Well, let’s see, there’s conception. And then… are there such things as pregnancy announcements? Do parents do that? Tortured from the start, this analogy. Well, publishers do it. We like to be all formal about it, so when we’ve got books in the oven we figure out their names and we predict their birthdays and we guess how tall they’ll be and only then do we send out our pregnancy announcements. We just call them catalogs, though. And it just so happens that our Fall 2011 catalog is here, with everything you could want to know about our whole new brood. You can take a look through the catalog over at Scribd, or if your browser is friendly enough you can flip through it right here (use the + and - buttons to zoom in and out):
But where else can we take this analogy? Jacket design, we could say that’s like buying baby clothes. Our Sales Conference, taking place today and tomorrow, we could call that a super early baby shower with no presents. Then all these books will have birthdays, one after the other, from August through February. And as soon as they’re born we’ll pack them up lovingly in cardboard boxes and send them off to be sold. Yikes, okay, let’s stop there. Publishing—not so much like parenthood.
There is the pride, though. Because—seriously, now—we’re tremendously proud to be bringing out this new list, and it’s a particularly strong collection for us. We have books coming this fall that help to remind each of us at HUP why we’re here. Books like No Enemies, No Hatred, a collection of essays and poems from the Nobel Prize-winning jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. And Robert Bellah’s Religion in Human Evolution, a work of critical history that refutes popular attempts to pit religion and evolution at odds. And American Oracle, a new book examining how four American writers addressed the Civil War at the time of its centennial, by Bancroft Prize-winning historian David W. Blight. And On Rereading, in which Patricia Meyer Spacks meditates on the comforts to be had and knowledge to be gained from reading the same books over and over.
That takes us just to page eight of the catalog. We’ll have plenty more to say about all of these new books throughout the coming year. In the mean time, please do take a look through the catalog.