Movie reference books, past and future

So I got my royalty check from McFarland, my film-book publisher last week. It’s a pleasant surprise to see that Cyborgs, Santa Claus and Satan still sells a couple of copies a year 18 years later (even given it fills a niche). Ditto Wizard of Oz Catalog, though less surprising — Oz fandom is pretty intense. It’s disappointing that Screen Enemies of the American Way didn’t sell any this time out. I’m really proud of that one because political paranoia in American films isn’t a subject that gets as much attention as it should. Then again, maybe that’s part of the problem: it isn’t as simple a hook as “made for TV specfic films.”

Now and Then We Time Travel sold 25 copies in the past six months. That leaves me with mixed feelings of “What, only 25?” and “Whee, 25 people bought it!” McFarland books aren’t cheap, so that’s flattering, even if I’d like it to be more. If you’re reading this and you’re one of the buyers, thanks!

So that’s the past. Now we come to Space Invaders, the idea that one university press passed on. I have three options for moving ahead;

  • Submit a proposal to McFarland. I know them, they know me, it should be simple enough.
  • Check out other university presses that do pop-culture books. I’m happy with McFarland but the press I pitched would have taken care of illustrations and indexing. That’s quite a plus, because photos cost money (not a lot, but it adds up) and indexing is a pain.
  • Self-publish. I’m disinclined to this, mostly because of the editing. I can live with typos in a self-published fiction manuscript, but in nonfiction they can be disastrous, like the small-press magazine that misplaced a 9 and referred to “the French Reign of Terror in 1978.” It’s true I pulled off Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast but that took work and it was a small book. This one would be a larger undertaking.

I shall probably check out a couple of university presses and their submission requirements/publishing process before making the decision.

#SFWApro. All rights to images remain with current holders

1 Comment

Filed under Nonfiction, Writing

One response to “Movie reference books, past and future

  1. Pingback: Publishing, one way or another | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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