You all are very kind. Thank you.
I have never been approached to formally publish my essays or to do my own book. I WAS asked to (and did) provide an essay for the Webslingers anthology a couple of years ago, but to be perfectly honest, I don't think it was ME they really wanted. Vistors to my site might remember that I was prominently promoting a book called "The Literary Galaxy of Star Trek" by James Broderick. Well, yes, I'm a Trek fan, but I was shilling the book because James Broderick has been my best friend since college (now going on 25+ years ago - we were roommates at Indiana State University for a couple of years and consumed ungodly quantities of cheap beer in those days). Today, he is a professor of literature at a university in New Jersey and has published other books as well. I am only identified as "MadGoblin" on the site, and the e-mail address comes up as "MadGoblin@ etc." so the editor who contacted me believed that "MadGoblin" was in fact, James Broderick. Considering that she opened her e-mail by stating "Dear Mr. Broderick.." was a dead giveaway. She probably felt that she was already dealing with a published author rather than a raw, unpublished neophyte doing the SKB site purely as a hobby - however, having already made the offer, she may not have felt that legally or ethically, she could rescind it. She had in a sense, made a verbal contract with me and I had not misrepresented myself - I did not claim to be Broderick on the site, after all- so really, she had just been a bit careless in her assumptions and was now "stuck" with J.R. Fettinger, not James Broderick.
Fortunately, I don't think I embarrassed myself too badly in the book, but as I have never been subsequently contacted by Ben Bella for any other contributions, even though they do have regular contributors and publish other essay books on pop culture, I must believe that they felt that they fulfilled their side of the contract, and now are done with me, perhaps grateful that they didn't get burned (since I turned in my draft on schedule, it required relatively little editing, and I gave them almost immediate turnaround on returning the edited version - to her credit - all of the suggestions she made improved the essay) because as far as I know, publishing houses do NOT take chances on people they don't know and who have no track record.
And in reality, I do not believe that the "Webslingers" anthology sold very well, so I doubt that any publisher would really want to do another book of like essays on Spider-Man, particularly all written by the same neophyte. Also,they would not be able to use any pictures of Spidey from the comics or any other source without paying Marvel, and since the essays are rampant with editorializations, not all positive towards Marvel, and the book would be unauthorized, even though it probably would fall under "Fair Use," why risk any legal hassles? And now that Disney will soon own Marvel...forget it. Just exchanging legal letters fired back and forth with the other side's high powered corporate lawyers would eat up any profit a publisher would hope to make with the book.
And yes, the real James Broderick is very amused by the fact that my one professional writing credit may have actually come on the back of his professional reputation. He had owed me an expensive dinner anyway for nearly 20 years for a bet he lost as to when the Cincinnati Bengals coach at that time was going to be fired - so I guess he figures that now we're even.