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.
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
Okay, enough with the snark, it’s been done already. I’m pretty sure a goodly number of the people who read this and aren’t looking for insightful commentary on Yves Klein’s monochromes (which accounts for a shocking amount of the traffic ’round these here parts) will have to publish academic books at some part of their tenured lives. What follows is a short list of things, from my standpoint as The First Person Who Reads Your Proposal, that you might want to know. Continue reading
Time to crush the hopes and dreams of many a publishing pundit: just because it’s in an electronic format doesn’t mean it’s cheap to produce—or that you can/should skip the publisher and go straight to dissemination. This one will probably hack off half my twitter feed—it aims straight at the core of at least a few of the assumptions behind open access publishing—but the assumption that publishing houses do nothing but slap someone’s text on paper is wronger than a wrong thing that’s wrong.
Rule 1 of the acquisitions department: the publishing house is a business.
Rule 2: rejecting book proposals is easy; accepting them is hard.
It may seem strange to think that some twerp intern with only an MA (if that!) has the power to reject manuscripts from emeritus professors, but more than one submission has found itself in The Slammer (AKA “The Rattling File of Death,” AAKA “the non-invited submission file”) on an intern’s advice. Sure, I spent over three years in grad school learning the minutia of my field, but really—they’re trusting me with Someone’s Life Work, the Brilliant Book What Will Change the World?