Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Do publishers want books with a moral or faith-centered message?

Several authors have expressed concern that mainstream university or trade publishers may not want a book with a moral or faith-centered message. I have had particular conversations with some members of Georgetown's Jesuit community about this, as well as with other academics who worry that such topics are only of interest to religious publishers.

In fact, quite the opposite is the case. Just read any issue of Publisher's Weekly and see the array of robust books that are written from a position of personal religious belief, or an ethical platform that is decidedly biased toward some point of moral certainty, that also emanate from presses not otherwise known for such positions. These books sell well, and many editors are open to publishing more.

Examples include God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement by David W. Miller (December 2006) and Warranted Christian Belief by Alvin Plantinga (2000), both from Oxford University Press; the forthcoming Morality in a Technological World: Knowledge as Duty by Lorenzo Magnani (August 2007) and Defending Life by Francis Beckwith, both from Cambridge University Press. Or how about Faith and the Historian: Catholic Perspectives by Nick Salvatore, from the University of Illinois Press?

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