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I took a blogging vacation last week, but my work on the ABS project continued. I managed to put the final polish on Chapter One: "The Bible Cause in America" and Chapter Two: "Towards a Christian Nation." Those chapters have been sent off to publishers and agents. Responses are beginning to roll in. So far nearly every university press editor who replied has been very enthusiastic about the project, but made it clear that they would not be able to deliver a published book by May 2016. It usually takes 12 months for a university press to bring a book into print, but this does not include the review process. University presses are required to send the manuscript out to academic reviewers (peer review) before offering a contract. The review process could take at least three months. This means that it takes, at minimum, a total of fifteen months to bring a completed manuscript into print. It will be impossible for me to deliver a manuscript for peer review by January 2015.
I still have several more university presses to hear from, but I am not optimistic about this publishing option. I do wish I had more time to deliver this manuscript because some very, very good university presses have shown serious interest.
All this means that I will probably need to go with a trade or commercial press. Some trade presses require a literary agent. As I have written before, a few agents have expressed interest in the project. I have had a few nice bites from trade presses that do not require an agent. Only time will tell.
In the meantime I am in the process of working on Chapter Three and preparing for a few more days at the ABS archives. Stay tuned.