16 Apr 2009
It's time for an important announcement regarding this year's book. Unfortunately, due to contractual issues, there will not be a Pro Football Prospectus 2009 available in bookstores this summer. However, there will still be a preseason annual, available online: the brand new Football Outsiders Almanac 2009.
First, let me answer the question "Why no PFP?" The fate of that book is wrapped up in our contract with Baseball Prospectus, which in turn is wrapped up in their contract with Plume Books. Plume made the decision that they did not want to do a football book this year. (It's their decision, so don't be upset at the Prospectus folks.) We did have other publishers interested in producing a conventional Football Outsiders preseason annual in 2009. However, contractually, we were obligated to write Pro Football Prospectus before negotiating to write any other book. Plume made their decision very late in our process, and by the time they did, it was too late to squeeze a FO book onto the production schedules of the other publishers that were interested.
The good news is that our modern world provides many alternatives to conventional book publishing, and we're going to take this opportunity to experiment with them.
This year's book will be called Football Outsiders Almanac 2009, but the content will be very similar to the PFP you've grown to know and love. We'll have team chapters, player comments, KUBIAK projections, game charting stats, and new research. We'll also have an expanded college football section with more content from Brian Fremeau and Bill Connelly.
The first FO Almanac will be produced in two versions. First, there will be a PDF-download version. A digital version allows us to make the book available a little earlier and for a lower price. We'll be able to hyperlink to more expanded player stats, and we'll be able to edit longer, trying to purge FO Almanac of the typos that plagued our past books. The current plan is for the PDF to go on sale the first weekend in July, the same time we start selling the KUBIAK projections workbook.
(For those wondering, we don't know yet what kind of "buy two things, get a discount" combinations we'll be offering yet, but there will be some.)
We will also be producing FO Almanac in a print-to-order format. If you want a physical book, we'll have one for you sometime in late July. We may not be in bookstores, but the print-to-order FO Almanac 2009 will still be listed on Amazon.
(I'm hoping for a third version, Kindle, but we're still researching the possibility, so no promises yet.)
As I noted above, there are companies out there interested in publishing a book from Football Outsiders, so there's a good chance that our foray into self-publishing will be a one-time event. If this goes well, however, we might decide to do things like this every year. We're also hoping to continue some sort of relationship with the Baseball Prospectus folks, even if we will no longer use their name in the title of our books.
Sorry about the confusion, but we know you will all get excited about Football Outsiders Almanac 2009, giving you all the FO writing you crave in the preseason. There won't be any pre-orders, but I'm sure most of our readers can just stash some money away under the mattress until the day we put the new book on sale.
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