Now that we’re past the equinox it’s officially okay to obsess with monsters, right? (Any excuse will do.) Nightmares with the Bible was officially a pandemic book. Academic publishers (especially) found out that books released in 2020 tended to flop. People weren’t thinking about much other than the pandemic (or crying about losing an election fair and square). Books, of course, take a long time to write and a long time to produce—it’s not as simple as it looks. And if your production schedule falls during a pandemic, well, be prepared. In the case of Nightmares there was the added burden of price point. When all you’re thinking about is survival, cashing out a Franklin to read about demons seems hardly wise.
Just yesterday I received a flyer, that I’m passing along to you, for the book. It has a discount code on it (look at part 2 below) so that the book is merely expensive rather than very expensive. Nightmares is part of a series titled Horror and Scripture. The series, published by Fortress Academic and Lexington Books, is now coming out with its third volume. The publisher, starting to recover from the pandemic, is promoting all the books in the series. You see, Nightmares was not only a pandemic book, it also missed that highly sought-after pre-Halloween release. Books that deal with horror get a boost during the holiday season. Ironically the same thing happened with Holy Horror. Both books came out in December when nobody but Charles Dickens is thinking about scary things.
Academic book pricing is based on a model that’s beginning to crumble. It’s that capitalistic trope of what the market will bear. The market is academic libraries, and it has been demonstrating lately that even they aren’t made of money. I don’t know if libraries get to use discount codes or not—it can’t hurt to ask your librarian. Fully employed academics, however, will sometimes pay a hefty price for a book they really want or need. My shelves upstairs are filled with books that were overpriced but were required for the books and articles I wrote when it was an expectation of my job. My next book, which is now in the negotiation stage with the publisher, will be more reasonably priced. It will likely have a smaller appeal, but you’ve got to start somewhere. I sincerely hope I’m through writing hundred-dollar books. Please pass the flyer along to all your rich friends—it’s just in time for the haunting month of October.