The first copies of my book came in the mail! DHL managed to change the delivery address to my house instead of my department, which is locked for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus lockdown. My huge thanks to the brave DHL courier who was out delivering things in these plague times. Because of him I was able to receive my first set of copies now instead of in a few weeks or months.
The book's production quality is so high! I am incredibly impressed with the job that Boydell & Brewer did in printing and producing the volume.
The book doesn't have a dust jacket, but the cover design is printed directly on the hard cover. This means libraries will put their sticker right on that and the cover image will still be there, which is much better.
Most importantly, the seventeen color figures are printed directly on the same paper as the text, and embedded in place within the chapters. No central section of glossy figures that you have to find and flip to. No forgetting to copy the figures elsewhere when you copy a chapter. You see the image right where you read about it in the text. This is a huge advantage to me and one thing I was really keen on when we were discussing images with B&B. The books I know from them don't have a lot (or any) images, so I am really pleased they did this part of my monograph so professionally.
The paper itself is nice and smooth, matte and not shiny, and really pleasant to the touch. As a book historian and book maker myself the material feel of the object is important to me, and I really really like the feel of this book, not only because I've been waiting 11 years to hold the thing in my hands.
Another aspect I really like is that the footnotes are at the bottom of each page, not endnotes at the end of the whole volume. Page footnotes was one of the reasons I was so keen to publish with Boydell & Brewer. I think they vastly improve the reading experience and show that the references and footnote discussions are an integral part of understanding the argument. Also you don't forget to copy them if you copy or scan one chapter.
Boydell & Brewer: highly recommended for authors
My experience publishing with Boydell & Brewer, under the editorship of the renown Caroline Palmer, was positive in every respect. The review and production process was efficient and transparent. The whole team communicated clearly and consistently at every step of the way. I never had to wait months for replies, or years for readers' reports, which I've heard from others who published elsewhere. As an author I was not treated as a disposable, dime-a-dozen commodity at the whim of the corporate publisher.
Order your own!
Evidently enough people have ordered it from Amazon that it is (at the moment) a #1 New Release in Medieval English Literature. Yay! Small victories in the time of corona!