22 June 2010

It was a dark and stormy night (the saga of Das Book)

by Dan Phillips

Gather 'round, children, and I'll tell you a tale.

It's a tale of adventure, suspense, intrigue, board meetings, contracts, and of hope found, lost, and found again.

Well, anyway, it's got board meetings.

It's actually about my book, my other book, the one I told you about here. You'll note that post is just over a year old. Some have wondered, "Dude, we know you just sent in a Proverbs manuscript to Kress... but what about that other book?"

This, Dear Readers, is that story.

What happened is that Brian Thomasson, the good brother who had brought me to David C. Cook, later parted ways with Cook to pursue other ventures. That left me (and my contract) with Cook, as I continued to work on my manuscript, merrily bringing it to readiness for submission.

When I was literally within a day or two of sending my completed manuscript to Cook, I got a phone call. It was very kindly explained to me that, given the rough economy, Cook had felt forced to eliminate a number of upcoming titles from their roster. One of those titles was — you guessed it — your humble correspondent's.

I understand Cook's decision, and there are no hard feelings. They dealt kindly with me, and offered help in finding my manuscript a home. Still, I can't say the call made me happy. But dear bro Phil Johnson was very encouraging. Phil had read an early form of the manuscript and was very enthused about it. He never doubted that the manuscript would be published. It was just a matter of who would be the publisher. His confidence helped keep my spirits up.

Wellsir, I knocked on this door and I knocked on that door, showing my poor homeless waif hither and yon. The long and short of it is I eventually talked with Ed Komoszewski, who works with Kregel Publications. Ed, God bless 'im, took a fancy to my baby, and introduced it with great verve to the decision-makers at Kregel. Result: now we have a home! I have in my possession a signed contract which calls for me to have my manuscript submitted by July 1, 2010.

However, the manuscript was already basically done. I gave it another thorough going-over, consulted their style-manual and made it Kregelicious, and have already submitted it. In other words, "Hulk smash puny deadline!"

(Readers: "Over-eager, much?")

I'm happy and grateful to be with Kregel.  Back in the 70s, when I worked in Christian bookstores, I mostly knew Kregel as re-publishers of solid works. But for years Kregel has been putting out a wide array of Christian resources, including some very solid, Biblical material right in the same doctrinal groove I inhabit. Check out the academic products and the catalogs.

In fact, in one of life's little providential ironies, two years ago I gave a favorable review to a solid book (A) published by Kregel and (B) co-written by m'man Ed. Then one year ago, another favorable review to a "three views" book about the will of God, also from Kregel. The former had endnotes (boo), the latter footnotes (yay). I've already pled that mine have footnotes. (There aren't that many footnotes in this book —as opposed to the Proverbs book, which literally has more than 500 of them.) (The typist for my Proverbs thesis back in '83 complained that half the thesis was in the footnotes.) (Rats, I'm doing that parenthesis-thing.)

And meanwhile, remember m'other man Brian Thomasson? He currently has my Proverbs manuscript in hand, to edit it for Kress Biblical Resources. (I seem partial to the velars, don't I? Cook, Kress, Kregel.)

So now you know all that. Praise God with me, and pray for the process of moving the manuscript to publication. When I know a publication date, of course, I'll let you know. Could be that 2011 will be a double-Dan year.

Whatever, exactly, that will mean.

Dan Phillips's signature


Anonymous said...

Double-Dan year.

That can only be a good thing.

Looking forward to it, and thanking God for his faithfulness both to you and to us, through you.

So........would Phil tell you if he thought that what you wrote was drivel? :)

Neil said...

You had me at board meetings.

olan strickland said...

It was a dark and stormy night - AND THEN CAME THE MORNING!

That's great news Dan! I praise God with you and pray that your book will be published before the world ends in 2012 :)

Kitch said...

Congrats, Dan! So glad to hear this news.

Fred Butler said...

the true money quote is when Dan writes,

But dear bro Phil Johnson was very encouraging. Phil had read an early form of the manuscript and was very enthused about it.

