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Getting Published: How to Write a “Killer” Book Proposal By Jed Diamond, Ph.D.
Contact: Jed@Menalive.com Web: www.MenAlive.com
When I first began wrestling with my fear of failure and trying to decide whether I should attempt writing a book, I talked to a friend who had recently gotten his first book published. He said something that grabbed my attention and hooked me into writing. “When you get a book published you earn royalties,” he told me. “Royalties, get it. You begin to be treated like a royalty.” He also told me that while we were sitting there talking, he was making money. Somewhere, someone was buying his book. I loved what I was hearing and I wanted to get my own book published. I had no idea where to start, but my friend told me I needed to write a book proposal. I had no idea what that was, but I started writing. After a year of rejection notices I finally had my first book published, Inside Out: Becoming My Own Man. I’ve now had 7 other books published, including international best-sellers, Male Menopause and The Irritable Male Syndrome. I learned that there was a protocol for book proposals and later found that there were actually books on how to write a book proposal. One I found particularly helpful was How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen. But just as every book is different, every writer is different, and every book proposal is different. I thought it would help people to actually see a book proposal that induced an editor to buy the book. Here is my proposal for The Irritable Male Syndrome: Understanding and Managing the 4 Key Causes of Aggression and Depression that was published by Rodale. I’ll enjoy hearing your comments and questions.
Book Proposal The Irritable Male Syndrome: Understanding and Managing the 4 Key Causes of Aggression and Depression By Jed Diamond
Jed Diamond 34133 Shimmins Ridge Rd. Willits, California, 95490 707 459-5505 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.menalive.com
Overview One of the most consistent responses from men and women who read my books Male Menopause and Surviving Male Menopause was agreement with what I said about men’s irritability, anger, and sullen withdrawal . “It’s like he’s a different man,” one woman wrote to me. “He had always been kind, considerate, and caring. Now he treats us all so mean. I don’t understand it.” “I love my wife, I really do,” a man in his 40s confided, “but she drives me up the wall. She wonders why I get so angry all the time. What does she expect when she keeps hitting me in the head with a two-by-four?” To which his wife replies in a voice of hurt disbelief, “I don’t know what he’s talking about. I am always loving and kind and he seems to act like he’s being attacked.” I heard from women married to younger men who described similar symptoms, but couldn’t understand it since the men were in their 30s—not the typical male menopause time of life. I got calls and letters from parents who were seeing even more extreme irritability exhibited by their teen-age sons. They wondered if this was normal teen-age behavior or if something else was going on. There has been recent research that offers a preliminary look at this phenomenon. Gerald A. Lincoln, at the Medical Research Council’s Human Reproductive Sciences Unit in Edinburgh, Scotland, recently coined the term “irritable male syndrome” (IMS) to
5 mirror the infamous PMS in women. Lincoln says these hormone imbalances go far beyond the now recognized “male menopause” and can manifest in any time of life.
“Irritability-anxiety-depression syndromes associated with withdrawal of sex steroid hormones are well recognized in the female,” Lincoln notes in his study, that appeared in December, 2001 in the journal Reproduction, Fertility and Development. “The occurrence of a potentially similar behavioral syndrome following withdrawal of testosterone has received less attention.” Professor James McBride Dabbs is head of the Social/Cognitive Psychology Program at Georgia State University. He has been studying the effects of testosterone for the last 20 years and is one of the world’s experts in the field. Dabbs believes that the emotional rollercoaster that we see in men may be due to the continual fluctuations in testosterone levels that males experience. “Our average testosterone level is inherited from our parents,” he says, “but physical and social conditions produce changes around this average level. Testosterone falls with ill health and physical exhaustion. It rises when we win important contests and falls when we lose. It changes with our status in life.” The Irritable Male Syndrome may be responsible for a great deal of problems men experience at certain times in their lives. We can look to the two major periods when testosterone is shifting: During adolescence and early adulthood (ages 12 to 26) and during the male menopause years (ages 40 to 55). IMS may be the tip of the iceberg of other destructive male behaviors. On the one hand, IMS may lead to anger and aggression. On the other hand, it can lead to depression and death by suicide.
