New book closer to publication

More books, please.

I have great news: I've just signed the contract for publication of my new book, Why Materialism Is Baloney. Not only does this bring the book a major step closer to availability, it may also have a positive impact on my previous three books. Moreover, the process of interacting with potential publishers over the past few months has taught me valuable lessons about the reality of the publishing industry today, which seems quite different from what it was only two years ago. I want to share some of these new learnings with you.

As most of you know, my previous three books have been published by John Hunt Publishing (JHP), a mid-sized English publishing house with several imprints. My previous titles Rationalist Spirituality and Dreamed up Reality were originally brought to market under the O-Books imprint. Meaning in Absurdity was published under the Iff-Books imprint. Now, all three of the books have been brought under Iff-Books (the science and philosophy imprint), where they all truly belong. My experience with JHP has always been positive.

Yet, after finishing the manuscript of Why Materialism Is Baloney, my first instinct was to try and publish it with a bigger publisher, so to ensure as wide circulation as possible for the ideas in the book. The driving force behind it is my heart-felt feeling that this latest book is the most important one I ever wrote; perhaps even the most important thing I ever did. Therefore, for the past several months, I have engaged with some of the biggest publishing houses in the industry.

In all honesty, this process has been slow and frustrating. One large publisher (Rowman & Littlefield) offered to publish the manuscript, but the proposed retail price of the book would have placed it beyond the reach of many readers. Moreover, I felt that the contractual conditions were so unbalanced that it would be irresponsible for me to agree to them. I'm not talking about the financial clauses, which were poor but I don't write for the money anyway. I'm talking about what I felt to be the self-contradictory and, frankly, unreasonable representations, warranties, and commitments they required from me. It is a sad but true reality in the publishing industry today that there seems to be more authors motivated to publish than readers motivated to read. So many publishers appear ready to leverage this reality against authors. And even then, there is no guarantee of wide availability for the book.

So I went back home like the prodigal son, submitting the manuscript to JHP a couple of weeks ago. The result positively surprised me: Not only did they want to publish yet another book by me, they suggested to use the opportunity to do a new, combined marketing push for all my titles. And their new contract is an example of internal consistency, balance, and author-friendliness. Nothing unreasonable is asked of me and the financial terms are entirely fair; perhaps even more than fair. Overall, I am extremely happy to be working with them again. My search for something 'bigger' just brought me to things 'worse' and to a renewed appreciation of what I already 'had.'

My experience with JHP is that these are people who, above all else, love books. As everybody else, they need to make a viable business out of what they do, but they don't do it because it makes money. They do it because they believe in, and are passionate for, what they do. Big or small, these are the people I want to work with.

Why Materialism Is Baloney will, therefore, be available in both paperback and eBook formats, around the world and before the end of this year, for a retail price significantly lower than it would otherwise have been. Overall, you, the reader, is the winner. And I, the author, am a happy camper.

So stay tuned: Why Materialism Is Baloney is coming soon!