"US Bomber Projects Since WWII"


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5 April 2006
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Since I'm obviously *real* slow, and what was once an empty niche market is now getting filled with quality competitors (I'm looking at YOU, Buttler and Zichek!), I'll probably cancel my plans to produce a "US Bomber Projects" book. Much of it will probably still come out in APR articles and perhaps narrower-focus monographs, but at this time it's looking like a book on the general topic would be redundant. Lackluster sales of the "Preview" and APR indicate that the market is pretty slim for this sort of thing anyway, at least as far as what I can actually access.

Anyway, here's the current collection of drawings I've put together. There are a fair number of 'em, but most of them were drawn well over a year ago, more like two or three. Clearly there was constant wandering from topic to topic.


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As I already said, I see a distinct possibility of at least four "sbove indstry standard" monographs (provisional). There must be system to do some form of market sizing exercise in advance but with "compulsory buying" thereafter.. sort of PreOrder, maybe.. Any suggestions by members ?
I think you should go ahead and put it out there Scott, however you see fit - I don't have anything on three quarters of the designs you are showing, though I don't know what Tony has. I know Tony is restricted by Midland from going into great detail about individual designs, so if you have a large amount of drawings and background information on certain studies, it may still appeal to readers, even if it is covering a design already revealed elsewhere.
Go Forth and Publish it Scott - we are awaiting :)

Enjoy the Day! Mark
Scott I think the book could work because the subject is highly interesting.

What about trying lulu.com or something similar as an alternative to the classic way of publishing?. Skybolt's suggestions about pre-order are also good.

I'll be waiting for that bombers book.

BTW: Jared's work on the B-52 competition is amazing!, thanks a lot. :)

I must agree with you Scott that you are too slow, but on the other hand it is a reasonable idea to publish the separate and narrowed monographs. It has a lot of advantages: you can earn some money much quickly, you will publish yet unseen and interesting material and there is not any reason why after some years not to put these monographs together, probably add something new to them and create the book from them. To paraphrase one famous sentence: Every big book begins with a small monograph ;)
pometablava said:
Skybolt's suggestions about pre-order are also good.

If I were a Big Business, I'd certainly consider preorders. But I've always been a one-man operation, from publishing to my model business. And one thing I've learned is that pre-orders are a fantastic way of creating anger and hatred. It becomes easy to screw people over, intentionally or unintentionally. Anybody who has ever been involved in the "garage kit" model business probably knows all to well what I mean. So I long ago decided to, with rare exception, not accept money for product I wasn't ready to ship. The only real exceptions have been pre-sold underwriten archival expeditions.

As for printed monographs, I'm looking into swiping Jared's business strategy of working with Magcloud. I've gotten his B-52 work (It's good. Damn you!!!!!), and the quality seems to be good. It's a bit pricey, but there's probably no real way around that for actual printed work; I had a few issues of APR printed off at a regular print shop, and three issues cost twice as much as a year's subscription.

Monograph subjects would likely include: B-47, B-52, B-58, nuclear powered, "space bombers," "seaplanes," B-2.
I would love to see an A-12 Avenger II Monograph with all of the cut-away sections, etc. Or is that one of those planes that would get you in trouble if it went overseas? I remember you talking about the security issues, even though the drawings are, to a certain extent, available.
Message from Tony Buttler

Sorry to hear you now have reservations about doing a US Bombers book Scott, but I would say push ahead. I am sure that you have many more detail designs than I do, including variations within a project etc. As Jared says, the 'Secret Project' series only really deals with the main 3-views that were in competition with one another - there is little scope for cutaways or the huge number of variations. From what I have seen so far, Jared's, yours and my approaches are all different and I think they go together very well.

As regards the Bombers ASP there are some gaps in my coverage, so it may be that you will be able to fill some of them in due course. It is also worth considering that there are loads of books on specific famous aircraft like the V-Bombers, Spitfire, etc, and many folk buy more than one of them (some buy them all), so why not Secret Projects as well!

Changing the subject, I am delighted to hear about the forthcoming Japanese Projects Book, and the possibilities for an Italian title. Would anybody be interested in taking on French Secret Projects?

Best Wishes to Everyone. Tony.
Well, Scott, a lot of people loves you(r work) !! ;)
A suggestion for Tony: for French Secret Projects, just try and find were the Jean Cuny's archives ended up an you'll be 80 per cent done...
Just a few thoughts for you to consider.

