Publishing and the Advancement of Science : From Selfish by Michael Rodgers

By Michael Rodgers

Renowned technological know-how books, promoting of their hundreds of thousands — even hundreds of thousands — aid us enjoy breakthroughs in realizing the wildlife, whereas highlighting the cultural significance of medical wisdom. Textbooks deliver those similar advances to scholars; the scientists of the following day. yet how do those books turn up? And why are a few of them so spectacularly successful?

this is often the 1st ever insider's account of technology publishing, written through an editor in detail occupied with the e-book of a few of the main recognized bestsellers within the box. Michael Rodgers unearths the tales at the back of those striking books, offering a behind-the-scenes view of the area of books, authors and concepts. those shiny and fascinating narratives remove darkness from not just the demanding situations of writing approximately technology, but in addition how publishing itself works and the inventive collaboration among authors and editors that lies at its center.

The booklet (like a lot of these it describes) is meant for a large readership. it's going to curiosity humans in publishing, previous and current, and likewise lecturers and scholars on publishing classes. Scientists exploring territories outdoor their very own speciality will take pleasure in it, whereas there's worthwhile recommendation for these making plans their first well known publication or textbook. it's going to additionally attract readers with a humanities historical past who, discovering the suggestions of technology exciting, need to know extra approximately how they're built and communicated.

Readership: most people and scholars who're drawn to the connection among technology and publishing.

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Publishing and the Advancement of Science : From Selfish Genes to Galileo's Finger

Renowned technology books, promoting of their millions — even hundreds of thousands — aid us take pleasure in breakthroughs in realizing the flora and fauna, whereas highlighting the cultural significance of clinical wisdom. Textbooks carry those comparable advances to scholars; the scientists of day after today. yet how do those books happen?

Extra resources for Publishing and the Advancement of Science : From Selfish Genes to Galileo's Finger

Sample text

I can just see some people doing the OUP down, saying we’re not cut out to handle a book like this. ’ That evening I rang John Lord at his home. John was the trade marketing manager based at the OUP’s London office, Ely House in Dover Street. He asked me to get a copy of the chapters to him the next day, promising to read them over the weekend. And he agreed to come over to Oxford the following week to meet Dawkins and help in trying to persuade him to come to us. I contacted Richard the following morning and asked him if he would postpone making any decision, and not talk to Tom Maschler, until after a meeting I wanted to arrange with John Lord the following week.

These and other recommendations were presented at a meeting attended by the editors. One of our number mourned the passing of PP files, explaining that he, like other commissioning editors, routinely wrote letters to many potential authors suggesting ideas for possible books. A PP file was the ideal repository for the office copy of a letter of this kind; where would the file copies of such letters now go? Ah, said the consultant, and we watched as he pondered the tricky, unanticipated question.

Nevertheless, the production department solemnly wondered at the meeting if an erratum slip should be printed to go out with each card. Sanity prevailed and the cards went out with the mistake, and no erratum slip. So far as I remember, no one wrote in to point out the error. There was no training available on how to be a science field editor and during my first three months at the Press I did little else but read files: files on individual books or ideas for books, giving me an understanding of how initial ideas led to book proposals, some of which—a tiny minority, it seemed—led eventually to books.

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