Publishing, Writing

Manuscript Madness

Where have I been, you wonder? (Or maybe you didn’t?)

Well, in addition to a new semester beginning, which always keeps me busy, I’ve been making some big decisions about my academic manuscript and, consequently, doing some hard work on it.

I’m pleased to write that the manuscript is essentially ready for publication. I’ve finished it, revised it, sent it to early readers, and revised again. This is the culmination of four years’ work, and I have decided to move ahead with self-publishing it. Why? Well, there are a few reasons.

First, academic publishing is brutal and, for my particular situation, not entirely necessary. I have been publishing other small pieces and feel satisfied with that avenue for creative work. This book, though, is the blood, sweat, and tears of years of graduate study and, ultimately, a dissertation and defense. I did send proposals and chapters to a few different academic publications, and while some of the responses I received were reasonable, even helpful, they helped me see that, what I really want to do is get this out into the public as I have envisioned it. I do not want to break the book into smaller articles. I do not want to market it for a particular course. I do not need wrestle with a University and its gate-keeping readers.

This book is mine, and I want it to be available for others, as is. (As it now is, I should say. It has been revised extensively from its original drafts. Many, many drafts.) I believe I see something in it that some publishers are missing, which is that it is more than just a literary analysis and more than just a cultural history. It is both. The components go together. The varied chapters work together. And I hope that any reader who decides to give a try will, in the end, see how all of it developed together, too.

So, I’m pleased to be in this position. I have print copies coming available for beta readers. I just hope I can find a few folks willing to give it a read and make me aware of any glaring issues I’ve missed.