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147 EDITORIAL RICOCHETS An Invitation to Editorialize In ELT, XXI: 1 and 2 (1978) I published my comments on the reprint market and on a particularly useful scholarly series of monographs. I offered to seek comments on various subjects likely to interest ELT readers from university presses, publishers of reprint series, journal editors, librarians, scholars, and others who might wish to share their views with the audience ELT provides. The following is an invitation that was sent to representative university presses. In the fourth number of ELT I reproduce an invitation that was mailed to representative publishers of reprint series. If responses warrant, I plan to compile the most useful comments in the first two issues of Volume XXII (1979)· To Directors of University Presses With this invitation I am offering directors of selected university presses the opportunity to unburden themselves on their problems. The range of what you may say is unlimited, but I hope that you will comment on matters that will be useful to teachers, productive scholars, and potential scholars - and do so candidly. It is especially appropriate to focus comments on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century English literature . Comments will, I hope, be concise; depending on responses to this invitation, I may select and arrange the text to make a composite that will have some coherence. W¿ith no intention of prescribing subject or attitude, I suggest the following topics as a guide. 1. Specialized/non-specialized publication: Receptivity to various kinds of books; subject field, literary period, biography , criticism, scholarly editions, bibliographies, comparative studies, cultural and/or literary histories, etc. Policies as to the make-up of the publisher's list of titles. Diversity of titles or desirability to gain a good reputation for publishing specific types óf books. 2. The scope of a book and its audience: Limitations on length; extent of documentation; the intended (preferred?) audience. 3. "Financial feasability"; Costs, pricing, print runs, etc. as factors in publishability. Do expensive, rather voluminous (over 300PP) research-tool books have a chance of being published ? What determines publishability - apart from high quality candidly? Are subventions commonly expected? - candidly. Any suggestions for source of subvention money for the humanistic scholar? Method of printing in relation to cost - computer composition, photo-duplication from typescript, justified or unjustified right margins, etc.? Participation in the Xerox UMI On-Demand publishing plan? 4. Publisher-author relationships : Suggested author's approach : letters of inquiry, sample materials, prospectus, etc.? 148 The time-factor for evaluation, from acceptance to copy-editing to proofs? Contracts - how standard are they with respect to specific conditions? Permissions to use published material to what extent does the publisher assist the author? Does the press publish authors affiliated with other universities or mainly work by its own faculty - proportion? 5. Author-created problems; In what way do authors most commonly create difficulties for the publisher? - condition of the manuscript , careless scholarship or proofreading, clashes with the copy editor, etc. This should be a good opportunity to tell potential authors what they can do to eliminate time-consuming and costly problems. 6. General: Any information that will help the scholar to better understand the problems of a university press. It is my intention to provide a forum for university press directors and authors to communicate better with each other than they often have. Will you participate in the kind of dialogue I have in mind? Although I would prefer signed responses, I shall, on request, honor your desire for anonymity. It would be helpful if you would submit any comments you care to make for publication by about July 1 for October publication or by November 1 for March publication. With many thanks for your cooperation. ...


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