6 In its extreme form IMS may affect 30% of adolescent and “middlescent” males. In its milder forms 70% to 80% of males may be affected. But the pain and destruction go beyond the males themselves. When males are in pain so, too, are the women, children, community, and the world at large. A letter I just received (one of hundreds I have gotten), perfectly describes IMS and its effects: I have felt my husband of 22 years pulling away for me and our family. He has gradually become more sullen, angry, moody, lower sex drive etc. Recently he has begun venting to anyone who will listen about how horrible his kids are, they are lazy (our son is 19 and works full time 6:30 am to 4:30 pm everyday), unmotivated and anything else he can think of. I am the one who raised them to be this way of course. He blames me for everything these days. If his socks or underwear go missing, I must have put them somewhere or done something with them to piss him off. (I'm not kidding!). The thing that bothers me the most is how non affectionate he is. Not even a hug or a little touch or anything! My husband used to be the most positive, upbeat, funny person I knew. Now it's like living with an angry brick! The Irritable Male Syndrome will be the first book to describe this new phenomenon in men and offer a program for prevention and treatment. It will help millions of men and their partners to understand what the men are going through and how best to treat this emerging problem. It will help parents understand the anger that plagues so many of
7 their young sons. It will contain 350 pages and be completed 1 year after signing the contract.
Word of this new male syndrome is just beginning to spread throughout the world. On February 27, 2002 the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) reported on Lincoln’s work and also on supporting research. David Abbott of the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center in Madison said: "Testosterone effects have been missed. When a bloke gets grumpy and irritable, [researchers] try and explain it only in terms of cortisol levels and depression. They ignore the fact that testosterone levels are probably falling too." The Guardian in London did a follow-up story the next day. The London Observer and the Sydney Morning Herald also did stories. The first mention in a U.S. paper was in an on-line version of the Washington Post on March 14, 2002. The Irritable Male Syndrome is at the same level of understanding that male menopause was when I began research for my book in 1994. When Male Menopause was published in 1997 people were hungry for answers to what was happening to men. The book gave them what they needed, continues to sell well, and has now been translated into 15 languages. Like male menopause when I began research for that book in 1994, there is little information about IMS at this time. There will be a great deal of controversy about whether this is “real” or another manufactured disease to sell books or induce people to get testosterone. Like male menopause I believe research will show that IMS is a true syndrome and that preventive and treatment efforts can help millions.
8 In writing Male Menopause I wanted to have the most comprehensive, well researched, and most readable book on the market. The fact that it has sold so well, has spread world-wide, and continues to sell well five years after it was published, indicates to me that I succeeded. Although similar in some ways to male menopause, IMS is more specific and can affect men of all ages. What often triggers IMS is acute or chronic stress. This book will have a greater emphasis on understanding stress, the relationship to hormonal changes, effects on a man’s mood, and how it undermines his relationships with those closest to him. The Irritable Male Syndrome will focus on two crucial times of life when male hormones are shifting rapidly—adolescence/young adulthood and mid-life. It will describe IMS and also its deeper and more violent manifestations in anger, aggression, depression, and suicide. It will also show the relationship of IMS and Attention Deficit Disorder that is so common in young males and also increasingly common in adult men. There was a time when we laughed at and ridiculed women who said they had emotional changes associated with hormonal fluctuations. Most now accept that PMS is real and can be treated. Columnist Liz Langley writing for the Orlando Weekly feels this same understanding will soon be extended to men. “Just as men have had to concede that there’s a real, scientific reason for our moody silences and sharp behavior and it’s PMS, not RBS (raving bitch syndrome), we might be able to take comfort in the fact that they have to confront this crap, too. It might just be IMS rather than IBS (insensitive butt-hole syndrome) that makes them as dumbfounding as they can be.”
