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View Full Version : "Style" - Writing a new book


Steven Kolb
07-27-2009, 05:32 PM
I'm slowly rolling along on another book.
Primary feedback from the first book has been... "Steven, I loved the racetrack stories. Write more." And, "Great book... I just want you to know that the more technical you wrote on winning the Pick 6 the more involved I became."
Primary improvement analysis was for me to, "tighten my writing style." (will do)
__________
I'm still in the rough draft stage and it's early enough that I can adjust/change my path a little. My question to this forum is:

Do you prefer reading a book about horse racing (the new book is not intently focused on handicapping) that is a straight forward read - informative but not very technical. - - Steve Davidowitz comes to my mind
or
Do you prefer a book that mixes in chart reprints, numbers and instructions along with short situational takes and how to's. - - James Quinn?
or
Do you like reading racing books with lots of chart reprints, numbers and calculations to deal with, as well as racing points required to ponder or evaluate. - - Tom Brohamer perhaps?
__________
Thanks ahead for your thoughts. This is a great forum. I'll likely have more questions later.

Steven Kolb

goforgin
07-27-2009, 06:07 PM
I would like to see a combination of what you suggest. I would really like to see a handicapper's "30 or 90 days at the races". Perhaps a daily or weekly diary of the approach and how to's to handicapping. How selections were made each day (using numbers, calcs, clocker's reports, etc) along with bankroll management. Why was a particular race and horse thought to be a play that day? Why were other races ignored? When to make win bets or win and place? When to play the Tri, Super or Pick 4?

AAcoolguy
07-28-2009, 12:38 AM
What bothers me most when reading a handicapping book is looking back and forth between the authors bragging about their prowess and the chart he's refering to. "Look how well I did, and if you go to the chart on the following page, it will be plain as the nose on your face how you can do it too..."

nalley0710
07-28-2009, 04:31 AM
When I first got into racing, all I ever heard was how unlikely it is that people can turn a profit at the track. I would ask myself am I crazy for doing this ? Is this game beatable ? I would love to see a book filled with anonymous stories about the journey of coming to the track the first time and how people made it to the point of profitability and beyond. You always hear that these egnimatic figures beat the races but never hear their stories. Im not talking about people revealing their techniques. I'm talking about the real nitty gritty. Like geting over things like fear of losing money or greed and over playing after a score. Having someone you date talk crap about you being a horseplayer. The human experience. Thats a book I would of love to have read in the beginning and now. If it was anonymous, I bet people would contribute. And who cares if people talk smack about the book having anonymous contributions because I can assure you if you are a profitable player you can sense another one's coments a hundred miles away. Just a thought.

racingplanet
08-21-2009, 04:53 PM
I would say 'Beyer On Speed' is just about the perfect racing book. The book is great in that it mixes handicapping technique with the human element. A good racing book needs to inspire you to get out and do it, and Andy Beyer does this with great stories about hitting the pick 6, conquering the West coast etc.

GOOD LUCK

46zilzal
08-22-2009, 03:01 PM
Write a book about HOW to translate the handicapping conclusions to the best wagering decisions. That VOID has never been adequately explored.

It is the LOST aspect of the game. I suppose one could write a treatise on gambling in general (how to best translate knowing how a fight a football game, a basketball contest) to include horse racing, but that would probably limit the audience.

They would HAVE to embrace the concept of Randomness and many "old school" types would, I am sure, BOLT on hearing that.

Overlay
08-22-2009, 06:49 PM
Write a book about HOW to translate the handicapping conclusions to the best wagering decisions. That VOID has never been adequately explored.

I agree with you that a definitive guide on that subject would be useful. But (putting aside the issue of how after-the-start odds changes affect money-management strategies) would information on optimal distribution and sizing among betting alternatives really have full significance, or even be possible, unless the probable payoffs of the full spectrum of wagers were available (including those for which they currently are not), so that they could be compared with the actual win probabilities of those wagers (however derived)?

Dan H
08-23-2009, 10:08 PM
If you have the "winning how-to" book, would you really publish it?

If you don't have the "winning how-to" book, would you really publish it?

Dan H

46zilzal
08-23-2009, 10:31 PM
Winning is a complex state of affairs with NO ONE ANSWER. The BIG misunderstanding like I said, is translating that good evaluation of how the race runs to making a sustained profit on it.

mountainman
08-24-2009, 12:10 PM
I'm slowly rolling along on another book.
Primary feedback from the first book has been... "Steven, I loved the racetrack stories. Write more." And, "Great book... I just want you to know that the more technical you wrote on winning the Pick 6 the more involved I became."
Primary improvement analysis was for me to, "tighten my writing style." (will do)
__________
I'm still in the rough draft stage and it's early enough that I can adjust/change my path a little. My question to this forum is:

Do you prefer reading a book about horse racing (the new book is not intently focused on handicapping) that is a straight forward read - informative but not very technical. - - Steve Davidowitz comes to my mind
or
Do you prefer a book that mixes in chart reprints, numbers and instructions along with short situational takes and how to's. - - James Quinn?
or
Do you like reading racing books with lots of chart reprints, numbers and calculations to deal with, as well as racing points required to ponder or evaluate. - - Tom Brohamer perhaps?
__________
Thanks ahead for your thoughts. This is a great forum. I'll likely have more questions later.

Steven Kolb

Having written articles for Horseplayer magazine of varying tone and length, I've found that the less I pontificate, the more satisfactory the results. Short of an icon like Beyer or Quinn, or a talented writer able to entertain with relevant anecdotes, few have the chops to wander far from the facts, and those facts should be illustrated by examples or statistics. I go into a project aware that I'm not Ernest Hemmingway, and thus compelled to bombard the reader with cold hard info. Don't get me wrong, a little zing is a good thing, but looking back on my pieces, the ones that worked best were driven by facts.

Tom
08-24-2009, 01:42 PM
Your articles would be a good model - right to the point, clearly illustrated. :ThmbUp:

mountainman
08-24-2009, 04:18 PM
Your articles would be a good model - right to the point, clearly illustrated. :ThmbUp:

tx man. i try.

Overlay
09-11-2009, 04:33 AM
If you have the "winning how-to" book, would you really publish it?

If you don't have the "winning how-to" book, would you really publish it?

Dan H

I'd say that the answers could conceivably be (1) "yes" (as long as the book doesn't rely on angles/spot plays or arrive at a single selection by a checklist process of elimination (or by any other means), without considering odds -- both of which will eventually be bet into unprofitability); and (2) "yes" (witness all the handicapping texts that fit either of the descriptions in (1)).

Overlay
09-12-2009, 11:50 AM
I'm still in the rough draft stage and it's early enough that I can adjust/change my path a little. My question to this forum is:

Do you prefer reading a book about horse racing (the new book is not intently focused on handicapping) that is a straight forward read - informative but not very technical. - - Steve Davidowitz comes to my mind
or
Do you prefer a book that mixes in chart reprints, numbers and instructions along with short situational takes and how to's. - - James Quinn?
or
Do you like reading racing books with lots of chart reprints, numbers and calculations to deal with, as well as racing points required to ponder or evaluate. - - Tom Brohamer perhaps?

From a pure reading enjoyment standpoint, I prefer informative/anecdotal or spot-play books more (a la Davidowitz and Quinn, respectively). But from a handicapping value perspective, the books that I get the most out of are those that discuss the specific quantitative performance values associated with various full-field factors (as in Quirin's Winning at the Races, for example). This provides a basis for developing a reliable estimate of horses' actual winning chances in order to locate betting value, which (to me) is the most practical and useful application that any handicapping book can have.