Monday, May 12, 2014

Book News: The Good, the Bad, and the Undetermined

The Good: One of the things I did at Kalamazoo was to write up a preliminary book proposal for Another Damn Book (now its semi-official working title) and make an appointment to talk with FabEditor about it. And the good news is that it went pretty well: he's interested in seeing it, he seemed receptive to the ways I thought it would be different from the first one (more of a classroom book, though hopefully with something for specialists in there, too!), and he had a couple of questions/suggestions for me to think about before I start sitting down to write it. The meeting also prompted me to commit to a self-imposed deadline or two.

The Bad: While at this meeting, FabEd asked me, "Hey, weren't you also looking at working on a microhistory on X? Yeah, well... you should visit the Other Press Table..." And sure enough, stacks of a book that, while marginally different in topic and approach, is close enough on both counts to make my proposed next project an issue.  Gah! Recalculating...

The Undetermined: During the Q & A at the very last panel of the conference, someone way in the back row mentioned something about a case very much like the one that forms the basis for my would-be third-book project. Turns out it's the author of the book from Other Press. I congratulated him and told him I'd bought a copy. Then I told him about my back-burner project. Turns out that he is hoping to sell Other Press on the idea of a series, and is very interested in keeping in touch on this. But the crisis also got me thinking about other ways to approach and market this book, including the seed of a thought of the vague possibility about... publishing for the popular market? Shhhh....

2 comments:

Historiann said...

Congratulations! It sounds like it was a terrific conference, both professionally and personally.

Speaking for myself: I've loved the microhistory I've been working on lo these many years, but I'm totally itching to go big and broad and make all kinds of unsubstantiated claims that probably won't hold up but which might be fun to think about. And I feel like I can do this in what will be my third book. (Can't I write whateverthefrick I want to write for #3?)

Susan said...

Write for the popular market, or the serious popular market. Seriously, why do our books have to be hard to read? Engaging is not incompatible with serious! You could think of H'Ann, or even me, as your target audience - interested, but not specialists.

And it sound as if you have turned a potential rival into a colleague, so that's great.