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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #31  
Old 02-22-2017, 11:49 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

Chris, you can blow all the smoke you want because I love it. It would seem to me that the hardcover edition of Striper Surf would be the first of my titles to gain value. Those are 25 years old and enjoyed only one printing in hardcover before being followed by at least 13 printings in paperback. Joyce calls it my signature title.

Eastern Tides was meant to be my finest effort but it has turned out to be a dog. It too came out in hardcover first, the only other by the way, and it reminded me how fleeting book authorship can be. Sure, when your first title comes out you have these allusions of a grandiose writing future. But by the time you publish eight books you get over that ego charge and come back down to earth. I can pay for my own drinks, even negotiate a case price on my Scotch, but I still get my stones when regulars in our one town gin mill, Pot Belly Pub, buy me a drink because I wrote some books. No matter that the son of a bitch can't read. Its the idea.
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  #32  
Old 02-24-2017, 02:17 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

One thing I have been seeing a lot of is professional article writers and editors who write a book for the singular purpose of adding to their writing credential. In every case that I am thinking of the "author" didn't know sh** about surfcasting for stripers.
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  #33  
Old 02-25-2017, 11:20 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

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Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
One thing I have been seeing a lot of is professional article writers and editors who write a book for the singular purpose of adding to their writing credential. In every case that I am thinking of the "author" didn't know sh** about surfcasting for stripers.
If you have money you get a nice boat for fishing. If you don't have money you are relegated to fishing from shore. Consequently, surfcasting is for the poor. Right? Who buys books, the rich or the poor? If you can afford a 30 footer, you likely went to Brown or Harvard. If you are walking the beach can you even read? Did I write eight books for non-readers?
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  #34  
Old 02-26-2017, 11:28 AM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

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Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
If you have money you get a nice boat for fishing. If you don't have money you are relegated to fishing from shore. Consequently, surfcasting is for the poor. Right? Who buys books, the rich or the poor? If you can afford a 30 footer, you likely went to Brown or Harvard. If you are walking the beach can you even read? Did I write eight books for non-readers?
VanStaals are designed to be dunked in the sandy surf. They're definitely not a poor man's reel. I have a few friends who can afford, and have, decent boats but still make a point to put in plenty of shore hours every year. They like the challenge, the aesthetics, and nighttime. We're not money fishing,...we just really love fishing.

The nice thing about striper books is that everyone can learn something from them no matter how they fish. I read plenty of boat striper stuff that I can apply to shore fishing, especially where there are steep dropoffs into deep water (inlets).
...but...this thread is about surf casting books...sorry for the digression...
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  #35  
Old 02-26-2017, 01:26 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

Can you imagine me putting 10 VS reels on the racks of our buggy back in the day? Eight thousand dollars???? Hello? My home mortgage was that! Each spring I sold a pint of blood for $25 during the mid-1960s to pay for a Penn 704 which was worth every penny. Woe be any daughter who laid a reel on the sand; they wore hats to cup that 704. If they forgot their hat they used their training bra.
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  #36  
Old 10-04-2017, 04:03 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

What I love about this thread is that it covers things about books that don't get as much attention as they deserve. Small, limited sales books like the ones that I write don't really make any money. A $20,000 book does not cover the cost of writing it unless the author wrote it for the wrong reasons -- like being able to say they wrote one that person wants to strut in some gin mill that he wrote a book.

One aspect of my book writing that deserves attention in this discussion is that I did a lot of seminars way back and got to sell a lot of books at full retail. That way I got the 10% royalty and 50% mark-up. Most books doubled up in income so the 20K above became 40K. But having gotten out of seminars (another story) writing books became less lucrative. Recognize the difference between Tom Clancy and Mister Smarty-pants. Clancy made millions on every book he wrote.
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  #37  
Old 10-11-2017, 02:38 PM
Merlin Merlin is online now
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

I will look to the other side where a writer with talent able to paint a picture in the readers mind does not need very much knowledge on a particular subject. He/she just reads up on other books on the subject, boils down what is entertaining and goes and writes a book that sells.
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  #38  
Old 10-12-2017, 08:18 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

That is close to plagiarism. If you don't know what you are talking about, I think it comes through. Of course if the reader is a googan he/she is not going to know the difference. I love to examine the books of others to watch for flags of incompetence. For instance, if night fishing does not get enough attention and there are no photos taken in the dark, a red flag goes up on my bullship meter. True surfcasting happens at night.
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  #39  
Old 10-17-2017, 01:34 PM
John_P John_P is offline
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

Hi Frank thanks for bringing this thread back up
Two follow up questions

1 do you think the seminars helped you keep your finger on the pulse of what the audience wanted?

