In my last semester at university in Rochester, NY, I was eager to find a job that would allow me to do the things I enjoyed, namely reading and writing.
I had just started an internship at a local poetry press, and got a first taste of publishing. The words, the books, the secret manuscripts I had been given to read over the weekend with the implication to return them Monday morning… I heard the call of destiny when I felt the weight of unpublished manuscripts weighing down my backpack when I would walk to the bus stop.
As it just so happened, Boydell & Brewer was looking for an Editorial Assistant at the time, and so it came that I started working in the editorial department in early March of 2018. This was better than interning: I finally got to work with the authors on the actual manuscript. Of course, a job in academic publishing was different from an internship with a non-profit poetry publisher. The first step for any academic book is peer review. A book can be in this stage for a long time, depending on how long revisions take. This is why my “first book” will not be named; the manuscript is still undergoing revisions. There are a few books that I have worked on that are currently (or soon will be) available for purchase. Muslim Fula Business Elites and Politics in Sierra Leone is one of them, as is African Migration Narratives.
But the project I’ve been accompanying the longest, from its early stages of peer review in March 2018 all the way to when the printed book arrives in the warehouse in May 2019, has been Emily Green’s Dedicating Music, 1785–1850. Exactly what the title leads you to believe, Dedicating Music investigates the phenomenon of music dedications in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. Green researches the flow and ebb of dedications on title pages of musical scores, as well as how society interacted with them at the time. I just finished proof-reading the book, and I can’t wait until it’s in print. I’ll be one of the first to hold a copy of the book in my hands, and I couldn’t be more excited.