Saturday, September 27, 2014

What's Next for Dr. D?

Back in June on the eve of Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, I had dinner with my acquisitions editor at the publisher who has published all my books to date. She had just read and forwarded to the production editor the manuscript for NextGen Genealogy: The DNA Connection. As we parted that evening she asked, "What are your going to write next?"

At the time I was not ready to answer that question. My commitment involvement to complete NextGen had not yet run its course. Now that is changing. You can now see the Table of Contents:

On Thursday I  posted on Facebook
Just sent corrected page proofs & index to publisher for NextGen Genealogy: The DNA Connection. Postpartum setting in. November publication.
I'm moving past the brief depression that comes with the realization that my ability to shape the final product has passed. For better or worse it is in the final stages of production. 

The book itself is just one of the aspects about which I now seem to be powerless. Even though Amazon has taken CeCe Moore's name off the cover, the site continues to list her as a co-author. See my earlier post about how this came to be. Once something gets into a database it seems to take a life of its own and it is next to impossible to remove/correct all locations where it resides.

Now I'm still not sure what I want to do next. I'm also not sure what the appropriate venue for that effort might be. My current publisher, Libraries Unlimited, has been a very comfortable fit up until now. As long as I was writing about library topics for library workers, this was the right market niche. With Crash Course in Genealogy it was easy to maintain this tie by slanting it toward helping library workers assist family history researchers. With NextGen Genealogy that connection became more tenuous. The title was almost shifted to Praeger -- an imprint also owned by the parent company ABC-Clio. In the end this book stayed with Libraries Unlimited. If I do undertake another book, should it be with Libraries Unlimited, Praeger, some other publisher or should it be self published?

The nature of the content may guide that choice. I have long had in the back of my mind that I might want to top off my trilogy with a book on the ethical issues surrounding DNA testing. This would go beyond testing for family history applications and wander into the even more emotionally charged area of testing for medical conditions. 

Ethics is not a new area of concern for me. In the 1970s I served on the Committee for Professional Ethics of the American Library Association. I even chaired the committee for a year. More recently, for more than a decade, I taught a short course for library workers and web designers entitled Ethics in the Information Age. However, it was only in the last three years that I came to realize that there was a significant overlap between my earlier forays into the field of professional ethics and my newer found interest in DNA testing. Chapter 7 in NextGen Genealogy is my first attempt to write about the overlap of these two fields of interest.

Now that NextGen Genealogy is about to be launched, it is becoming obvious how much has changed in the last 6 months since I turned the first draft of the manuscript over to my acquisitions editor. Print publication is such a slow process in the age of instant gratification. In addition, in NextGen Genealogy, I deliberately tried to not intimidate newcomers to genetic genealogy. Is it time to start working on NextGen Genealogy 2.0: Digging Deeper Into DNA?

Before making a final decision, I'll probably do what I have often done in the past. Do a little writing. Do a little teaching/lecturing. Get a feel for what works with people with whom I'm interacting. In the spring I may be teaching another class through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt University. It wouldn't be appropriate for that audience to dive deeply into either of these topics but it may give me a chance to try some of the content.

Dr. D is having a hard time trying to decide what to do when he grows up or even if he wants to grow up!

No comments:

Post a Comment