Usually blogs don’t start with apologies. Today I am breaking that rule to establish my premise for breaking subsequent rules. Cliché, yes but please be patient. You deserve a jewel for tolerating my meager apologies. I do bear gifts. First I apologize to my followers for the lack of consistent publishing. Know that finding you jewels worthy of reading is a challenge. It has been difficult to find articles which could make the cut. Well, that is another article, another story.
Jennifer Howard’s Chronicle article Big Ideas and a ‘Microrant’ for University Presses pointed me to a jewel. Now that my courage meter is peaking, I am ready to share my second apology. To Professor Ian Bogot, I gratefully apologize for posting your entire article without your permission. All is fair on the internet. All credit goes to you. We who aspire to inspire and wrestle with publishing demons are in awe of your rants. We are soaking in your wisdom. Your article ignited a nerve in my spine making it difficult to suppress my need to share. Please forgive me for my breach. The article below compellingly states what many of us in academia and publishing are afraid to express.
Principles for University Presses
My Twitter microrant sideline during the AAUP 2013 plenary
June 21, 2013
The annual American Association of University Publishers meeting is going on this week. This morning, a plenary was held on “Three Big Ideas in Publishing.” I wasn’t in attendance, but the conference has a thriving Twitter back channel on #aaup13.
I have very strong feelings about university presses, partly because I’ve been so fortunate at their hands, and partly because there’s still so much work to do. So I tried my hand at a Umair Haque-style numbered, multi-part commentary during the plenary. It’s a shame for these things to disappear into the unsearchable bowels of Twitter, but luckily Undi Gunawan Storified the works, which I now embed below:
Ian Bogost@ibogost 7 days ago
Ian Bogost@ibogost #aaup13
2. Invest more in editorial. Copy editing isn’t editorial. Scholarly books need to be better written. The writing is terrible.
3. Invent something new. There’s a huge open space between trite trade non-fiction and scholarly esoterica. Fill it.
4. Forget about the tenure issue. Work that matters produces impact and renown, which results in tenure.
5. Build evidence for # 4. with your authors and use it solicits better authors.
6. Eschew vampire publishing, publishing just-to-have-published. It makes a mockery of everyone. It makes you a laughing-stock.
7. Open Access is important but distracting. The issue isn’t “openness,” but getting the right work into the right eyeballs.
8. You can make up number eight. This thing is way harder than it looks.
9. If there is a “dying” form it’s not book but the journal. What could we do to make technical, inter-field discourse not suck?
10. It’s time for academic presses to have AUTHORS instead of just SCHOLARS as their writers. Force us to be both.
11. As an author, I want to write good, important books that people read and that influence them. Help me do that.
7 days ago
Tenure is like Euridice. The minute you start focusing on it directly, it disappears. @fiveoclockbot
@fiveoclockbot Starting with tenure as the goal is ass backwards.
When wisdom speaks, enough said.