Publication Day

The day has arrived. By which I mean it arrived yesterday, but I was neck deep in grading and trying to avoid Twitter so I missed the publisher’s Tweet.

Not important.

The important thing is that my book has officially been released from the University of Michigan Press. This means that it is available for purchase and also to read as an open access scholarly resource. Academic books usually have short print runs, sell relatively few copies, and represent a deep investment of tens of thousands of dollars over the course of years to produce, even without lucrative contracts for the authors. This is why most publishers require authors to offset the publisher’s cost with grants and research funds in order to have their work appear open-access, and I am immensely grateful to UM Press for offering me the chance to participate in a new initiative to make a larger number of books accessible this way.

If I’m being honest, this day is more than a little intimidating. This book is a substantially revised (and improved) version of my dissertation research that began about a decade ago and that I carried on through both years of underemployment and the pandemic. I still managed to write the book I wanted to write and I am proud of the final product, but the circumstances under which I was writing created hurdles to getting there—on top of the usual anxieties like imposter syndrome. The little voice in my head who worries about how my scholarship will be received is pacing anxiously, slightly muting my excitement at having it out in the world.

But this is a concern for another day. Today, I am celebrating a personal writing milestone, and I hope that my book gives people a lot to think about.