There haven’t been any updates to this blog because I’ve been on family vacation. Just to prove it, here are husband and second son playing chess:

and just to prove that I WAS relaxing too, here I am:

Now I’m back, with two things to worry about.

First, I still haven’t found out just why the History of the Ancient World shipped so far before pub date. Wondering why this is an issue? Because new titles generally stay near the front of bookstores for two weeks or so before they get moved to an unobtrusive shelf somewhere very obscure. (You’ll find The Well-Educated Mind shelved under Higher Education, usually. How often do you go digging for a book in Higher Education?) Those two weeks are the publicity department’s chance to get the title in front of the public eye, through reviews, radio interviews, and so forth, so that when the reader walks into the store and sees the title, it rings a bell…and he picks it up.

This publicity push is SHORT. Usually, you get four to six weeks of attention from the publicity department, after which they’ve got to move on to the next book.

My publicity push hasn’t gotten underway at all. By the time anything gets going, I’m afraid that the book will be well off the front tables. With any luck, this won’t do anything horrible to the book’s initial reception…but it’s far from ideal, and at 3 AM (particularly after a fourteen-hour day of travelling), it seems catastrophic.


Second, I’m defending my dissertation at 3 PM on March 15th–that’s a week from today. This is supposed to be a GOOD thing…it means I’m a week away from the Ph.D….but at this point I simply can’t believe that it’ll go off without some major hitch. I found myself thinking this morning, “If I don’t post anything about the defense, then when it fails, I won’t have to admit it.” So posting here is an act of faith.



More later…And by the way, if you’d like to send a photo of yourself holding the History of the Ancient World to [email protected], I’ll post some of them here. Yes, I know this is silly, but my sister-in-law sent me one and I got a big kick out of it. Here are the people in my house, taking my instructions to “read the book!” VERY seriously indeed.

Showing 16 comments
  • Trish

    Susan, a friend turned me on to your blog after telling me to buy Well-Trained Mind and Well-Educated Mind. I loved both so much.
    I am also a freelance writer/editor and your blog is both a riot and inspiring.

    I just ordered your first volume of History today and can’t wait to read it.

    Keep at it. (Enjoy the vacation!)

  • Jennifer in OR

    Glad you’re back, hope it was totally relaxing, and cute pink polish! Good luck with publicity and also the dissertation, Dr. Wise-Bauer.

  • Juanita

    Well, Susan, I just received the book TODAY and I am excited to have it! So I’m personally happy that it shipped early and I hope that all the publicity details will work out as well.

    I will try to take a picture very soon!

    Hope your dissertation goes well.

  • dangermom

    I bought it today! And I was reading it, but I got sidetracked when I went to look on Google Earth to see if I could really see any old streambeds near the Tigris and Euphrates. (Maybe. Not sure. So I went and looked at the Taj Mahal.) Anyway, so far so good, and now back to the book.

  • A Circle of Quiet

    Hi Susan,

    Two quick things:

    That blue sky/blue water combo is really breath-taking. WOW. If you get stressed, those are the perfect colors to keep in focus.


    Are those rabbits roaming around your studious family? Do they just ROAM around the house? You’re making me laugh.

    The new book has arrived (yippee!) and I will look forward to both reading it and hearing that its author is now Dr. SWB.

    Warm sunshine. Blue sea.


  • JFS in IL

    Oh, shoot, didn’t think of taking a photo – hubby stayed home with a nasty cold Monday and spend all day in bed reading your book…would have been a grubby, nasty photo, though. He (for whatever reason) started and the BACK of the book and is reading towards the front, chapter by chapter. He says (between sneezes) that he is enjoying it. I’m going to have to Lysol it before I can read it 🙁

  • The Tutor

    Well, I am promoting the book on my blog and hope to have others read it with me. What you need is a push in blogger advertising. I’ll try to remember to send a picture… I am terrible about downloading pictures from my camera (not to say anything of taking them).

    As to your dissertation… you now have a whole new reason to “beware the Ides of March”! 🙂
    You will do well. We will be praying, and you will do well.

    Blessings, Me

  • Susan

    There are indeed rabbits in the picture above. That would be Skippy, Plus, and Mr. Smee, roaming around the house. Bunnicula was banished to his cage just before this photo for picking on a smaller bunny.

  • Rev. Jen

    Ok- I zoomed in to check out the bunnies in the picture (which I swear were nopt there until I zoomed), got side tracked by the contents of your bookshelf. I tried to zoom again to read tthe titles but the darned technology won’t zoom that far. So, to satisfy my curious (I prefer to think of myself as curious rather than nosey) mind, what IS on your bookshelf??

  • Angela, Mother Crone

    It doesn’t seem fair to be so excited and so distressed at the same time, does it? We are thrilled about the book, and I am very upset that we decided it would be an Easter gift (we give books instead of chocolate bunnies) . Really, I can’t see that my son would ever know that I read it first if I only read in the bedroom> 😉

    Deep breathes on the disseration review. YOu will do wonderfully!

  • Lori

    You’ll knock ’em sideways, no worries.

  • Colleen in NS


    You and your family are WAY too funny!!


    God bless you as you prepare this week.


  • Eliana

    If I ever succeed in reuniting my camera and its battery (don’t ask), I’ll try to get a photo taken…

    Your book is a delight, Susan! As always I enjoy your ‘voice’, your language useage, and well-organized presentation of information.
    My eager progress through the book has been hampered however by the ongoing need to read excerpts to as many people as possible – many of the relative visiting for the bas mitzvah last weekend are now hurrying home to purchase their own copies! And my husband and eldest daughters are all standing by ready to snatch the book if I should leave it unguarded!

    Thank you for undertaking this overwhelming a project!


  • Austin Storm

    Don’t worry, this is the sort of book that will have a very healthy life in the back-list. Homeschool curriculum, woot!

  • Lydia Koster

    Mrs. Susan Wise Bauer,
    Are you planning on making a history addition to add anything from 1995 through present day? I am starting to use the volume 1 book with my daughter in the fall, but when we finish volume 4 I noticed it only goes up to 1994.

  • Lydia Koster

    Are these books the volume 1-4 , or are they the High School level? I am a person who wants to know everything. I tell my daughter that I am curious, but some of her friends say I am nosy. I will be using this to teach my daughter 3rd grade up and need to know what is needed

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