Author Platform: Since my book, Male Menopause, was published in 1997 and became an international best-seller, translated into 20 foreign languages, I have been a sought-after expert on health-related issues facing men and women today. I have appeared on major media including: The View/ABC-T.V. w/ Barbara Walters Good Morning America with Charles Gibson Today Show CBS Early Show NBC, The Doctors PBS one hour program on Male Menopause with Jed Diamond CBS-Up-To-The Minute CNN News CNN Anderson Cooper 360 CNN with Glenn Beck Newsweek The Wall Street Journal The New York Times
10 USA Today
My two websites, www.TheIrritableMale.com and www.MenAlive.com reach people throughout the world. I send a regular newsletter to an expanding list (presently 20,000) and am the Men’s Health Expert for a number of popular websites including: • • • www.ThirdAge.com (The most popular site for men and women over 40.) www.NABBW.com (The National Association of Baby Boomer Women). www.TheFeminineZone.com (International site for women over 40.)
About the Author I have been a health-care professional for 44 years and hold a Ph.D. as an international health practitioner. Since its inception in 1992, I have been on the Board of Advisors of the Men’s Health Network, an organization of men and women dedicated to improving the health and well-being of men, boys, and families. I am also a member of the International Scientific Board of the World Congress on Men’s Health and Gender. My seven previous books include: • The Irritable Male Syndrome: Managing the 4 Key Causes of Depression and Aggression, Rodale, (2004). • The Whole Man Program: Reinvigorating Your Body, Mind, and Spirit After 40, John Wiley & Sons, (2002). • Surviving Male Menopause, Sourcebooks (1999).
11 • • • Male Menopause Sourcebooks, (1997). The Warrior’s Journey Home: Healing Men, Healing the Planet, New Harbinger, (1994). Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places: Overcoming Romantic and Sexual Addictions G.P. Putnam, (1988). • Inside Out: Becoming My Own Man, Fifth Wave Press, (1983).
I have also written a number of book chapters including “Male Menopause,” in the Encyclopedia on Men and Masculinities, ABC-Clio Press, 2006. My books have received world-wide attention and have been translated into more than 20 foreign languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Hebrew, Greek, Polish, Dutch, Indonesian, Czech, Turkish, Slovak, Bulgarian, Korean, Malaysian, and Japanese. I am skilled in helping people heal their relationships to themselves, their partners, their communities. My work has been praised by health-practitioners and social scientists throughout the world.
Chapter-By-Chapter Outline Part 1-- The Problem Chapter 1—What Is The Irritable Male Syndrome? Definition: A behavioral state of nervousness, irritability, lethargy, depression and low libido that occurs in adult male mammals that is associated with stress, ego vulnerability, and hormonal fluctuations. IMS and PMS—Do Men Have Hormonal Cycles Too? IMS—Fact for Fiction?
