I'm sure you are getting as sick of this as I am so wrapping it up today.
So sent the query letter and they sent back, after a month, an email asking for a book proposal (subject, synopsis, competition, author bio) and, the hard part, three sample chapters on the battle and massacre at Goliad. The proposal was easy. The three chapters was not.
Race down to the libary and take out twenty books on the war of Texas Independence. Lock my self in a room and read and read and read. This was like being back in college. Pretty soon themes and names pop up. Then to the internet and wow, do you guys have it easy. The University of Texas has the Handbook of Texas History--plug in a name or event and a biography or description pops up. Then to Texas A&M and a web site with the original documents and personal histories. Wow.
So got all the raw material, a rough outline for the three chapters and let fly. I enjoyed it, my wife read it, edited it and off it went to the publisher.
And then I heard NOTHING. Six months of nothing. I was a flop, rejected, self esteem at an all time low. Well, not really but I was not happy.
Then, six months later, an email. Seems the publisher is located across the river from New Orleans and Katrina knocked them out. I was a Katrina victim. They had gotten things dried out and now wanted to publish the book.
The last little note was HAVE IT DONE IN THREE MONTHS. Crikey. But as Samuel Johnson said, "Nothing concentrates like a hanging" and I got it done and it is now published and available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
And that is how you get a book published.