Thursday, July 10, 2014

On Writing a History of the American Bible Society--Update #23

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More news today from publishing front, but first a few words on what I read today in the American Bible Society library and archive.  

I managed to get up to 1846 in what is now called The American Bible Society Record.  A lot of anti-Catholicism, nativism, and attempts to define the ABS position on slavery.  Due to a meeting today (see below) I am behind schedule again. I am going to have to push very hard today and Friday in order to reach my goal of making it to 1865.  I am already checking to see how late New Jersey Transit runs trains back to to Denville on Thursday and Friday nights.

I had a meeting today with the members of the ABS staff responsible for the Bicentennial. They reminded me of our agreement:  to deliver a history of the American Bible Society by May 2016. Apparently the book is going to be given to those supporters of the ABS in attendance at a bicentennial gala on May 11, 2016 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

I am still anxious about a publisher.  When I returned from my meeting today I received an e-mail from a university press publisher who seemed to be very excited about the book until I told him that I needed the book in print by May 2016 and could not deliver a first draft until May 2015.  He said that it would take his press one year to bring the book to fruition after the manuscript was reviewed by peers.  This means that I would have to deliver the first draft of the manuscript to the press in January 2015.  That is not going to happen.  My fear--and it is a very real one--is that most university press editors will respond the same way. Oh boy.  This is a very unique experience in history book publishing.

The proposal is just about done and I feel really good about it.  I am sending it off to one of my research assistants for proofreading as soon as I finish this blog post and read it over one more time.  Now all I need to do is finish the first chapter so I can use it as a writing sample.  The fun will really begin once I send off the proposal and sample chapter.  Stay tuned.