Title-less

I’ve been offering a few teasers about my forthcoming book. One of the reasons for not making an announcement is that the title hasn’t been settled yet. It’s pretty hard to promote a book without one. I’ve written enough about it that readers can tell it’s about horror movies. The publisher is McFarland, an independent academic publisher that specializes in pop culture and has an impressive list concerning monsters and other frightening things. Once we get a title down, I’ll say more. In the meantime, I can take the opportunity to say a bit more about the publishing industry. Not that people generally ask me about it, but I suspect many authors secretly want to know some insider tips. If not, I suspect there’s one or two other blogs to read today.

I’ll admit up front that I tried unsuccessfully to interest agents in this book. At least four wrote back to tell me it was a great idea, but a writer without a platform is like, well, an editor. I help other people get their ideas published—always a bridesmaid, as they say—physician heal thyself. When I realized I was wasting months trying to find a professional to promote my book, I decided to revert to the tried and true. When you want to know who to approach about your book, look at the spines of the books you read to write yours. Who are the publishers who produce books in this area? Sometimes the interests of a publishing house will change with the editors, so the more recent your comps, the better.

Horror sells. My project wasn’t really mercenary in that way, but rather it was the result of years of watching horror, usually by myself, and finding some commonality in the films. What exactly that commonality is will, I hope, become clear once I can freely write about my book topic. Others, you see, could swoop in and take my thesis—a perpetual fear of someone who barely has time to scribble out a blog post a day. Finding the time to write books in the off-work and off-commute hours is a real juggling act. In my case, perhaps a jugular act. Without an agent, I turned to McFarland. Many of their books helped me form the ideas for my own. Besides, they have a Scottish connection, and that means something to this old Edinburgh alum. If you want to get published, it helps to know the players. That may become even a bit easier once I’ve got a title.

3 responses to “Title-less

  1. I thought of academic publishers as stuffy old windbags (Jackson Crawford is an Old Norse scholar and YouTuber who has to frequently explain to fans that he can’t do audiobooks because Hackett is too senile to care about fads like that) so I’m really excited to see my pop culture fandoms so well-represented in McFarland’s catalog! Several on Hayao Miyazaki, even one on Kyoto Animation, one of my favorite studios, oh my! And they seem to be reasonably price and on Kindle too, how modern 😁!

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    • That’s what drew me to McFarland too. They are unafraid of pop culture. In fact, the day I sent my manuscript to them they had published a similar book with a similar title to mine. (Since then we’ve been trying to settle on a title, which is why I haven’t written more about it.) Many academics (former academics, in my case) do pay attention to pop culture, but most academic publishers are terrified of it.

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