Tuesday, July 14, 2015

On Writing the History of the American Bible Society--Update #105

This pic is too small for the book
In my last post in this series I mentioned that I had submitted the manuscript of "The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society" to Oxford University Press.  I also mentioned the anxiety that comes with such a submission.  You can read all about it here.

Several things have happened since I submitted the book last month.

1.  My editor really likes what she has read so far.  This is good.

2.  I need to cut 50,000 words.  Some advice to new authors:  When your book contract says the manuscript needs to be 140,000 words long do not submit a manuscript that is 190,000 words long.  I should know better than this.  I have one week left to cut these words. At the moment I have 34,000 words left to cut.  (By the way, my book Why Study History? was 55,000 words).

The manuscript I submitted has an Introduction, 27 chapters, and an Afterword.  At this point I have managed to be rather surgical with my cuts.  They have all come by reducing each chapter from about 7500 words to 5500--6000 words.  I also combined Chapter 9 (on late 19th century immigration) and chapter 10 (on the late 19th century Bible work in the West).

3.  Six images are too small to use.  Unfortunately, these are some of my favorite images from the ABS collection.  I now need to replace them with other images.  The book will have 30 images total.

4.  Oxford assures me that they will have no problem meeting the May 1, 2016 publication date.

5.  At the moment the President of the American Bible Society and the in-house bicentennial historian are reading the manuscript.  While they have no control over the content, I am eager to get their impressions.

More later...