An Education for Academic Writers, Part II: Money vs. Honor

Academic books are expensive. Everybody knows this. I’ve often joked that I’m the reason your textbooks cost so much. People may laugh, but they also believe it.

It’s not true, of course. Continue reading


One Year Later

A year ago, I was an unemployed ex-philosopher who had just started a publishing internship.  Now, I’m an unemployed philosopher who’s the senior intern and has a blog.  Next year (hopefully!) I’ll be an employed philosopher, no longer an intern, and still have this silly thing. Continue reading

The Dungeon Master’s Guide to Manuscript Evaluation

Yes, it’s time to break out your 2d4 and make profession checks (academic author), because we’re going to play the geekiest RPG ever—Publish or Perish.  It’s finally time to divulge the secret formula we use to evaluate your manuscript.

Well, okay.  It’s only secret because we’ve never thought to publish it in three core rulebooks (plus innumerable supplements) with lovingly rendered pictures of elves in chainmail bikinis.  That’s all quite beside the point though, amirite? Continue reading

Slush Pile Bingo!

The end of summer: new froshmenki show up for orientation, grad students pose as older siblings to mooch free food, and professors send us proposals for the books they’ve spent all summer working on.  Oh, and the whole acquisitions department comes back from vacation at the same time.  Suddenly, the term “slush pile” is depressingly literal.  Why suffer when you sift through endless manuscripts?  Grab an intern and a bingo card and start sifting through those stacks!

Each row of five—horizontally, vertically, or diagonally—earns you a coping mechanism at the local tavern courtesy of the marketing department.*

*Marketing people, don’t worry, your version is coming.  Acquisitions people, start saving your beer money now.

Your Dissertation Isn’t a Book—But It Can Be

Credit where credit is due: much of this is based of a spiel from Bigbossman to grad students attracted by the promise of free food and cheap books.  By the way, locusts descending on a ripe field have nothing on a bunch of grad students who have heard that there are $3 books.  Also, a lot of it I may have discussed already; however, there were a few new things, and some points of discussion worth, well, discussing.

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 . . .

More Things I Learned at the Press:

Thanks to my internship, I learned:

—The Gregorian Calendar, not carbon dioxide, is responsible for global warming.
I can’t make this stuff up.

—The most accurate calendar is the 360-day Prophetic calendar, based on the Bible.
Note: the Bible never mentions 360-day calendars.  Ever.

—People who are 30 or 40 years old shouldn’t be talking to our kids.
You know, like their parents.

—Drugs, entertainment, and athletics are the three things destroying the youth of America.
Obesity and boredom are just fine, though.

—The Press will almost let you get away with using the French revolutionary date on rejection letters.
I still say 30 Pluviôse CCXX would be the second most awesome date I’ve ever seen on a letter.

—The Bigbossman gets much stranger inquiries than Bossman does.
I think it’s because Bossman only sees stuff from people smart enough to know what “Acquisitions Editor” means.