Book Update

It’s been a while, but I haven’t forgotten. The fifth chapter of my book, which covers the argument from religious confusion and is based on the Ebon Musings essay “The Cosmic Shell Game”, is finally complete.

I realize this chapter has taken a while – as for that, I can only plead work and other commitments that have been playing a larger role in my life than usual lately. But I don’t intend to let the next one take so long!

As always, any regular commenter who’d like to read this chapter and make suggestions is welcome to do so. E-mail me or leave a comment if you’re interested.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • http://stupac2.blogspot.com Stuart Coleman

    I’ll take a crack at it, it’s still summer for me so I’ve got tons of time to devote to looking it over (unlike the last few which were jammed between coursework).

  • http://stupac2.blogspot.com Stuart Coleman

    I’ll take a crack at it, it’s still summer for me so I’ve got tons of time to devote to looking it over (unlike the last few which were jammed between coursework).

  • E.B.

    Have you decided on a title yet?

  • E.B.

    Have you decided on a title yet?

  • http://aloadofbright.wordpress.com tobe38

    Count me in please.

  • http://aloadofbright.wordpress.com tobe38

    Count me in please.

  • http://elliptica.blogspot.com Lynet

    Likewise.

  • http://elliptica.blogspot.com Lynet

    Likewise.

  • http://thestoneoftear.blogspot.com Callandor

    Always interested.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    I thought Daylight Atheism would serve just fine as a title. I’m still considering what would be a good subtitle.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    I thought Daylight Atheism would serve just fine as a title. I’m still considering what would be a good subtitle.

  • Petrucio

    I comment only sparsely, but I follow your posts (and those of tobe38 on A Load of Bright) regularly. Please count me in.

    As for a subtitle, why not go along the lines of the meta description on the atheism pages? “Essays on atheism, theism, religion, freethought, humanism, and the freedom of life without superstition”

  • E.B.

    For a title, Daylight Atheism is certainly neutral, so it will take more than a glance at the front cover for people to unjustly criticize it. I’m not positive what the entire thrust of the book will be (I’ve commented on a few of the chapters but I’m behind in my volunteer editing) so I won’t try and give subtitular advice as yet, beyond keeping it neutral. I can’t count the number of times someone’s criticized The God Delusion or God is Not Great in front of me based solely on the title, so you may want to avoid that pitfall.

    This does get me thinking, though: books like Nothing: Something to Believe In haven’t sold as well as those of the published pantheon (sarcasm) of Dawkins/Hitchens/Harris (take that with some salt as I can’t find any numbers). It could be that a provocative title gets the media behind it, since it makes a more sensational story. It’s a bit of a trade-off then, I suppose. You don’t strike me as the same sort of public figure that that any of R.D./S.H./C.H. are, so that may not be what you want anyway. Not that I’d know: you’re certainly more of an expert about yourself than I am. I suppose my conclusion is then to figure out who the audience you want will be and then create a (sub)title, cover art, and inside cover summary with some thought to how various groups of people will take it. I’m not worried about it since you seem to articulate your points clearly regardless of what they are.

    Well, good luck with the next chapter, and I’ll try and get these back with comments at some point soon.

  • Petrucio

    E.B, you are forgetting Daniel Dennet (Breaking the Spell), who was also a good seller, and whose title was not at all provocative. I Sold my Soul on eBay also had good attention and sales (although not as much near the others), some would say the title is provocative, some wouldn’t.

    I did a quick check on the rank of some books on amazon:
    God is not Great: 18 (Freaking A!)
    The God Delusion: 76 (Great)
    Letter to a Christian Nation: 354 (Good)
    The End of Faith: 592 (Good)
    Breaking the Spell: 1,408 (Not too shaby)
    I Sold my Soul on eBay: 39,704 (Ok)
    Nothing: Something to believe in: (Abismal)

    I believe the top 5 were MUCH better than this near their release, but on the absence of better numbers, it’s a start.

    I think I Sould my Soul on eBay is another independent book, a decent goalpost to chase. But I think (may well be wrong) this site has much more traffic and support than Hemant Mehta’s, so it will likelly generate a good initial wave of readers after release, and the ball could start rolling nicelly from their reviews and word of mouth marketting.

    And I’ve read the first chapter of Nothing, and my honest opinion is: it sucks. Did only harm to the little inclination I had to buy it. Sorry if you are in any way related to the writer, I’m just being honest about my initial reactions (they may well be wrong, but that initial chapter available for reading surelly does not help to increase sales at all). That guy should definitely write longer sentences. I don’t care if he’s trying to stay in character, it makes for lousy reading. And I love books and I love non-belief; if you can’t raise my interest with your Amazon page, it’s unlikelly you will raise much of anyone else. Sorry.

    And I may of course be wrong on all that. Let’s wait and see.

  • Petrucio

    E.B, you are forgetting Daniel Dennet (Breaking the Spell), who was also a good seller, and whose title was not at all provocative. I Sold my Soul on eBay also had good attention and sales (although not as much near the others), some would say the title is provocative, some wouldn’t.

    I did a quick check on the rank of some books on amazon:
    God is not Great: 18 (Freaking A!)
    The God Delusion: 76 (Great)
    Letter to a Christian Nation: 354 (Good)
    The End of Faith: 592 (Good)
    Breaking the Spell: 1,408 (Not too shaby)
    I Sold my Soul on eBay: 39,704 (Ok)
    Nothing: Something to believe in: (Abismal)

    I believe the top 5 were MUCH better than this near their release, but on the absence of better numbers, it’s a start.

