The thriving print and digital publishing ecosystem around military history and strategy has historically played an important role for each of the United States armed services, not just in terms of professional education, but also by intriguing young people; inspiring public respect for our military heritage; informing policy makers; and increasing the national commitment to the roles and responsibilities of each branch. These functions depend on contributions from not just military organizations, but also from nonprofit, academic, and commercial publishers of all sizes and varieties.
The first creation of a service branch in more than 70 years is a rare and significant event in the publishing ecosystem for military history, which could play out in many ways, and which could have significant impact on how Space Force is perceived. Space Force has an important opportunity to influence and accelerate that evolution.
A desirable end state would have both Space Force personnel and individuals from the broader Space Force community writing books for both official and nonofficial publishers on a wide range of topics related to military space, including doctrine, history, strategy, technology, intelligence, culture, and more.
To get the ball rolling, I have published a couple of public domain titles: a hardcover edition of Space Power, the doctrine capstone publication, and coming soon a hardcover edition of Ten Propositions Regarding Space Power by M.V. Smith, which I first published in 2011. I would appreciate recommendations as to other public domain works that may be worth getting into print. Work created by US government officials in their official capacity is normally public domain, and this includes many publications that are available via sources like DTIC.
There are many obvious gaps in the literature about this new branch of the armed forces. To be frank, very few people outside military and industry have any detailed idea what the US military is doing in space. This is partly because of classification issues, but it is also because until now, there has been no clear basis for treating it as a genre. To this end, I have set in motion a proposal to add a new Book Industry Standards and Communications (BISAC) code for History > Military > Space.
I am looking for authors to write about Space Force and military space! Please submit your ideas! I have algorithmic publishing tools that may help.
To get your motor running, here are some ideas for books that I am pretty sure would be useful and well received, and would sell well.
- A general interest history of the creation of Space Force along the lines of SIX FRIGATES.
- A "role models" book aimed at Space Force personnel with stories of US military service members who did heroic things for military space before the creation of USSF. The airman who kept a vital transmitter running, the deep sea diver who recovered the vital piece of space deb ris, etc.
- A well-regarded public historian -- a Jim Hornfischer or Alex Kershaw -- embedded in Space Force for a year.
- A counterfactual book about what defeat in space would look like and mean for the US, along the lines of Erskine Childer's THE RIDDLE IN THE SANDS (1903), Hector Bywater's THE GREAT PACIFIC WAR (1931) or Peter Singer's GHOST FLEET (2016).
- A "hardware" book -- what are all the (disclosed) systems. Books about battleships, fighters and tanks have always sold well. Cool space hardware should too.
- An X-37B book that goes beyond the very limited public awareness.
- Space and special operations. It's hard to overstate just how healthy the SEAL publishing industry is. If it's got the word "SEAL" or "sniper", it sells.
- A guide to space operations.
- A low-cost version of JANE'S FIGHTING SHIPS for space--all international space forces. I publish an 800-page guide to FLEETS OF WORLD WAR II for $48.95. It's great, authoritative, and affordable. We need that for international space systems.
- Novel with young protagonists who are interested in learning about Space Force & other space careers. K-5,6-9, and YA. The early cohorts are especially important because by the time they get to college the STEM die is mostly cast.
- A detailed look at the role military space assets have played in US & other wars in the last fifty years.
- Books anticipating predictable big news events that will likely happen in the next several years--China putting a man on the Moon, high profile space cyber incident, etc.
** Don't let this list limit you! ** In all likelihood, your ideas will be better than mine.
- I will be hosting a live Q&A session about Publishing for Nimble Books about Space Force on LinkedIn Events on Tuesday, November 17 at 4 pm ET.
Publisher, Nimble Books LLC