Publishing in a book series?




A reader writes in:

I have a question that seems to not have been asked before, and for which it is hard to get good advice…Here it is:

For your first monograph, is a series ‘less prestigious’ than a standalone publication with the same publisher?

I’ve had my book under review with a publisher for a while now. A few days ago, I got notice that the second reviewer just never got back to the editor anymore, did not answer emails anymore etc. So now the editor decided to instead send the manuscript to the editors of a series with the same publisher (without asking me first). I did not expect that change of course.

Spontaneously, I think I’d rather send my manuscript to a different publisher, than to have it ‘relegated’ to a series. But am I overreacting? In my training, I was told to be careful in choosing the publisher of my book (it’s my first book). The prestige of the publisher can make quite a difference for an early career researcher, they said. And I did not wait so long with publishing my book just to have it part of a series, is my thought.

What do you think, am I right in assuming that a series is ‘less prestigious’ than a standalone publication with the same publisher?

And: Is that even legitimate what the editor does – or would I have a right that he looks for a new second reviewer for the original plan to have the book published as a standalone publication? He kind of seemed to imply ‘either series or not at all’, but I’m not sure whether he’d really stick to that if I pushed on that. It’s not my fault the second reviewer was a no-show.

These are excellent questions, and to be honest, I’m not sure what the answers to most of them are. I certainly don’t think I would think less of a book published in a series, but then again, my viewpoint may not be very representative and maybe it depends on the press and series? In terms of whether what the editor did was legitimate, it does seem a bit odd to me for the editor not to have asked first whether you’d be willing to publish in the series, etc. But I guess my basic thought is this: if it is an otherwise good press, why care? As the common saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I’d prefer to know that my book is coming out with a good press rather than turn them down and risk a worse outcome with other presses. And honestly, at the end of the day, isn’t it the quality of your work that really matters? Then again, this may just reflect my own values and tolerance for risk. 

What do you all think?

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More



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