1. How many books are out now on the history of US fighters? I've actually lost count. Yet new books still come out and sell despite the fact that almost everything that can be said has been said multiple times. So the first lesson from history is that in the world of Aerospace publishing, redundancy isn't necessarily fatal.

2. You might consider what you are offering that's incremental relative to the competition. Different perspectives/insights and unique artwork are always draws for would be buyers. So content will make your book commercially viable and not just being first to market. From what I've seen, your artwork seems to be different from your competitors and your insights are unique and show a degree of depth.

3. A while back, a number of very good books came out on the Aviation centennial. Chant and Batchelor's "A Century of Triumph" did quite well despite strong competition and not being first to market. In my view, their commercial success was primarily due to Batchelor's artwork and Chant's writing.
Tony Buttler- What I would really like to see is a post-war French Secret Projects book. There seems to be some stuff coming out in bits and pieces, but none of it in English. :+(
Also, I would like to see post-war Germany (FRG and GDR), smaller European countries East and West, including Spain, and maybe an "Everybody Else but China" book.

Kim M
Right, I've given this some thought, and here's what I would do...
I'd divide the book up into ten to twelve self contained chapters, eg. 'nuclear powered bombers', 'seaplane bombers', etc.
I'd then write, illustrate, and publish each chapter separately, in turn, either as PDFs, like eAPR, or as print-to-order magazines through MagCloud, or similar.
While this was happening, I'd be looking for a publisher for the complete work. Bear in mind, even releasing the chapters at a similar rate to eAPR, it's probably going to take a couple of years to publish them all, so there's plenty of time to arrange a deal.
And yes, I know that's the hardest part, but you'll have product to show, and a demonstrated market, ie, the buyers for the separate chapters.
Ahh, but I hear you say, all the interested people like you, Robunos, will buy the separate parts as they are released, so won't want to buy the complete book!.
Here's the _clever_ part. You hold one or two chapters back for the book publcation, that is, they're not available separately, only if you buy the finished book.
That way we _have_ to buy the _complete_ work to get the _full_ story.
Also, as I said above, it's going to take a year or two to get it all out. In this time, some new information is highly likely to surface, so revisions are desirable. Once again, the revised chapters would only be available in the complete book.
Just my two quid's worth...

Sundog said:
I would love to see an A-12 Avenger II Monograph with all of the cut-away sections, etc. Or is that one of those planes that would get you in trouble if it went overseas? I remember you talking about the security issues, even though the drawings are, to a certain extent, available.

I second this request - be it APR edition, book or monograph. Assuming there is information available, this would make a very interesting read.


It's just an idea but
it should be nice if we, for exemple, could see a volume published
about the XB-59 with eventual more info
about the Douglas and Martin contenders in the XB-58 competition..
Yep. Problem is that Scott will have to redraw everything. It's a Boeing.
Scott, I have been looking forward with great excitement to your US Bomber projects book. If it is anything like the APR series it will be a very worthwhile read. I hope you will find reason & motivation to continue. There are so many projects that I certainly know nothing about, and am very keen to discover. Zichek's book is exceptional, with great detail about many unknowns, but the 3-views are very disappointing. The best coverages so far are those produced by Avico Press.
I too am putting together a 2 or 3 volume book on aircraft that I hope will be completed by year end.
I think releasing parts as individual monographies is a good way to get money now, rather than toiling for 5 years to finish a book with uncertain returns.
Hi Greg,
I am very reluctant to say much about my 2 - 3 volume book mainly because I have never had confidence that others will share my enthusiasm or my belief in anything I can achieve. Secondly, the fool in me says that someone will either criticise it or try, (unsuccessfully) to copy it before I have completed it. Let me just say, I have been toying around, in my spare time, for many years with this idea for an 'identification guide', and gathering data along the way. Over the past few years the amount of available data has snow-balled. I am very close to being finished with collecting the info for the 1st & 2nd volume. I am busy putting it all together, and ought to be finished by year end. (Volume 3 will follow later, but this won't spoil the usability of 1 & 2).
It sounds silly, but I have deeply enjoyed the hobby for the past maybe 10 years or more, and the results look great. I find it very exciting, and I cannot help thinking that a lot of other people will too. Thanks, for asking.
I wish I had some influence here. Count me as a customer. Alas, an impatient one. Sorry.

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