Publishing a Philosophy Book: The Philosophical Hack, Part 1

I am insane.

I have written a 107,000 word philosophy book (you do the math). With perhaps 10 people in mind to read it.

I came across THIS post from a year ago.  Though it may be reality, I have difficulty reading it and not thinking that the answer is written by a philosophy snob. I simply refuse to believe the context in which the question and the answer is written.  It is true that there is virtually ZERO help for someone writing and wanting to publish a philosophy book, but I refuse the context. I am going to change the context.

The reason for this is because I am certain of a few things regarding my book:

(1) With reference to the unimaginative query and the smuggy answer, I am not uneducated. So, that is not an issue.

(2) There are people who read and enjoy philosophy who are not academics. I refuse to believe that the only people who engage with philosophy and critical thinking are employed philosophers.

(3) I am not trying to make a living publishing my philosophy books. Sure, it would be great to make a few bucks, but people write because its a calling; philosophy is no less.

(4) my book can stand on its own and has significance.

Analogy; Work with me here.

People who love fiction novels do not only read NYT best selling authors. And there are tons of authors who write fiction novels who sell their books and have readers at every level.

Perhaps I am trapped in my own tiny little world, but Philosophy seems to be the only genre where people who read philosophy only buy the NYT best selling authors. This gives the impression that only Phd academics have anything intelligent to say, or know what they are talking about concerning philosophy. Why is that?  If you are a philosophy reader, are you reading anything besides what your professors told you to read??  I certainly am.


So, I am attempting to figure out a marketing strategy to get to those people who enjoy philosophy, those who think that only academic PHDs knows what up philosophically, And as well, to get those very busy academic philosophers in their free time to take a chance on actual canon-challenging authors. In short, to change the world.

Any ideas?

Surely the Postmodern Condition is able to be breached?


don’t just LIKE this post. Help me out; I’m dyin’ here! 👁


Author: landzek

My name is Lance Kair, a philosopher, a counselor and a musician who is being questioned.

14 thoughts on “Publishing a Philosophy Book: The Philosophical Hack, Part 1”

  1. Very busy indeed! haha. I was just talking to another student about all my contractual obligations and such. From political commentary to commentary on arts & culture, reflections on the election and the philosophy of history, both public and academic; religion, anthropology, psychoanalysis, music and film…

    … to a book on pedagogy and a commentary for the 150th anniversary of War & Peace (next year), Thucydides & Dante. You’re right. As much as I would like to give you a read I just can’t find the time in everything I do. xD

    FYI, don’t bother with academic publishing unless you want to enter that world of specialized writing and reading. That’s why I mostly write for literary magazines and newspapers – much wider audience. Though with five academic articles I keep up the “scholar” facade too! 😛

    Though I would recommend that writing or freelancing for public venues. It’s great. Pick up individual checks for some, a constant monthly rate for my senior contributorship, all very good supplemental income while also espousing exegetical analysis to make oneself feel more important than actually are! 😛

  2. And you have to know certain things in order to even submit anything to journals.

    I’m in my graduate program and I hope to find out from some professors how I might go about doing that; But so far because it’s counseling what I’ve heard so far is that you pretty much have to be a PhD candidate and be involved in research to publish anything so I don’t even know if they’re going to tell me how to go about publishing papers because I am more kind of on the philosophy side of the counseling thing rather than the science psychology side.


  3. I should point out that there’s a reason why I write for multiple publications and try to parse out in digestible language philosophical topics. My peer-reviewed articles are meant for those smug Ivory Tower professors. My more open exegetical essays are for that wider audience. Also a good way to get paid sometimes too! xD

    1. Yeah well, I have a certain frustration because I’m pretty much alone riding philosophy in the people that would understand what I’m writing will not read my stuff.

      So I’ve just determined that I just have to figure out a way to market my book so people will read it. Because it’s all marketing now.

      I mean your case in point: You’re a busy guy you got things to do as a philosopher. You said you might be interested in reading my book but you probably have 100 other things you need to be reading and writing and that gives you basically no time to even be able even if you want to to to read my stuff because I don’t have letters after my name or because I’m not in involved with the particular academic institution.

      So it seems by the very nature of what you wanted to do and what you have pursued as a career has basically cut you off from not actual area that inspired you to be a philosopher in the first place. It seems that even if you wanted to you could not consider the ideas that are actually floating around in the world, and it seems, though I might be incorrect, that you are pretty much directed to only entertain and considered certain presentations of ideas that meet criteria that go along with the arena that you are already involved with

      so I have a little bit of frustration.


  4. Why is this a surprise though? Reading has always been an elite enterprise? And Academics don’t exactly make it easy for common folk to read or understand their work. And there is great smugness by then retorting it’s the masses fault. It’s like the hypocrisy of Marxists who claim to be for the people but despise everything about the proletariat: Their lives, their manners, and their customs.

    Hence why philosophers, once universities propped up, held down their day job where they actually got paid teaching. Then they wrote books for one another.

    Everything is marketing and simply supply and demand. Demand for philosophical exegesis exists, but in relatively short demand. There is almost no supply apart from Wikipedia, Stanford Encylcopedia, IEP, etc., hence people turn to websites (internet) to find such explanations. There are those, like the Straussians, who publish mostly exegetical commentaries on texts to cater to that middle-ground demand audience (graduate students; extensive lay readers) but understand they won’t sell hundreds of thousands of copies.

    If I recall your reading from the video, you’re not exactly bringing philosophy down from heaven to the masses either! So maybe your demand is 10 people! And you will supply those 10 people with an interesting work that those 10 people will enjoy! 😛

    1. Yes. That makes sense. But I feel the institution academy has created a situation where there is no “new material”. In order for anyone in the academy to read anyone’s work, the new author has to have achieved a certain status: go through the. Academic ropes. Become an “expert” (the post modern condition)

      So. Because, if feel I have something to say, but anyone who would understand it will never read it due to their “smug”. Or the plain business of their very important life now (lol)— the method of being deemed legitimate has become limiting: even though I might have something Significant to contribute, I will not be heard.

  5. Those people who are not employed philosophers who will read philosophy books are people looking for helpful explanations or exegetical works that will accompany them in reading texts they have in mind. No one BUT serious philosophers ever reads those useless tomes discussing metaphysical or ontological or epistemic matters. There’s a reason why, until the professionalization of philosophy with the university (but even then it wasn’t always so cut and dry), philosophers had day jobs: tutoring aristocratic sons, pissing people off in Athens, or were professional essayists for literary magazines.

    Badiou didn’t become famous because of his philosophical crap which never sold well; it was brief commentary on Sarkozy that brought him into prominence. The philosophers who are widely read today is because they’re celebrities. People buy Zizek because of Zizek, not because of philosophy.

    1. I suppose it matters what exactly we know of as philosophy.

      Indeed I do have a slimly disguised resentment.

      My gripe, I guess, is admittedly narrow view academics (no fault there) appear to the reading community as if they are all there is to philosophy. But that is probably my own narrow view. Lol

      My first installment of the philosophical hack is trimmed down to 110 pages. Care to taste?

    2. I had two notions about philosophy texts:

      1) They have significant ideas. The intellengsia who were Patrick to those ideas naturally spread them among themselves. The academics having friends who are not academics eventually other people read them. More popular renditions and synopses followed. (Idealist view)

      2) it’s all marketing. (Realist view)

      Either way, I’m in.
      I have a significant idea, so all that is left is marketing. It will them be an “ideal-real” effort.

      How u like that? 😆

      1. Well, you only need 1 really influential person (a person of action) to read a philosophical text to turn it into a practical reality by the guidance of the text to make it eternal, sort of.

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