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The Process of Publishing a Book

I mentioned yesterday that I have now sent in my manuscript on The Triumph of Christianity to my editor at Simon & Schuster.  It occurs to me that readers might be interested in knowing how the editorial process works.  I know I was almost completely ignorant of the process when I first started publishing books.   My unreflective thought then is that once I would finish writing a book and editing it as best I could, the process would be more or less over, without much left to do.  Wrong.  The process goes on and on and you think it’ll never end! So leading up to this point I have written the book.  That itself was a long process with a large number of stages.  I started by accumulating bibliography on the topic, reading the classics in the field, finding new books and articles that needed to be read, reading those, discovering other books and articles that had to be read, reading those, and so on.   On everything I read I took notes, so I could [...]

2020-04-03T03:02:43-04:00September 30th, 2016|Book Discussions, Public Forum, Reflections and Ruminations|

Writing Books that Are Interesting and Important

Last week I interrupted the thread I had been pursuing about why my unusual academic background prepared me to write books for general audiences in order to talk about my lecture in Odense, Denmark, at the University of Southern Denmark, on the relationship between the worship of the Roman emperor and the rise of Christian understandings of Christ as “Savior” and “Lord” and “God” (titles given to the emperor as well).  There is more to be said about this latter topic, some of it very interesting – but I think I’ve said enough for now.  I want to finish off the earlier thread. And for a rather momentous (for me!) occasion.  Two days ago, I finished my book manuscript The Triumph of Christianity and sent it off to my editor for her to work her magic with it.  I am very excited about this process, more so (maybe a lot more so?) than normal.   This will be the thirty-first book that I’ve published (some edited, most written).  So I do this kind of thing a [...]

2017-10-23T22:40:45-04:00September 29th, 2016|Book Discussions, Public Forum, Reflections and Ruminations|

My Progress on the Book

I’m at one of my favorite points in the writing process for my next book.  Maybe it’s not right to say I’m at a point in the “writing,” since I haven’t written a word yet and won’t be writing a word for a while.   But writing is so much more than actually hammering out words on a keyboard.  The huge bulk of the work involves doing the research.   And I’m at one of my favorite points just now, the long transition period between one phase of reading and another, preparatory to the writing itself. I’ve described various aspects of my writing process before, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever explained how I sequence my reading for a new project.   For me, it’s a two-stage sequence.  I’ll explain it in reference to the current book on the Christianization of the Empire (I’ve been calling it the Triumph of Christianity, but I’m not sure I’m happy with the title any more.  Doesn’t matter.  A book’s title is like the interior trim on the house you’re building [...]

2020-04-09T13:22:03-04:00May 9th, 2016|Book Discussions, Public Forum|

A New Phase for My Book

Today I’ve started the next phase on my book, How Jesus Became God, and as I was thinking about it earlier, I realized that this is probably my favorite phase.  Writing a book involves a lot of different tasks, and different authors enjoy different ones of them more than others.   Until just now I had never quite mapped it out like this, but now that I have, I’ve realized that I go through four main tasks (each of which is subdivided into different elements):  reading, thinking, organizing, and writing. Reading and thinking usually go on at the same time.   I usually conceptualize what a project will be and then start thinking about how I will approach it and what I will need to cover.  That tells me what I need to read.   And so I read everything of relevance to what I want to do.   This is definitely the learning phase of a project, and it gives me the chance to read tons and tons of things that I’ve known about but never had the [...]

2020-04-03T18:44:09-04:00March 12th, 2013|Book Discussions|
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