Over at the Religion in American History blog I have a short piece on publishing. Here's an excerpt and link to the full piece.
Few could have accused Ernest Hemingway of being too subtle. “The first draft of anything is shit,” he once quipped. True. And still we plod on, hoping to spin that dross into gold. We spend hour upon hour crafting, redrafting, proofing, worrying, and rewriting.
Several years back the historian Stephen Pyne wrote in a forum I put together for Historically Speaking that "History is a book culture. We read books, we write books, we promote and award tenure on the basis of books, and at national meetings we gather around book exhibits. We’re a book-based discipline."*
But figuring out how to land a publisher, what press to go with, and answering a range of other questions can be daunting.
And so, I was happy when my colleague Brian Ward at Northumbria University organized an afternoon session on publishing last month. Humanities Publishing in the 21st Century: A Workshop was particularly aimed at early-career historians. We had the pleasure of hearing from and picking the brains of Linda Bree (Cambridge University Press); Susan Ferber (Oxford University Press); Stephanie Ireland (Oxford University Press); and John Watson (Edinburgh University Press). We all benefited from their advice and experience. Plus we got a chance to pepper them with questions.
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