Congratulations to Jonathan for landing a contract with Johns Hopkins for his book Refrigeration Nation: How America Learned to Control the Cold.
Most readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home may be wondering why I am touting a book about refrigeration, but it is actually Rees’s description of how he landed the contract that is very helpful for aspiring academic authors.
Here is a taste:
Some people think that conferences are just glorified vacations. Sure, we all sneak out for a few hours at some point during the weekend sometimes to see something historical, but I’ve been giving parts of this manuscript as conference papers since around 2006 and I can’t tell you how much that’s helped. A Hagley conference in 2006 is where I figured out my argumett for the first time. It was at a food studies conference at UC-Davis in 2009 that I realized that I needed to include a global perspective in order to demonstrate the fact that America is particularly refrigeration crazy. That took about three extra years, but it’s a much better book as a result. Most importantly, it was at the Society for the History of Technology meeting three years ago that I got recruited by the JHU Press straight out of my session. All they knew was the subject of the book and the contents of the paper I had just given, but that proved to be enough.
Read the entire piece here.