Nicole Mansfield Wright offers recommendations for navigating the obstacles you must surpass to publish your academic book.
I’m still bitter,” my colleague said. She scowled into space.
“It’s not you — it’s them,” I said, aware of the triteness of the saying, while meaning it 100 percent. “You’re excellent. You’re brilliant. I would choose you if I were in their position.”
“I’m going to have to put myself out there again … and who knows whether the next one will work out?”
“The right one will appreciate you as you deserve,” I said.
An eavesdropper on the (pre-pandemic) bus ride might have assumed that I was comforting a friend after a contentious breakup. In fact, we were discussing a publisher’s rejection of the manuscript for her first book. She had made it past the initial gatekeepers only to be told, well into the process, that the board had decided that her topic was too narrow to appeal to their readers. As I was also navigating the path to publishing my first book, I was startled and dismayed by the board’s verdict: of all the assistant professors I knew, I anticipated that she would be among the sure bets to be snapped up by a publisher.