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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | Ghost reviewers? »

December 10, 2012



Well, we academics do make money off our writing--but it's all indirect: it gets us a tenure-track job, or tenure, or a new job, or a raise.

And wouldn't most of us take a position equivalent to Scalzi's--that we're not writing something for someone else for free unless it adds a line to our vita (or serves some other professional end)?

The nature of the compensation is different, but the attitude is, I think, analogous.


True, although I think that once you get outside the R1s, many academics are publishing for reasons that don't easily link up to any sort of money (e.g., some scholars I'm familiar with who teach at community colleges). Or publish out of proportion to any possible compensation (as at colleges like ours). There's professional recognition, but given the decreased job mobility for senior faculty, even that doesn't translate well into $$$...

Justin O'Hearn

Is there a balance an academic can strike between writing for an academic audience and a more popular audience? We all like to think our topics are fascinating to the world (or should be) but they are usually inaccessible to that broader audience. I, for one, would love to share my work with all possible audiences. Would this mean writing two versions of things or selectively choosing publishers?


Big, sweeping books (even if they're big, sweeping books on a single thing) have more of a popular audience than a monograph. There are also questions of jargon, style, even footnotes...

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