I am now nearly done with the draft of my book Jesus Before the Gospels (whatever it will eventually will be called), and want to say sundry things about the actual writing of the book here near the end. (Before I do: if any of you has any questions about the topic I’m covering or anything relevant you would like me to post on, let me know: if I don’t have issues to address involving memory, the historical Jesus, oral tradition, and so on, I’ll move on to other things on the blog.)
First, in an earlier post I gave members of the blog an option of reading the book in manuscript form in advance. In case you missed it, here is the offer, which is still open and will be for another three days only. I am using this opportunity as a way of raising money for the blog (well, for the Bart Ehrman Foundation, which, as you know, gives all the money raised by the blog to charities dealing with hunger and homelessness). And so, I will give anyone who is able and willing to donate $1000 a chance to read the book (you’d have a month) and make comments on it before I send it into the publisher. It’s a lot of money, I know. But some people on the blog can afford it, and it would give you an unusual chance to read the book in progress.
I will obviously take everyone’s comments into account when preparing the final draft. When I say the book is in progress, I mean that basically, as far as I’m concerned, it’s good to go. Still, when readers tell me it needs changes, I pay attention. I will not be looking so much for typos (these normally get caught in the process of sending to the publisher, having proof readers go over it, going over it myself, having an editor go over it, etc. etc.) as comments about substance and writing style. My very favorite comment, the one I really want, is “It’s perfect in every way; don’t change a thing!” OK, I rarely get that comment, but still, it’s one of the options.
Several people have already taken me up on the offer and we have raised several thousand dollars already. Possibly we can raise some more!
I’ve never had lay people …
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