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

Beating Our Audience to the Punch: Emeriti and Publishing

The conundrum: we academic publishers want to use ebooks and/or print-on-demand for our titles that would otherwise be removed from print and remaindered, but the technology isn’t yet ready and our audience sees these as signs of the Apocalypse.

Really, how do you get a 78-year-old emeritus professor who misses his typewriter to embrace ebooks? Continue reading

Why the Intern Rejected Your Book

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?

Yup.

Continue reading