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Category Archives: Negotiations with my editor(s)

Why can’t I remember this?

And the edits continue… I wrote, “In a fierce, epically bloody battle, the Korean soldiers surrounded and decimated the Chinese troops.” My editor writes, “Decimated, as you will know from your Roman research, has a specific meaning (one in ten, the punishment of a cowardly legion) and a looser, more widely used one. But since […]

My favorite editorial notation so far

I’m trying to get the History of the Medieval World into final shape by the end of February; my editor at Norton has been sending MS back to me in chunks with his notes, and I’m going through, page by page, making changes and corrections, drawing maps where they’re still needed, and making up a […]

New phase, new schedule, tired writer

I’ve finally faced up the reality of my History of the Medieval World deadline, May 1. Which means I’ve now admitted that there’s very little chance I’m going to have a finished manuscript in another five weeks. After an eerily complicated exchange of emails with my editor (for some reason I have lost the ability […]

Got a title suggestion?

The contract from Princeton University Press has been negotiated, issued, signed, and returned. So now I have a question for you: what should the book be called? Important details: The book traces the metamorphosis of public confession of sin. I argue that, over the course of the twentieth century, it changes from a religious ritual […]

The Art of the Public Grovel

News on the book front! The editorial board of Anonymous Prestigious University Press has approved publication of my academic study of public confession. Which means that I am now going to unmask them: the mystery publisher is Princeton University Press. We’re now in the contract negotiation stage of the process. Getting a book approved for […]

Delays, delays…and academic publishing

On various fronts, it has been a bothering sort of week. Those of you who are VERY alert may notice that the publication date on the History of the Ancient World has changed, on the various bookseller websites that already list it, from Feb. 28 to Mar. 26 of 2007. Norton has decided that the […]

The great unknown challenge of revising a manuscript…

Reading your editor’s handwriting. Hmm. At least everyone is done throwing up. (How’s that for inviting the universe to smack you one?) If I can get these revisions done by tonight, I can put the manuscript in the mail tomorrow and it’ll arrive at Norton on Monday when I do. Otherwise I’ve got to put […]

A quarter of the revisions done…and stomach flu hits…

I’m twenty chapters or so into the edited manuscript, making changes and printing out a clean copy as I go. So far, there hasn’t been any mind-bending revision, just various chunks of story that needed clarification or simplification. Probably the biggest challenge is going to be redoing my time lines. I had planned on putting […]

It’s baa-aaack.

Here it is. The edited manuscript, waiting for me to go through every page. By February 4. That’s my table of contents, pinned on the board to the left, for my reference. And taped up in front of me is a list of synonyms for “war” (conflict, strife, quarrel, squabble, battle, fray, clash, skirmish, brawl, […]

The manuscript is finally in the mail, all 1100 pages of it…

The manuscript, all 1100 pages