Disclaimer, Part the Second

Another Disclaimer:

I actually don’t hate most of our authors or readership.  Most of them, truth be told, are very good and interesting people.   Yes, I make a lot of jokes at the expense of technophobic, change-resistant professors.

Not all the people we work with are like that.  Not even most of them are, deep down inside.

Of course, some very senior ones are—and everyone has to at least act like they believe these Senior Academic Gods.  Thus, problems.

Note to self: when I am old and crotchety, don’t be like that.

Further note to self: after attainting Geezerdom, remember that younger self kinda had a point.

Yet further note: even now, my cynical, nihilistic still younger self had several points.  Find out what his good ones were, and develop them now that you know better.

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Book Design and Philosophy

Last week, our press kinda cleaned up at the Washington Book Publishers’ annual design and effectiveness awards.  Three of our books won prizes,* two of which were first place awards.  Seeing as we compete in the most competitive category here in DC,** that’s no small feat.

Kudos to our people.  They do good schtuff.

We’ve already dealt with good/bad/ugly covers, but what makes the body and text of a philosophy book well-designed—or, more to the point, what are the unique challenges that philosophy books pose to designers, and what are the best ways to address them? Continue reading

Academic Publishers: A Semi-Completish Taxonomy

So, I know I talk a lot about academic publishing, how it isn’t trade, how nobody loves us because we’re dry, dusty, and boring, etc., etc., etc.

But, of course, I’ve been speaking imprecisely.  It might be forgivable because everybody else does it, it might be understandable because, well, it doesn’t get more academic than the smallish university press with a well-defined audience, but there’s a lot of variety in academic publishing, with a bushel and a half of differences between publishers who get called “academic.”

And so, with the understanding that I’m inevitably going to leave a few people out in the cold—no, I’m not snubbing you, yes, I can be slightly forgetful, yes, I will edit this/later editions—here’s a list of what people might mean when they think of “academic publishing.” Continue reading

The Life Cycle of an *Academic* Book

A few months ago, Publishing Trendsetter did a series on the life cycle of a book.  Not surprisingly, it was focused on trade—since, well, that’s where “everyone” wants to go.  The thing is, academic publishing doesn’t always work like trade does.  Seeing as Ye Olde Humble Blogge deals with academic publishing, and Ye Olde Humble Authorre works in it, let’s fix that imbalance. Continue reading