To my readers,
A remarkable thing has happened recently. In the past few weeks, I’ve received, by my count, no fewer than four independent (as far as I know) e-mails asking me if I intend to seek publication of my writings in a format beyond this website. I have responded to these inquiries individually, but thought it would be best to address this issue in public.
Some of my correspondents have pointed out the startling success of several recent pro-atheist books, suggesting that the current climate would be unusually favorable for publication. I agree that this is a potentially very important factor – for it has been weighing on my mind as well – and I like to think that I am not one to let an opportunity pass me by. I feel more than capable of writing a book that defends atheism, and I believe that I could offer a perspective sufficiently distinct from current authors to merit publication.
However, there are other considerations as well. One is that, despite the essays I have already written that could be included, creating something worthy of publication would require a very substantial investment of time, and that is something I have lamentably little of. I have an excellent day job which I have no intention of quitting. While I could work on this project at other times, I doubt whether I would be able to continue writing for this site or for Ebon Musings in any significant capacity while I was doing so. In such a situation, I would probably want to find guest authors who could maintain the site in my absence.
There is another issue, potentially more important. It is a foregone conclusion that, if I were to write a book, I would want to incorporate essays I have already written for this site and for Ebon Musings. However, even if I were to write new pieces that would only be available as part of this book, it has always been my intention to keep the essays that I have already written freely available on the Internet. This is a matter that would have to be sorted out with any potential publisher – I have heard a horror story of a website author who published his work in printed format, only to be sued by his own publisher for copyright infringement for keeping his own work freely available on its original website. Needless to say, this is an outcome I will not permit to happen with my site, and any interested publisher would have to be understanding of that.
There is one more issue that concerns me, which is that I have not yet been widely published in other forums. Although Daylight Atheism has seen a steady increase in readership since its inception, I have so far written mostly for my own sites and not for other websites or publications devoted to atheism, humanism, free thought and skeptical inquiry. I am taking steps to change this, and I recognize that it is not an absolute must, but I am certain it would boost my chances of finding a responsive publisher if I had a past record of published work to stand upon. I am working to establish such a record, although such labors will take at least a few months to pay off, if they do.
I’m interested in hearing feedback on this issue. Is this a worthwhile cause to pursue, or am I reaching above myself?