Bob Wilber’s third book since his retirement from the sports PR and management world was officially released Tuesday by Palmetto Publishing.
During its presale period (prior to actual release) The Lost Manuscript rocketed up to the top levels of Amazon’s offerings, ranking as high as the top 1% of all books on sale at the retail giant, while absolutely dominating the “Motorsports” category, ranking No. 1 during its presale, earning a “Top Seller” badge on the platform.
The book may be new to the market, but in terms of its full life as a written piece it is now 22 years young. In 2001, while working for Del Worsham and the Checker, Schuck’s, Kragen Funny Car team as the organization’s manager and PR rep, Wilber kept a complete daily diary throughout the season. At the end of the campaign, he printed out one single copy and within a few months he had misplaced it and lost track of it.
22 years later, in May of 2023, Wilber and his wife stumbled onto the lone tattered copy while preparing for a garage sale. After five months of diligent editing and “cleaning” to bring it up to date in terms of software and operating systems, the book is now for sale and ready to ship. The title The Lost Manuscript is obviously fitting.
“It was so long ago it’s hard to even remember doing it, much less losing it,” Wilber said from his home in Minnesota. “It’s not like I was fretting over losing it for all these years. I never really had a plan to do anything with it, so I just put it away and put it out of my mind. And then we found it hiding in plain sight in our utility room here at home. The second I saw it, I knew we had to get this out there.
“NHRA fans are so dedicated. They have memories like steel traps, so I had an inkling they’d love this. The diary follows the CSK team day-to-day, throughout the year, in real time as it all happened, both on the track and behind the scenes. So many details, which the average fan never knows about, are written about in this diary. It’s a time capsule, or a time machine, or whatever you want to call a total trip back to 2001 and how an underdog Nitro Funny Car team found its footing and took it to the next level. I’m thrilled with it, and the sales reaction during the presale period blew my mind completely. I never dreamt I’d ever sell anything I’ve written in such stunning numbers. I don’t write for the royalties. There aren’t enough of those for that to be your goal. I write for me, for the reward of it, and for anyone who might enjoy what I put together. If the reviews by readers are anything like the presale numbers, I’ll be one very proud author.”
The Lost Manuscript is available now on Amazon: https://bit.ly/LostManuscript
Wilber’s previous works include his autobiography Bats, Balls & Burnouts and his critically acclaimed How Far? a work of historical fiction in the sports realm. Both are also available on Amazon.