After considering publishing under Patheos’ imprint, I have decided to go the self-publishing/indie publishing route for my current book project. This means hiring freelancers, among other things finding a good editor.
One thing I’m wondering about is trying to tweak the project into something that a professor might assign as reading in an undergraduate course on philosophy of religion or similar course. When I first conceived of the book, I conceived of it being the philosophy version of a good popular science book. I shifted away from that as I became more cynical about (most, but not all) academic philosophy. Still, most of the book does in some way cover standing academic debates.
The first chapter is the clearest exception; it’s purpose is to address religious readers and help them find atheism less scary. But given what I’ve heard from non-religious professors who have to deal with religious students, that may actually be useful to have in an atheist book that’s going to be assigned reading in a class. The third chapter is a quasi-exception: many of the people I’m responding to are academics, but I’m addressing their implicitly telling atheists to shut up rather than any “official” position they have as academics.
The rest of the book addresses, in one way or another, views that can all be found being openly defended by academics in some form. But I never take a standard “textbook” approach, and don’t want to turn the book into a textbook. It’s intended to be one perspective on a set of related debates. I focus on the things I think are important, rather than trying to reflect a collective view of what philosophers or religion scholars in general think is important. It’s intended to be the kind of book that, obviously, would have to be assigned alongside other reading presenting other perspectives.
I also want it to remain the kind of book that a college undergrad might pick up to read on their own, without being forced to do so by their professor. In fact, when I wrote the book, my target audience wasn’t “college undergrads” but “anyone who’s new to these issues and wants a concise defence of one position,” though on reflection college undergrads may make up a disproportionate share of that second group.
With all that in mind, can anyone refer me to an editor who might be able to help me edit the manuscript in accordance with those aims?