Books That Never Were
Over this week my mind has been pondering the failed book proposals I have persued over recent years. Whilst I had a few ideas at theological college, these were tentative and didn’t get a very warm reception at all. In fact at theological college I made the same mistake I made in my first years […]
Over this week my mind has been pondering the failed book proposals I have persued over recent years. Whilst I had a few ideas at theological college, these were tentative and didn’t get a very warm reception at all. In fact at theological college I made the same mistake I made in my first years in London, which was to try and approach established writers with collaborative plans. A number of “guides” suggest this as a potential way into publishing (particularly as co-editors of collections), but I never managed to get this method anywhere near the proposal stage; actually most couldn’t even sustain a conversation long enough for a second cup of coffee.
My first solo proposal was a critical re-examination of Harvey Cox’s “The Secular City.” Reading this book was pivotal for me (and many others interested in Urban Ministry). My idea was to look again at the book, particularly in the light of globalisation and the development of the internet. At the time, it was questionable how big the market for such a book would be, which, in hindsight may have been a good call. Since a great deal of this work is already written and I had the chance to revise it when the Coffee, Theology and Culture reading group looked at Cox’s book, I am wondering whether to release a version of this as a self-published work. Well maybe…
The second proposal went a lot further. It was for a short “lifestyle” book on portable urban spirituality. I got a very good response, then the contact with the publisher just died. Yesterday, whilst rumaging through some old files (read clearing out piled up junk), I found the folder with materials for that book. It was very interesting, especially as today Jonny Baker picked up a very interesting Stephen Said blogpost on spirituality in a contemporary context. I am going to revist this, but I’m not sure in what form just yet; probably as a series of blogposts.
The third proposal was the one I thought would fly (and sustain me during my time in India). It was for a thorough-going treatment of Theology and Film (and alon with my PhD, a foundation for more work in theology, culture and globalisation). Consequently I was interested to see a new Regent’s Park Study Guide is coming out on this topic (thanks to Sean The Baptist a blog that well worth checking out!). My proposal looked very good for a while, but in the end died for reasons I am not entirely sure I understood at the time. Several chapters of this book are already written in full, having been initially presented as seminar papers and the proposal was very solid (thanks to the help of Richard Burridge and Andy Wright). My feeling is that I should try again with this book, but on some days I just wonder, is this a case of three strikes and you are out?
Either way, I have found the rebirth of this blog (which in its current form is coming up to one year of service) has inspired me to revist some dormant ideas and reconsider these failed publishing attempts. In whatever form my future writing takes, it has been good to be involved in blogging and to reflect upon the feedback this blog has received.
[tags] Film, Publishing, Theology and Culture [/tags]