Friday, December 21, 2012

The edited volume blues

"Dr. Karen" has a few thoughts on the topic of "Should I do an edited collection". I reproduce it verbatim here as I have nothing to add to its towering awesomeness and truthfulness.


Let me say it again: No.

 Let’s put it a different way:

 You: But, it’s just the papers from a conference panel. Is it ok then?

 Me: No.

 You: But, I’m co-editing it, so I don’t have to do all the work. Is it ok then?

 Me: No. And, please, co-editing? Are you kidding me?

 You: But all I have to do is collect and edit the papers and write an Intro. Is it ok then?

 Me: No. And you’re doing all this and don’t even have a chapter in it? Are you kidding me?

 You: But I’ll have a book for tenure. Me: No, you won’t. Edited collections don’t count.

 You: But it’ll get me a job.

 Me: You want to know what’ll get you a job? A REFEREED JOURNAL ARTICLE IN THE TOP JOURNAL IN YOUR FIELD. Write that! Write two of them! Hell, you can write a whole effing monograph in the time you are going to waste fighting with your contributors, waiting for the external reviewers, arguing with your lame press, agonizing over the copy-editing, and trying to market the book because your lame press doesn’t spend a dime in advertising.

 You: Really?

 Me: Yes.

 You: An editor from a really great press I never heard of actually got in touch with me! And asked me to do it! Is it ok then?

 Me: No, and never, ever, ever accept an offer of publication from someone from a press you’ve never heard of. Or even a press you have heard of, if they come chasing after you. It’s the prom, sweetheart. Don’t go with the first person who asks you (unless they’re the dream date you’ve been waiting for). Do the work, and get yourself into position to get the date you really want.

 You: But I am already committed.

 Me: Get out of the commitment.

 You: But it’s my friends.

 Me: Have drinks with your friends. Go to Vegas with your friends. Do not waste your precious writing and research time gathering up and, god forbid, editing, your friends’ questionable essays and volunteering unpaid, uncredited time to get your friends a publication. And by the way, their chapter in your edited collection is barely going to do them any good either.

 You: But I’m going to go ahead and do this edited collection.

 Me: It’s your funeral.

1 comment:

Gerardo said...

Me: But my co-editors are David Bowie and Bing Crosby...