Fifteen months ago I sent off four short experience posts for the book Publishing for Profit and Promotion. I immediately received an acknowledgement of the receipt of my texts, along with the notification that the entries would be collated and I would hear from them soon.
I did not hear from them again.
This has recently tickled my fancy and got my mind to dreaming up scenarios or, at least, enrobing previously-experienced scenarios for this re-visioned stage appearance.
Perhaps, like my encyclopedia article on the reproductive experiences of missionary women in the twentieth century, too few people submitted and the work will not, after all, go to press.
Perhaps, like my series of letters addressed to various physicians over the course of my life, the publisher withdrew from the publication of the work for no noted reason.
Perhaps, like my primary-source rich chapter on Civil War holidays, the publisher vanished from the pages of history due to the economic recession.
Perhaps, like my series of poems accepted to a work on mothering, the publisher has decided that too many of the authors are from the same geographic region (Rochester, NY), because those of us from other places (Houston, TX) did not identify our cities?
Perhaps, like my work on important themes in The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, the work is being published but my notification has been destroyed by the summary closing of a school-owned email account. Having searched for that online this week, however, I am happy to say that it, at least, has seen the publicaton dawn (twenty-odd days ago, in fact).
Publishing for Profit and Promotion, however, seems not to exist anywhere besides hopeful grad students’ curriculum vitae and ancient CFP’s.
Perhaps the grad students are more accurate in their representation of the first email as an acceptance than I thought? But, having perused the emails once again, I see that my email was sent to them at 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon (hardworking academic that I am!) and that they replied promptly, one might say even excessively promptly, at 5:10 that same afternoon. (Clearly I am not the only hardworking academic.) I do not think that one can read unconditional acceptance in this:
Thank you very much for your submissions. We will get back to you once we’ve collated the pieces.
Although, perhaps, an unwary grad student would assume that since collation means “assembly of written information into a standard order” (as per Google’s web definitions) that they are all being accepted. From my lofty perspective of multiple rejections, I figure they are much more likely to be organizing what they have and accepting and rejecting those based on appropriateness and/or quality in comparison to the rest of the works they received. Certainly, however, an overeager grad student (or adjunct) might be forgiven for assuming they meant acceptance, if not for that forty minute turn-around time.
There is hope for publication soon/eventually as the editor’s previous works of collations are available through a strong publisher whose work I have come to admire (Parlor Press).
So the question now becomes:
Should I hold off a bit longer in the hopes that this long-expected tome will be birthed or should I repurpose these short pieces (outside of my 2011 MLA presentation of which they form a significant part) into blog posts?
They are the perfect length for a quick read and would give me four days’ worth of posts to augment my present post-holiday perspectives. I know that in some fields, and for all I know my own, over a year to publication is not unheard of. The due date for the original anecdotes was October 1, 2009. Mine were turned in September 19, 2009. (Yes, I know. You are amazed at my promptness. Perhaps you will admire even more the previously unrevealed fact that I sent my book to the publisher two whole weeks before the deadline?)
I am not yet determined on a course of action, except to compose this blog post which muses on what, after all, happens to received-yet-not-accepted/rejected-academic-writing when it enters NeverNeverLand.
In the spirit of full-disclosure, I will note that I had not realized quite how closely my MLA presentation on “Avoiding Academic Rigor Mortis” parallels the title of the publication. I have some other anecdotes to send out, if the editors need more.
The image is from Kitty Kitsch.