This is what we call in theology, a miracle. Because Phil loves dashing the hopes and dreams of aspiring and enthusiastic writers with the 2x4 of reality (with a nail in it), and rarely, if ever, have I known him to be "enthused" about a manuscript. "Amused" certainly; especially amused enough to use the manuscript as an illustration of "how not to write," but enthused? Hardly.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Congratulations Dan - I'm sure it will be a real contribution to theology, seriously.

Chad V. said...


No, no, no, not 2012. You're thinking of that movie. It's May 21st, 2011. Harold Camping has spoken.

Congratulations Dan.

Magister Stevenson said...

Congratulations. Took me a while to figure out which book was with whom, but either way, you have pre-orders for both in me.

Terry Rayburn said...

Congrats, Dan! Keep us posted.

Solameanie said...

Congratulations, and that's encouraging about Kregel. I had been concerned over some changes at the publishing house in recent years and elimination of several titles from their catalogue. It seemed like they were going in the direction of so many Christian publishing houses in offering more light-weight material, but this is a good sign.

Lynda O said...

Congratulations, Dan. God's providence is so amazing, the wonders He works in the little details of our lives. Looking forward to your books.

olan strickland said...

Chad V,

Yeh but Camping has been wrong before :)

Kirby said...


you crack me up!!

Chad V. said...


ah.. yes.... but this time..... :)

Terry Rayburn said...

Mention of Kregel has set off my nostalgia system.

I grew up in Grand Rapids, and when I became a Christian in 1976, I began spending all my spare money on Christian books.

Here's the point: Kregel had a HUGE basement FILLED with virtually any Christian book you could imagine, used! and fairly cheap!

I know you book-lovers out there would drool if you could see it.

I became friends with Ken Kregel, who managed the used books. Hope he's still around. The used books aren't.

I would buy and read lots of books, then keep the favorites for my library, and take the less-favorites back to Kregel, where Ken would apologetically buy them back from me at roughly half of what I paid for them. I didn't mind.

May not sound like such a good deal, but they were mostly books unavailable in the Public Library anyway.

And this was long before the Web.

Baker, Eerdmans, and Zondervan all had similar but smaller used book rooms, which included slightly defective "blemished" books hot off the presses, brand new and very cheap.

Christian Book lover's Mecca for a hungry Christian young man :)

I love Kregel.

Can't wait for your book(s), Dan.

DJP said...

I've thought that about Grand Rapids: center of what at least were the major Christian publishers. The scene's changed, though, hasn't it? Major publishers in other states, and Baker, Zondervan, and Eerdmans not so reliable in what they publish.

It was a Kregel who signed my contract, but I'm not sure which one.

Terry Rayburn said...

"The scene's changed, though, hasn't it?"

Sure has. Not the same yesterday, today and forever, like the One you write about.

Stefan Ewing said...


Kudos to you for ending up with a publisher for your orphaned manuscript.

I prefer footnotes to endnotes, too, but appreciate any author's effort to provide even endnotes, let alone footnotes.

That said, having grown up on manual typewriters, I can understand your erstwhile typist's complaint.

It's hard to imagine typing a document by hand with footnotes (especially copious ones!) because of all the juggling and calculation that must be involved in spacing the body of the paper so that there is enough room at the bottom of the page to account for said footnotes!

bp said...

ahh, Kregal. My daughter just recently worked there for a few years while going to Cornerstone U. She loved the store, the owner, the people she worked with..

Aaron said...

must have been one heck of a night if it was stormy in California.

Yay for the footnotes. I've been reading through some of MacArthur's books and the endnotes are infuriating.

Moon said...

yay! I'm praising God with ya! will be praying :)

FX Turk said...

I'm just grateful that Ed Komoszewski got a reliable Pyro. If his paycheck was dependent on me writing abook, he'd starve.

100 Mile Pants said...

This is truly fantastic news, Dan! I am very, very excited about this!

I'll make sure I have my copy and make sure that there is a good pile for sale at the church bookstore.

Susan said...

I'm really really late to the pre-book-signing party, I see. (Tried texting the comment from my cell phone yesterday but had problems.)

Dan, congrats on your new book! May it make Oprah's book list--NOT!!

Rob Steele said...

Kregelicious! Heh.