Sunday, February 6, 2011

341. Blog-Book

The book project I referred to in the previous post has been completed, though some chapters still need work. I changed the title to Sounding the Depths: Tradition and the Voices of History. The earlier subtitle, Music, Genes and Culture in Deep History, is more informative, but also sounds a bit too academic for my taste. For reasons made clear in the Preface, I decided not only to self-publish this book, but publish in an unusual way. Not that I didn't try to get published the usual way -- but after being turned down by several agents and editors solely on the basis of my query letter, I realized that an interdisciplinary book on an off-beat topic, by an unknown author, has very little chance of either trade or academic publication. Realistically, self-publishing seemed the only way to go. Once I accepted this, I realized that a whole new set of possibilities presented themselves.

I could have gone with publication-on-demand, and there are several companies that now offer this service. But that would severely limit distribution, and I want my ideas to be disseminated as widely as possible. And since there is very little chance of making much money on such a book, why not make it available for free? That's when I hit on the idea of publishing as a blog. Blogging makes a great deal of sense to me, especially since so much of the book concerns music, and placing it on a blog enables me to include as many links to musical examples as I'd like. Blogging also encourages people to comment, offer criticisms, make suggestions, etc., and I like that idea very much. An interactive book! Why not?

Finally, by presenting it as a series of blog posts, I can release one chapter at a time, which means I can start getting it out now, editing and polishing each chapter as it comes up in the queue. And readers can read it a chapter at a time, rather than suddenly being confronted with an entire volume. If Charles Dickens could publish his books in serial format, why shouldn't I?

So. Everyone is invited to head over to the new blog, Sounding the Depths, and check it out. And by all means, whatever your thoughts might be and whatever questions you might have, post them as comments. Since this is a work in progress, I will be open to making changes based on reader input.