12 Like Male Menopause or Andropause (and even Menopause when it was first discovered) many will say that IMS doesn’t exist. Some will say it’s a ploy to sell books or drugs. Others will say it’s an excuse men will use to justify their bad behavior. Dr. John McKinley, Director of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study said, “Male Menopause, Andropause, Viropause, or bullshit, it’s all the same. It doesn’t exist.” I will be presenting preliminary, but well-grounded evidence that IMS is real and needs to be treated. I will draw on the work of “hard scientists” like Dr. Gerald A. Lincoln who coined the term and has been working in the field and publishing articles for more than 20 years. I will demonstrate that IMS is a problem that is inherent in all male mammals by looking at the way it manifests in such animals as rams, reindeer, and apes. I will present information from my own work over the last 38 years as a psychotherapist specializing in men’s health. Finally, I will offer information from the hundreds of men and women who wrote me and shared their stories about IMS following the publication of my books on Male Menopause. Chapter 2—Am I Suffering From IMS/Am I Living With An IMS Male? Symptoms of IMS (An in-depth questionnaire will be developed.) Are you becoming more: angry, annoyed, bad-tempered, bothered, crabby, cross, crotchety, crusty, depressed, displeased, edgy, exasperated, flustered, fretful, harassed, hasty, hypersensitive, ill-humored, impatient, irascible, irritable, lethargic, loveless, , nettled, peevish, piqued, put out, prickly, riled, ruffled,
13 snappy, snarling, sore, tense, testy, thin-skinned, tired, touchy, uptight? IMS In My Teen-Age Son—Normal Adolescence or IMS? IMS in My Mid-Life Mate—IMS, Mid-Life Crisis, Male Menopause, or Just a Grumpy Old Man? IMS or Stress of Life? Chapter 3—Acting “Out” IMS: Irritability, Anger, and Violence IMS and The Couple: We Are Always Fighting IMS and Domestic Violence: A Problem on the Rise IMS Fathers With Teen-Age Daughters: Why Does Daddy Hate Me? IMS Fathers and Teen-Age Sons: Double Duty IMS IMS in Our Communities: Why It’s The Boys Who Do the School Shootings And Not the Girls IMS on The World Scene: IMS Leaders Square Off with Weapons of Mass Destruction. IMS and Terrorism in the World
Chapter 4—Acting “In” IMS: Irritability, Unhappiness, Depression and Suicide Why Men Live Sicker and Die Sooner Blame and Shame: Why Males Are So Down on Themselves Males Disrespect Themselves and Are Isolated From Others Alcohol and Drugs: How Males Self-Medicate and Hide Their Unhappiness Suicide Is on The Rise World-Wide, Particularly in Males Teen-Aged Angst or Serious IMS? Mid-life Crisis or a Suicide Waiting to Happen
14 Male Depression More Rampant Than Is Currently Realized Why Doctors Miss the Diagnosis of Depression in Males 70% of the Time IMS is the Tip of the Ice-berg of Male Depression Down One Side of the Ice-berg is the Anger That Leads to Violence Down the Other Side of the Ice-berg is the Self-Blame that Leads to Suicide The Differences Between Female and Male Depression Women Tend to Feel Sad. Men Tend to Become Irritable. A Questionnaire Will Be Developed That Details The Differences Between Female (or “Magnetic”) Depression and Male (or “Dynamic”) Depression Examples will be offered from my 38 years of clinical experience showing the Relationship between the Acting Out type of IMS, the Acting In Type of IMS and a uniquely male form of depression. Depression in the World By the year 2020, according to a massive survey by the World Health Organization and the Harvard School of Public Health, Acute Depression— Not hunger, not global warming—will be the world’s second leading cause Of death and disability, behind only heart disease. Recent studies show that depression is a significant factor underlying heart Disease, particularly in men. Chapter 5—IMS, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and the Hypersensitive Male Relationship between IMS and ADD The core of ADD is hypersensitivity
15 Why young adulthood and mid-life adulthood is a particularly sensitive time for males Philip Kavanaugh, M.D. and the Male Hypersensitivity Questionnaire Why Physical and Emotional Hypersensitivity Disorder (PEHD) may be the underlie the “acting out” and “acting in” disorders Link between heightened sensitivity and our hunter-gatherer ancestry Neurobiology of PEHD
Part 2—Understanding the Irritable Male Syndrome Chapter 6: Testosterone and IMS What Is Testosterone? Testosterone and Estrogen: Why Men and Women Have Them Both The History of Testosterone: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly The Ups and Downs of Testosterone Through the Life-Cycle Fetal Testosterone and the Origin of Being Male Testosterone and Adolescence Danger, Adrenaline, and Young Male Testosterone Levels Male Menopause, Mid-Life, and Testosterone Too Much Testosterone and “Roid Rage” Declining Testosterone and “Low-T Blues” Chapter 7: Stress and IMS What Is Stress? It’s in The Mind The Anatomy of Stress
16 The Biochemistry of Stress Positive and Negative Stress Why Men Are Stressed Work Stresses Couple Stresses Family Stresses Conflicts With Self Stress in the World Symptoms of Stress Irritability and Cardiovascular disease Male Obesity Diabetes in Men Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco Abuse Insomnia Backaches and Headaches Prostate Problems Sexual Problems: Low Interest, Lack of erections, Compulsive Attraction to Younger Women, Sexual Addiction Mental Strain: Anxiety, Panic Disorders, Depression. Work: Overwork, Fear of Failure, Loss of Jobs Chapter 8: IMS and the Loss of Male Identity: Are Men an Endangered Species? Where Have All The Young Men Gone? Our War Against Young Men The Jekyll and Hyde Male: From Gentle Man to Mad Man
17 Why Men Are So Mad at Women: Is Misogyny a Universal Male Malady? Male Identity Is Based on Being “Not A Woman” and Thus Always Shaky Male Dependency and the Fear of Women The Loss of Power, Passion, Potency, and Purpose in Men Over 40 The Loss of the Male Role As Breadwinner As Protector As Father As Teacher As Mentor Male Hunters in a Domesticated World: Why men are so sensitive, irritable, depressed, and angry.
