Have you ever written a book review?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Campaigns and Battle Studies Win Out

I had hoped for a higher vote total, but the result is about what I suspected it might be, if book sales and reviews are any indication (and they are).

Our recent poll asked Civil War readers what genres they most enjoy reading about. Here was the breakdown:

Campaign / battles 9 (56%)

Regimental histories 4 (25%)

Biographies 2 (12%)

Fiction 0 (0%)

Other (send an email and tell us) 1 (6%)

(The other was specialty aspects of the war--medicine, railroads, and so forth.)

By more than 2 to 1, Campaigns and Battles carried the day. It should come as little surprise that these also sell substantially better than most other Civil War titles. And I am not talking about a little better, but by a factor of three to six times more than, say, the average biography or regimental history.

We have always done well with battle studies, beginning with the Atlanta Campaign series (2 vols.), edited by Savas and David Woodbury in 1993, The Battle for Bentonville, by Mark Bradley, and all those that followed. People cannot get enough of this aspect of the Civil War. By and large, campaign/battle studies today are more deeply researched, better sourced, and include better maps than similar books produced just a decade or two ago.

I am pleased to say we have several more campaign/battle manuscripts in-house under contract, awaiting contract, or already signed and being prepared for publication. These include Lance Herdegen's new "Those Damn Blackhats!" The Iron Brigade at Gettysburg, slated for the Spring of 2009 (though to be fair, this is so much more than a battle study), and a stellar piece of work on South Mountain.

I am anxious to share with you information about a two-volume campaign set--a pure "fix the bayonets" sort of battle study from the first page to the last--in the near future as soon as the signed contract comes back. I am confident it will find many interested readers.

So here's to the gunsmoke and steel crowd. Maybe we always publish books you enjoy.



DonH said...

Hello Ted

I check your blog 2 or 3 times a week. I do this hoping to hear about upcoming books. As I've bought many of your books, I'm sure the upcoming campaign studies will be outstanding. As some other bloggers have posted, I'm most interested in the two volume study you mentioned. I'll be checking back with you to find out what it is.
Of all the books you have published, my favorite is the Wilmington Campaign, The Last Rays of Departing Hope - Fonvielle


Theodore P. Savas said...

Hi Don

What a nice way to start the week. Thanks so much for taking the time and trouble to say so.

Chris F's Wilmington study is an epic--and one of my favorites as well. I am glad you have enjoyed it.

Thanks for checking in, and please feel free to comment and drive the discussion.

Have a good week.


Steve Basic said...


I am kinda surprised that there were not more votes for more bios. on CW personalities. Then again, I can understand there is no bio. on say Schimmelfennig, as the regular folks would have no idea just who the heck he was.

Then again, it's a great story and should be more devoloped book wise IMHO.

Hope all is well.

Regards from the Garden State,


Nick said...

Now I'm anxious for that Iron Brigade book, a whole year away.