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Being Qualified to Write a Scholarly Book

The goal of this thread is to talk about the book that I’m working on now, which I hope to have written (gods willing) by the end of this calendar year.  We’ll see.   To get to that I felt like I needed to talk about how I had changed publishers, and now that I’m talking about that, it occurs to me that I should talk about how one goes about getting a book published. One of the emails I get *all* the time is from authors who have written a book, or hope to write a book, who want to know how they can get a publisher to take a look at it.   The short answer: it ain’t easy. So first let me do this autobiographically, how I myself got into the publishing business. The first thing to stress: I had a leg up.  I had a PhD at a reputable school (Princeton Theological Seminary) and a teaching job at another one (Rutgers University).  The reality is that publishers of scholarly books look for authors [...]

Scholarly vs. Trade Books

In the past thread I was discussing how, on three occasions, I produced both a scholarly book and a trade book for popular audiences on the same topic.  I thought that now it would be interesting for me to say a few words about what I see as the difference between these two kinds of books. On one level, I think the difference would be obvious to anyone who would compare two of the books I’ve mentioned, for example, my scholarly monograph Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics with my popular book, Forged: Writing in the Name of God – Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are.  They are on the same topic.  But they are oh so different. For openers, the titles are dead give aways.   Titles are a tricky business.   Publishers are the ones who ultimately decide on what a title will be.   I should say that for almost all of my scholarly books (in fact, I think for every single one of [...]

2020-04-03T16:36:46-04:00August 27th, 2014|Book Discussions|

My Scholarly and Trade Books on Forgery

A couple of posts ago I mentioned the books that I anticipate writing in the future.  I like to plan my life in advance.  I like to plan my week in advance.  I like to plan my day in advance.  I like to plan.   For my current ten-year publishing plan, the two immediate goals are not so immediate, as they will take three or four years, I should think.   The next book, I hope, will be the trade book for popular audiences on the oral traditions of Jesus in the years before the Gospels were written; that will be followed by a scholarly book on a very similar topic, not written for normal human beings but for abnormal academics. In my last post I began to talk about how I had done something similar before.  My trade book Misquoting Jesus, was a popular treatment of topics that I had dealt with at a scholarly level in several books and a number of academic articles.   I did something comparable with two other trade books. It worked [...]

2020-04-12T12:16:52-04:00August 19th, 2014|Book Discussions, Forgery in Antiquity|

My Future Books

I mentioned in my previous post that I’ve been in London for the summer, spending almost all my time reading books.   I should clarify that I’m not *only* reading books while I’m here!  Among other things, once a week I've been taking my daily walk (I normally walk an hour a day around Wimbledon, where our flat is) to the large park nearby, and sit on a bench, listening to music with my earphones, watching people play football (a.k.a. soccer) or cricket with their kids, and smoking a very big cigar.   I limit myself to one cigar a week, since if I did what I *wanted* to do, I would smoke three a day.  But our flat is tiny, and there’s no way on God’s good earth that I would be allowed to smoke in it.  So I go to the park.  And sit, and listen to music, and … think deep thoughts. Some of my most creative thinking time is with plugs in my ears and a cigar in my hand (or, well, mouth) and [...]

2020-04-29T16:13:30-04:00August 15th, 2014|Bart’s Biography, Book Discussions|
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