This had an understandable but dramatic effect on sales and profitability. With daily obligations to my family, to my health, and to Vox Media, I could not guarantee on-time delivery, which meant that I could not guarantee keeping the customers happy and making enough money for it to be viable
***I had written the book for 21 years. When I started, it was the only such book available on the market. Competition is much fiercer now. While I was still happy with the content of the book, the production values needed a serious upgrade for the book to remain competitive in this market.
***However, upgrading the 2003 do-it-yourself production values to 2017 everything-is-on-Amazon standards was not possible without a large increase in cover price (undesirable) or a large immediate increase in sales (unlikely given deadline issues).
***With all these factors in mind, it was time to retire the book in the current format. It hadn’t jumped the shark yet, and I wanted to make sure it never did. It was time to let go.
***The upside is that I am not burned out and miserable and am actually enjoying baseball again this spring. The downside shows up in my bank account.
So, what does the future bring? Will the book come back some day?
Perhaps. The format would need to be different and more modern, and I’d have to find a way to write the thing while maintaining my work and family obligations and my health. I’m certainly open to any ideas you wish to offer.
In the meantime, Minor League Ball is still full speed ahead.