My co-blogger Thomas Kidd mentioned in his most recent post that he has learned “how much authors need to work on publicity.”
So here goes — next week, Harvard University Press is releasing the paperback edition of my Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet. What was a tremendous value is now an outright bargain! One can start planning for General Conference gifts, Christmas presents, book groups, and (for you university instructors out there) Spring 2015 reading lists.
Sometimes books face growing opposition. In 1853, the Latter-day Saint apostle Orson Pratt published Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and His Progenitors, a history dictated by Lucy Mack Smith, the mother of Mormonism’s founding prophet. As the years passed, Brigham Young became more and more angry at Orson Pratt and “Mother Smith’s book.” I explain this in Pioneer Prophet, drawing on Jan Shipps’s analysis in her Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition:
When Brigham Young didn’t like something, he didn’t hold back. In 1861, Young ordered George Q. Cannon to send “to the pulp tub of the paper makers” any remaining copies of the book. On a trip to northern Utah, he once called on church members to burn any copies of the book in their possession. Of course, despite Young’s opposition, Lucy Mack Smith’s history survived, graced with considerable attention in recent years.
Given that one’s book could end up in “the pulp tub of the paper makers,” as an author one is grateful for such things as paperback editions.