The Birth of Territory production updates

University of Chicago Press have given me an update on the production of The Birth of Territory. Some good news – they (crucially marketing) have agreed to the title. This might seem a strange thing, given that they have been in discussion with me on this project since late 2010, but publishers like to delay agreeing titles until very late – contracts usually have the author title as ‘working title’ or ‘to be confirmed’. Now I don’t object to publishers having a say in the title, and a good discussion can generate a better one. But the timing is an issue for me. This book is called ‘the birth of territory’. If, for example, they’d said it needed to be called ‘place and power in Western political thought’ it would need work to make it fit that title. Rather than voice my complaints about other publishers again now, let’s just say I’m relieved.

The aim is for production in the winter, the book to be one of the first in the Fall 2013 catalogue, probably available in August; a physical book in my hands in late July; and possibly proofs to be available at the AAG in April. Very tentative initial discussions on the cover have led to the designer going away to start work with an idea. I hope that works out. I have the intended dates for proofs and copy-editing in my diary – I need to remember this book is long, and these stages will take at least twice as long as other books.

It’s exciting to have got the book to this stage, and having written so much about the process of writing the book; I’ll drop in the odd post about the process of its physical production.

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3 Responses to The Birth of Territory production updates

  1. Chathan says:

    To what extent has that been a problem, where publishers choose a title at the last minute and a book doesn’t quite fit it exactly. Leaving the reader confused after publication?

  2. stuartelden says:

    Well, unless there is no connection between a book and its title, changing the title after the content of the book has been finished can create a disjuncture. I use the title of the book in various strategic places; spend some time discussing the idea of ‘birth’ and have written a book that fits with that title. I can’t comment on a reader’s experience, but I would have written any of my books differently had I been working with a different title. Sometimes the proposed changed title/subtitle is just ridiculous; other times the shift is more subtle but still important.

  3. Pingback: Giving it a name | On the archival trail of William Macintosh

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