2 what was the interaction with your editor (s)? Did they sometimes help smooth out any early rough spots and or did you have any battles?
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  #40  
Old 10-17-2017, 02:53 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

No, I chose the subjects which were largely based upon the books or cogent chapters. Like "Fly Fishing the Striper Surf. I choose what was important to the audience. It was my job to determine what would add to their knowledge and understanding. It worked very well for 30 years. I loved interacting with reader with real flesh and blood. Writing prose can get too impersonal. I had groupies who came to seminars they had already seen.


What was the interaction with your editor (s)? Did they sometimes help smooth out any early rough spots and or did you have any battles?

I had some great editors in my early years. They don't make editors like the ones way back any more. Then, you had to be a writer first. Today, I have editors who lose my stories and never sold or wrote anything; they skipped the apprenticeship of first writing, then editing. There are no Woolners today or Jerry Gibbs, or Tim Colemans.

(I'll hit this again tomorrow because there is so much for me to say.)
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  #41  
Old 10-18-2017, 11:34 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

I presently have one good editor. But the majority are a product of overall decline in print media. Not sure, but I suspect that publishers don't want to pay qualified editors and get their editors under bridge abutments. I also wonder if computers have opened up writing to less qualified writers. Its complicated further by my own ability to assess the industry. My long time years, dating back to 1968 with 49 years, have enabled me to log an outragious exposure to bad experiences: submissions not reported out by editors which locked up features, that with a timely rejection, could have been sold elsewhere. Inquiry to editors which got no response. Years of loyal regular staff work -- shows, appearances, Insider monthly, features, cover photos -- jettisoned because I exercised firearms protection for my wife and me from the two dog attack I am always bitching about. Frank Woolner would vomit if he were alive to see that stuff. Publications that mistreat writers lower overall interest in the industry resulting in poorer writing drawing from a smaller pool of particapants.

When I first started writing, in those days with a balky typewriter, hitting the wrong key, especially near the end of the page, could ruin your day. And I needed a lot of editing which had already had plenty of spell checking with a dictionary. My wife, Joyce, read everything I wrote and we often quarreled "how can I look up the spelling of something, if I don't know how to spell it?" SWS's Frank Woolner fixed a lot of my crappy prose. When he died he was replaced by a googan editor who married the bosses' daughter. Familiar? Way back if I talked unfavorably about editors like I am doing now I would have been black balled. Today, I don't give a phuck. Were I so inclined, today I have the resources to buy the publication.

I love this subject and plan more. Thanks to John P for the right questions.
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  #42  
Old 10-18-2017, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

As a reader @ one who spends $$$ on different species and styles of fishing . Some were junk , some were written by a science professor , some rittern by one who just wants to tell about themselves. It might be impossible to target ALL types of readers . So a good author has to pick his age group or experience level of the angler . Its demographics like opening up a restaurant.
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  #43  
Old 10-18-2017, 01:36 PM
John_P John_P is offline
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

One of the reasons I ask about editors is that this is a complex topic foreign the most of the rest of the world. I wonder if fishing so much gets us so immersed that the rest of the world won’t get the jargon or jokes. Im wondering if this is where a good editor temporarily takes the wheel

I’ve also wondered about vulgar references or profanity. It’s part of surfcasting culture as I’ve known it and it would be hard to convey the mood if the cuss words or female anatomy references were edited out.
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  #44  
Old 10-18-2017, 04:54 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

There is no profanity in outdoor writing. The only place I have ever used off color is here at stripersurf.con. I do see some derision of outdoor writing but then ours is a world where even the Pope gets it in the nose, certainly our commander in Chief. Personally, my experience is that you learn a lot more a lot sooner if you read the experts. I grew up reading OL, Field and Stream, Sports Afield. As a kid in high school who loved to fish/hunt I consumed everything I could find. Even kept a magazine in my notebook if a class got too boring. Hunting and fishing are part of our national heritage -- unless you live in Boston where you can't hunt Sundays but can legally smoke dope, even on Sundays
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:19 PM
John_P John_P is offline
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

I was thinking more books and stories that might aim to portray the real human side and capture a moment

I can think of a zillion cases , but for example an old salt landing a fish on the bar on a dropping tide in the fog, and having somebody jump in his spot as he’s unhooking the fish with his neck light.

We could write “he gave him a piece of his mind” but there’s really no fair substitute for the exact language that was exchanged. I know that’s not appropriate for Field And Stream, but a book that really tries to capture the mood? maybe?

Note I’m not intentionally going down this path but this is one small example of potentially where there might be spirited discussion with an editor.

In another instance I can see an editor trying to paint all recreational anglers as Boy Scouts, so perhaps any stories of theft among Surfcasters , tires being slashed, or an occasional knife being pulled might be off limits for his readers ?
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