Friday, August 08, 2014

Galley Proofs!




My galley proofs arrived yesterday!  Moroni and the Swastika: Mormons in Nazi Germany is on the horizon.  I have one month to make the final corrections.  Meanwhile, my professional indexer will be constructing the index, which will be my last proofreading responsibility.  Tentative publication date: February 20, 2015.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Here's My Author's Website


Copy editing is coming to a close.  Galley proofs and indexing are on the horizon.  Marketing and promoting Moroni and the Swastika will become much more important in the coming months.  Here is my author's website:

www.davidconleynelson.com

Monday, February 10, 2014

My Manuscript is on its way . . .

. . . five days early!

It will be my goal during this publishing process to not only meet every deadline, but also to submit everything before the due date. Today, I sent in my manuscript to the University of Oklahoma press--two paper copies, electronic files, pictures, captions, and author's checklist, ahead of schedule!  Now the fun begins: working with copy editors, art directors, promotions and marketing, and a slew of other professionals I'd have never met if I hadn't stayed with this project.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Success! A Book Contract.

Shortly before holidays, having sailed thorough the peer review process and gaining approval from two oversight committees at the University of Oklahoma Press, I received a book contract proposal in the mail.  It was a tremendous Christmas present.  I signed and returned both copies.  Today, I received the OU Press' countersigned contract in the mail.  Moroni and the Swastika: Mormons in Nazi Germany is scheduled for publication in early 2015.  Not every scholar who undertakes Ph.D. studies completes his dissertation; fewer see their dissertations published as a scholarly monograph.  I am so lucky and thankful to all of the people in my life who have allowed me to reach this level.

Monday, August 19, 2013

From Dissertation to Book, Step 3: Peer Reviews!

This week the University of Oklahoma Press sent out my manuscript for peer review.  It didn't just happen overnight.

First, I edited an unwieldy 155,000-word manuscript down to a manageable 130,000.  Then, I rewrote the introductory and concluding chapters.  Finally, I chopped up eleven long dissertation chapters and made them into eighteen ones of a more manageable size.  

Then, there came the process of wooing a publisher.  Three enthusiastic acquisitions editors expressed an interest in my work and had no objection to a simultaneous submission.  The hardest decision of my academic career came when I had to tell two of them that I had chosen one of their contemporaries.  The University of Oklahoma Press has many advantages.  It has a solid reputation for publishing scholarly works in the fields of Western Americana, American Indian history, and Mormon Studies.  It has supported controversial Mormon authors such as Juanita Brooks and Will Bagley.  It also boasts a solid marketing footprint in the areas of the country where my book could sell the most copies.

Finally, there was an enthusiastic acquisitions editor a couple of dozen years to my junior, Dr. Jay Dew, who seems determined to give my work its best shot of passing peer review and the various OU Press oversight committees that now stand between me and a published scholarly monograph in 2015.  I am grateful for the opportunity.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

From Dissertation to Book, Step 2: Submit a Book Proposal

At last week's conference of the Mormon History Association, I conversed with acquisition editors from three different publishing houses.  The result was my first three book proposals.  Two presses, surprisingly, wanted to read my whole dissertation.  Another wanted only two sample chapters.  Two of the publishers wanted additional material on paper, which included a summary, target audience, and how my project differed from others in my field.  A third editor asked for everything by .pdf document.

Each editor assured me it was permissible to sound out multiple presses simultaneously; publishers want exclusivity when they start spending money, such as in the peer review stage.

My hopes are up, but I'm ready to have them deflated. Getting published will not be easy.  But I take my encouragement from a statement by Pulitzer Prize winning author David Halberstam:  "What makes a best seller?  It's a book that burns in your belly . . . something that has to be written before you can do anything else."

This desire definitely burns in my belly.  We'll see how it stimulates others.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

From Dissertation to Book, Step 1: More Research!

Publishing a scholarly book on this subject has always been my goal. To do so, I must work with one hand holding a scissors and the other on the keyboard: cut the dissertation down but beef it up!  The latter began in February, 2013, when I visited Yale's Beinecke Library to examine historian D. Michael Quinn's papers.
Yale Hall of Graduate Studies

While writing the authorized biography of Mormon Apostle J. Reuben Clark decades ago, Professor Quinn enjoyed unprecedented access to the First Presidency Correspondence Files, a privilege granted to few scholars.  There is some interesting correspondence there concerning the Mormons' dealings with the Third Reich, especially with regard to the few Jewish converts who sought their adopted church's protection in escaping the Holocaust. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Graduation Day, 2012



Thanks to my loving, supportive family for all of their patience and encouragement during this long graduate school sojourn.  Ruth, Brittany, Kyle, and Megan -- you were the best "committee" a budding but not-so-young scholar could have.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm Finished!

After many delays and frustrations, I have completed my work for my Ph.D. in History.  I successfully defended my dissertation, "The Mormons in Nazi Germany: History and Memory," on October 3, 2012.  I will officially be "hooded" and receive my diploma at Texas A&M's commencement ceremonies on Saturday, December 15, at 9 a.m. at Reed Arena in College Station.

My committee believes that I have the basis for a high-quality academic book.  My dissertation will not be available for public viewing for a period of two years in order to give me the opportunity to seek a publisher.  Thereafter, it will be available for worldwide electronic  release though Texas A&M's library and through ProQuest Dissertation Services.

I am most grateful to my dissertation adviser, Dr. Arnold Krammer, and to committee members Chester Dunning, Walter Kamphoefner, Peter Hugill, and D. Michael Quinn.  The latter was a special appointee to my committee who graciously traveled from his home in California to Texas for my preliminary and doctoral examinations. 

I am also very grateful to my loving wife, Ruth, and my children:  Brittany, Kyle, and Megan, who supported me all of these years. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Chapter. A Chapter. I Finally Finished My First Chapter!

It has been a long time coming, but I finally submitted the first chapter of my dissertation to my adviser last week. I've had some other priorities between the completion of my research and the writing phase, but now I'm finally back on track to complete my dissertation.

I'm so lucky to have such a patient, encouraging committee chairman. Anyone who gets to work with Dr. Arnold Krammer of Texas A&M's History Department is indeed blessed. He's the consummate gentleman professor, and still a very productive scholar, as well a reputed and esteemed teacher. When we met for lunch to turn in my first installment, he carried galley proofs from his latest book. At his station in life, a distinguished senior professor, he could stop writing and publishing and nobody would be critical. But that's not in his blood, and fortunately his gentle prodding got me back on track.

With any luck, I'll graduate with my Ph.D. in December, and my precious wife Ruth will walk the same stage upon completion of her bachelor's in construction science. It has been a long road for both of us, and we still have challenges ahead. But we're both going to make it!