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Anyone knowledgable of book publication?
Solidsquid
So the horrid ordeal known as graduate school will finally be coming to a close at the end of this coming spring. With that not only comes finding a job, moving and paying off massive student load debt but having some actual time to pursue other projects I've wanted to for a while now. One of those projects is to work on a book.

It will basically be a book form of the articles I wrote called Burning Down the Strawman. The aim is scientific literacy concerning evolutionary theory - presenting many studies support various aspects of the theory in a way so that the average Joe American can wrap their mind around it. Another goal will be to simultaneously use the studies to show how many creationist/ID arguments are not only incorrect but based upon a strawman version of evolution and this is where much of the confusion arises.

A vast number of people walk around with this distorted idea of what evolution is and (correctly) reject it. However, what they think evolution is and what the theory explains in actuality are two very different things. Many evolution opponents know this and perpetuate the strawman version and attack it and call it evolutionary theory - an intellecutally underhanded tactic of which it is comprised of many other such tactics as quote-mining and outright falsification.

Anyhow, I don't think it'll be ready to hit the presses for a couple of years since it will rely heavily on scientific literature.

Now, my question is, once I complete a manuscript that I am pleased with - what the hell do I do with it? I have no idea how to go about getting something published. I know Neil has experience in this area and anyone else who knows the process - I would appreciate the insight. I'd love to see my work in print one day (outside of my research I'm currently working - hoping to get that accepted for publication in the next coming year).
 
Skeeve
I do believe Neil will be chiming in with all the advice you'll need.

Watch this space. Grin
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
seeker
Glad to hear it Solidsquid. I would definately be interested in a copy once you get things going.
 
Skeeve
Odd that Neil hasn't been to the site since this thread was posted. He's the one with the publishing experience, once he does read it, I'm sure he'll have lots of advice for you SS.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
Cynic
Given the nature of the book, I'd suggest asking someone like PZ Myers, Michael Shermer, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins... you get the point... directly. They'd be keen to have something like that on the market, and not only would they understand what to do next, they might even be able to bypass the slush pile for you.
 
catman
Good idea, Cynic. SS, I would also be quite interested in a copy once it is published.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Solidsquid
Thanks for the advice. I hadn't even thought about contacting other scientists and authors either. I'll have to keep that in mind an put it on my list of "things to work on for the book" file.

I've been so frustrated sometimes when I walk by the "Evolution" section in many bookstores (if they even have one, sometimes it's just under "Biology") and I see crap like Jonathan Wells' Icons of Evolution, Behe's Darwin's Black Box and even Phillip Johnson's Darwin on Trial.

However, my fear is that my book may meet with many barriers because I lack credentials in the natural sciences. My formal training is in psychology and neuroscience and only hold degrees in psychology. Although I do plan to continue college classes to seek an additional masters in neurobiology while I work but it will be a long while before I complete that. However, once my wife finishes school and starts her career I plan to return to school fulltime as a doctorate student and try for my Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience and (if I can stand another few years of the work mentally and financially) maybe later a Ph.D. in neurobiology.

By the time that happens though I'll probably be well into middle age - at least a good ten years or more from now. I could always hold on and keep adding to the work and eventually publish something in magnitude to Wolfram's A New Kind of Science which weighs in at a hefty 1200 pages or Gould's magnum opus, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory at a massive 1400 pages.

Anyhow, that is another question I am struggling with - should I wait and work on the book over these coming years as I further my advanced education and publish once I have the credentials? Or say screw it and publish when I feel I have a decent manuscript finished?
Edited by Solidsquid on 10/14/2008 17:40
 
Cynic
I think it's a bad idea in general to plan that far in advance. On the other hand, that's because I'm not a reliable producer. But you are, so maybe that isn't a step too far in your case. If I were you, I'd publish it when I was satisfied. If you feel the need to add credibility, maybe seek out a forward from someone. I don't necessarily care myself about "credentials" -- too much of an implicit appeal to authority to me. Plenty of idiots have "credentials". I understand that in science writting these things are important though, but I expect that if you're hooked up with a reputable publishing house, they'll be able to advise you better. They know how to sell.
 
neilmarr
Hya SS. I've only not jumped in earlier because I wasn't here earlier. I was busy doing just what you're asking about.

Do you really want to chat this out in the forums? Don't think so. Your question ain't answered in three or four paragraphs.

You have my email address and I'll give you the best advice I can if you drop a line.

Hoots. Neil


 
Solidsquid
neilmarr wrote:
Hya SS. I've only not jumped in earlier because I wasn't here earlier. I was busy doing just what you're asking about.

Do you really want to chat this out in the forums? Don't think so. Your question ain't answered in three or four paragraphs.

You have my email address and I'll give you the best advice I can if you drop a line.

Hoots. Neil




Thanks Neil, I'll do that.
 
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