Part 3: Treating The Irritable Male Syndrome Chapter 9: Men In Denial: What The Woman Must Do How to Help Your Teen-Age Son What Young Men Need to Develop Self-Esteem and Learn About Intimacy Why The Guy Is the Last One to Know That He Has IMS How to Deal With Him When He Says You’re The Problem Listening to His Unhappiness Without Feeling Blamed What To Do When He Says “I Love You, But I’m Not In Love With You” How To Handle Things When Your Sex Life Gets Weird He Wants It All The Time
18 He Wants It, But Can’t Keep An Erection He Never Wants It At All He Wants You to Try Things That Are Distasteful Why He Wants to Sleep After Sex and Why Fights Often Follow Lovemaking What To Do When There’s Another Woman Involved What To Do When He Says There Isn’t Another Woman, But He Needs Time Away To Sort Things Out How To Take Care of Yourself Without Becoming A Basket Case or Wanting to Kill Him How To Help Him Engage In The Process of Healing Chapter 10: Hormone Replacement Therapy For Men The Male Hormone Revolution Endocrine Hormones Insulin Cortisol Glucagon Growth hormone Thyroid Hormone Estrogen Why Estrogen Is Essential to Male Potency Why Men Become More Feminine With Age Testosterone
19 Paracrine Hormones Melatonin Serotonin Releasing hormone TRT: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Injections, Pellets, Tablets, Patches, Creams, and Gels Benefits and Risks Balance Is Everything: How Much Is Too Much and How Much Is Too Little? Chapter 11: Healing Depression, Aggression, and Stress Treating Simple IMS (Type 1) Treating IMS Men Who Have Become Significantly Depressed (Type 2) Treating IMS Men Who Have Become Aggressive (Type 3) Stress Reduction and Stress Management Learning to Feel Again: From Emotional Numbness To Emotional Delight Anger management Learning Non-Violent Communication With Self And Others Psychotherapy For All Three Types of IMS Young Men’s Initiations Marriage and Family Counseling The IMS Diet: You’ll Love It and It Isn’t What You Think Exercise For IMS How An IMS Male Can Get More Sex So He Won’t Be So Irritable
Chapter 12: A Pathway to A New Male Identity Developing A Positive Identity Based on Maleness Learning to Forgive Our Fathers and The Men In Our Lives Who Have Hurt Us Honoring The Father Who Left Us Behind Healing The Mother Wound Learning About Our Dream Lover and Where She Needs to Live Developing True Friendships With Men Learning to Recognize Our Dependency on Women and Our Ambivalent Feelings Towards Them Learning to be a Hunter in today’s world Finding Our Lives Calling Taking Responsibility for Initiating The Young Taking Leadership in Ending Male Violence In the World Learning to Love
-EndContact: Jed Diamond Jed@MenAlive.com www.MenAlive.com
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