We have to publish our research. Particularly if we are junior scholars who just finished our PhD or are still working on our PhD, our publications often decide whether we have a chance to stay in academia—or if we have to leave. I talked about the difficulties to find the time and the material in a previous post. But unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there.
In the finishing stages of writing my dissertation, I started thinking about possible publishers, looked at their programs. Dream publishers: Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Indiana University Press, University of Chicago Press, Princeton University Press, University of California Press, University of Hawai’i Press, … I decided to begin with the top of my list (still haven’t decided whether that would be Cambridge or Oxford, haha).
But then: I stumbled upon a book series I really liked. A small university press that is not highly ranked—not even on the top lists. And I thought: why should I try another press if I might have the perfect series for my book? So I tried my luck and contacted the series editor. I sent them a brief summary to see if they would be interested at all. Surprisingly, they were! I should send them a book proposal. I was so excited!
I wrote one. I sent it.
I was wondering: how much time should I give them? After a while (three months!—I’m far from pushy), I contacted them. An immediate reply. I’ll get back to you tomorrow.
Almost a month later: let’s move forward. I was excited, but also a bit reserved. That took quite a long time. Too long. Even though I am new in this area: isn’t this a matter of respecting the other person, valuing their time? And: can I speak up for myself? Or do I have to be thankful for their time and general willingness?
We are slowly working towards a contract. I hope. But it feels unfair. I’m running out of time. I’m frustrated. I don’t know if this is going to work out. I’m afraid that they will tell me at some point: sorry, changed my mind! It’s been more than a year by now. But maybe that’s just how it is?