My latest book review has just gone public: it’s a review of Damon Falke’s Notes on Paper. Zoetic Press is a cutting edge publisher that publishes book reviews at rhizomaticideas.com and ebooks through the Lithomobilus app.
I’ve owned my copy of Lydia Davis’s translation of Swann’s Way for probably seven years, and I’m just now getting around to reading it. Her translation of Proust is poetic and striking. If you’re not familiar with Lydia Davis, she’s eminently readable:
I thought Swann would surely have laughed at the anguish I had just suffered if he had read my letter and guessed its purpose; yet, on the contrary, as I learned later, a similar anguish was the torment of long years of his life and no one, perhaps, could have understood me as well as he; in his case, the anguish that comes from feeling that the person you love is in a place of amusement where you are not, where you cannot join her, came to him through love, to which it is in some sense predestined, by which it will be hoarded, appropriated; but when, as in my case, this anguish enters us before love has made its appearance in our life, it drifts as it waits for us, vague and free, without a particular assignment, at the service of one feeling one day, of another the next, sometimes of filial tenderness or affection for a friend.
Great news: I happened to visit WorldCat for another reason today and, while there, checked the status of my book Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety. According to Worldcat, as of January 17th, 2015 my book has been purchased by 732 libraries/locations around the world. It’s currently available at (mostly university) libraries in the following countries or territories:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
United Arab Emirates
That’s 60 countries on six continents. Someone needs to set up a library in Antarctica. If there is one down there, hey guys — would you buy a copy of my book? Ha.
Needless to say, I’m very pleased. If you’re not familiar with academic publishing in the humanities, over 700 libraries isn’t an academic bestseller, but it isn’t bad at all either. The predictable minimum sales for an academic book is around 200-300 copies, and very low-end publishers like Mellen set royalty payouts at around 500 copies over the first five years to almost ensure that no author will ever get royalties for their book — because most academic books don’t sell that many copies. By the way, after five years full ownership reverts to Mellen, so the author will never see royalties after that — don’t publish with Mellen unless you’re willing to give up ownership of your work forever. I highly recommend working with Bloomsbury/Continuum.
I’m very grateful to the faculty (both library and humanities) who supported the purchase of my book. I think I know who made the recommendations in Singapore and Croatia: thank you both, especially since it seems to be in most or all of the major libraries in Croatia. I was fortunate that Continuum/Bloomsbury published it, because they’re one of the better publishers. An academic publisher who actually backs their own product is a rare thing these days, and publishing with Continuum was a great experience. Excellent editorial process despite a few glitches, which were my own.
I’m especially grateful to Michael Phillips, Sherry Truffin, and Sheridan Lorraine for being my book’s first readers and for their valuable insight and editorial assistance.
I’ve also been fortunate enough to have had the book reviewed four times, so I’m very grateful to the reviewers for their work reviewing my book and for helping to spread the word, and I need to extend that gratitude to the journals that published these reviews. You can read excerpts of these reviews and find links to them on my book page.
I’ve posted a review of Michael Phillips’s edition of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell to Zoamorphosis.com.