    I think I Sould my Soul on eBay is another independent book, a decent goalpost to chase. But I think (may well be wrong) this site has much more traffic and support than Hemant Mehta’s, so it will likelly generate a good initial wave of readers after release, and the ball could start rolling nicelly from their reviews and word of mouth marketting.

    And I’ve read the first chapter of Nothing, and my honest opinion is: it sucks. Did only harm to the little inclination I had to buy it. Sorry if you are in any way related to the writer, I’m just being honest about my initial reactions (they may well be wrong, but that initial chapter available for reading surelly does not help to increase sales at all). That guy should definitely write longer sentences. I don’t care if he’s trying to stay in character, it makes for lousy reading. And I love books and I love non-belief; if you can’t raise my interest with your Amazon page, it’s unlikelly you will raise much of anyone else. Sorry.

    And I may of course be wrong on all that. Let’s wait and see.

  • Petrucio

    Sorry, forgot to paste the rank of Nothing: 253,124

  • Petrucio

    Sorry, forgot to paste the rank of Nothing: 253,124

  • Alex Weaver

    I thought Daylight Atheism would serve just fine as a title. I’m still considering what would be a good subtitle.

    That might be a little awkward if you write more than one, especially in the same vein, that are subsequently associated with the site.

    Also, I’d like to read, though I won’t be able to actually sit and read it for a while yet.

  • Alex Weaver

    I thought Daylight Atheism would serve just fine as a title. I’m still considering what would be a good subtitle.

    That might be a little awkward if you write more than one, especially in the same vein, that are subsequently associated with the site.

    Also, I’d like to read, though I won’t be able to actually sit and read it for a while yet.

  • Andreas

    I’m very excited about your coming book. I like that you seem to focus more directly on the arguments for and against the existence of a god than Dawkins and Harris (I’ve not read Hitchens or Dennet), whose books I think was mostly about the dangers of religion.

  • Andreas

    I’m very excited about your coming book. I like that you seem to focus more directly on the arguments for and against the existence of a god than Dawkins and Harris (I’ve not read Hitchens or Dennet), whose books I think was mostly about the dangers of religion.

  • Andreas

    Hmm… now that I think of it, that might have been an unfair assessment of Dawkins’s book.

  • Andreas

    Hmm… now that I think of it, that might have been an unfair assessment of Dawkins’s book.

  • Jerryd

    What is the audience for the book? Is it atheists or believers, or both? I’ve always thought that a title that challenges theists might get their dander up and make them read a book just to try prove you wrong. Maybe something like: “Challenge Your Faith: Can you read this and still be religious?(or believe in God?)” Although I believe totally in the scientific method, I’m aware of little true science that has been used to verify what would work to make religious believers convert to freethought and/or atheism. For instance, is anyone tracking what percentage of the readers of Dawkins and Hitchins are leaving their religion in favor of atheism? To me the important thing is their conversion rate more so than their Amazon.com rank. I’m guessing we don’t know that. I know from reading Adam’s information that it should strongly impact a lot of believers to change their thoughts, but the key would be to get it in their hands to read. The perfect title might do that. It might make a nice research project for someone: give a list of titles to a large number of believers and ask them to select the titles that sound interesting enough to actually make them want to read the book.

  • Jerryd

    What is the audience for the book? Is it atheists or believers, or both? I’ve always thought that a title that challenges theists might get their dander up and make them read a book just to try prove you wrong. Maybe something like: “Challenge Your Faith: Can you read this and still be religious?(or believe in God?)” Although I believe totally in the scientific method, I’m aware of little true science that has been used to verify what would work to make religious believers convert to freethought and/or atheism. For instance, is anyone tracking what percentage of the readers of Dawkins and Hitchins are leaving their religion in favor of atheism? To me the important thing is their conversion rate more so than their Amazon.com rank. I’m guessing we don’t know that. I know from reading Adam’s information that it should strongly impact a lot of believers to change their thoughts, but the key would be to get it in their hands to read. The perfect title might do that. It might make a nice research project for someone: give a list of titles to a large number of believers and ask them to select the titles that sound interesting enough to actually make them want to read the book.

  • http://elliptica.blogspot.com Lynet

    How about “Daylight Atheism: An Unapologetic”? I’ve always liked that ‘unapologetic’ line. Putting it in the title would be too confrontational, but in the subtitle you can probably get away with it.

  • E.B.

    Petruchio: Good points. I was deliberately leaving Breaking the Spell off since I didn’t feel it stirred up very much “controversy,” although I have read it and enjoyed it. However, I completely forgot about I Sold My Soul on Ebay, which may be good to compare to as you say. Also, don’t worry about offending me regarding Nothing; I haven’t actually read it either-I just had heard from someone that it was good and was noncontroversial. I’ll probably check it out of my local library at some point and see if I like it. I do stand by what I said about many people only reading the title of the book, however.

    P.S. It’s off-topic, but is your username based off The Taming of the Shrew? I noticed it’s the name of the protagonist from that play (I’m currently working backstage at a production of Kiss Me Kate, which is based off it, so I know most of the characters.)

  • Prof.V.N.K.Kumar (India)

    How about “Atheism for Dummies”. The subtitle could be “Meaning and Morality in a Godless world” or “Meaningful life for a science-savvy bipedal ape” or ” Creating sense through a Scientific temper”. If you do not like any of these, just laugh it off. Please send me the draft copy of the fifth chapter of your forthcoming book.

  • Petrucio

    @E.B.:

    You are not the first to ask, but no, not related to that. It’s the translation of Petry (if I’m not mistaken), a pterodactil from a Disney dinosaur movie.

    It’s a long story…