Friday, July 30, 2010

Sesquicentennial publishing

With the Civil War sesquicentennial rapidly approaching, I've seen no great indication from book publishers that it will be anything but business as usual. Do publishers hoard good titles in anticipation of extra-special Civil War anniversaries? I don't know, but, if they do, they are keeping quiet about it. University press blogs rarely mention their Civil War books, let alone promote them, and I haven't come across any notable marketing pushes, press releases, etc. from other publishers big and small that hint of any coordinated plans. The History Press is devoting an entire series to the sesquicentennial, and has been adding titles steadily for some time now, but perhaps it is telling that their own website does not even include it on their series list! [ed. 8/11 - a series page is up now]

Perhaps it is still too early yet for such announcements (and I suspect that might be so with today's short attention spans), but, if building anticipation is an important goal in publishing, no one has really started yet.


  1. Hi Drew

    I rely mostly on your site for upcoming publishing news. I was hoping with the sesquicentennial approaching I would start to hear about some "BIG" upcoming releases. I think we can generally expect the same numbers of books from the usual suspect university presses. I certainly don't mean this in derogatory manner. I'm really pleased that UNC, LSU, U. Tenn. are continuing to publish quality material.

    I guess I was thinking some bigger mainstream publishing houses might be publishing some good Civil War matieral with the anniversary fast approaching With this being said, I'm really looking forward to see what Univ. Tenn. Press will publish in it's Western Theater series.

    Always appreciate the information you provide.

    Don Hallstrom

  2. Drew: You have one of the best blogs. As far as trends in the Civil War field I dont see a flood of books in the future that will be original. I say this because so much is being reprinted in paperback by various LLCs and the trend seems to be social history. Also Amazon announced they sold more kindle books this year that regular books. James

  3. Hi Drew,

    I spoke with my editor over at the History Press after reading this post (I had been wondering why there was no Sesquicentennial section as well) and I'm happy to report that they now have a section on their website for these titles.

    Just go to their site and click on “catalogue" and you'll see it under "series".


    Jimmy Price

  4. Thanks for the head up, Jimmy. There seems to be a number of titles missing. I also wish they could have upcoming titles featured, too.


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