Over the course of my last three posts I have indicated what my original idea was for the book How Jesus Became God. When I first started writing the proposal for the book (as you have seen it) I had planned to write it with Oxford University Press. But about three or four years ago I made a career decision. At that point I had published three trade books with HarperOne (an imprint of Harper Collins, the branch that publishes in religious studies). All three of them had made it onto the New York Times Bestseller list. That had never happened to me before. A lot of that is luck, but it takes a *ton* of work from the publisher to make it even possible. I think Oxford is an absolutely terrific press. In my opinion they are absolutely among the best press in the world at publishing scholarly monographs and *are* the best at publishing college level textbooks in religious studies. But they are not as geared toward trade books. With Harper, on the other hand, trade books is the ONE thing they do. And they do it terrifically well, as I realized after I had done those three books with them. And so I ended up making a career decision: I would publish my trade books with Harper and I would publish everything else (monographs, textbooks, readers, and so on) with Oxford. And so that’s what I’m doing these days.
One of the reasons that matters for How Jesus Became God is because my earlier trade books with Oxford (e.g., Lost Christianities; Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene; and so on) had tended to be a bit more academic than my Harper books, which were a bit more popular in orientation. So with the new orientation I wanted to rethink how I was imagining the book. And the first half of the proposal as you’ve seen it, in particular, has become very different indeed.
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