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

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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

Books! Books! Books!

CUA Press is having a book sale!  Those of you who are in the DC area and have any interest at all in anything liberal arts will probably want to come to this.  None of us are exactly sure what we’ll be selling, but seeing as every press collects a certain number of random books between remaindering, publicity copies that never get sent, and just general who-knows-how, we’ll have something interesting.

Best part: nothing’s over $10, most things are $2 or $3.  Even that critical edition of Scotus.

The intern wants it gone.  The philosopher wants to bring a truck and buy half of it.  I’m not sure these are competing desires.

The Semi-Official Flyer, for those who might want to attend.  It’s this Thursday, 29 March, from noon to 3:30 or so.  No, we won’t let you come early and horde books.  Yes, this is a problem when you combine grad students and cheap books.  I may have to be a Burly Goon and repurpose that Scotus volume . . .

Why the Intern Liked Your Book

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

Epublishing Ain’t Free

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.

Continue reading