If I have an interest in a manuscript and see real potential, I write back and explain this to the authors and encourage them to finish the good work they have started. Below is an excerpt from one of the five who wrote back:
"Thanks, but I am finished with my manuscript. Another publisher will take it as-is. I don't need to pay for a trip to Washington DC just to satisfy a few readers who might get mad because I missed a letter from some obscure private."I did not bother to respond. As far as I am concerned--both as a publisher and a voracious reader--if an author has never heard of the Compiled Service Record files in the NA and doesn't care, he is not worth the time or money to publish or read. Yes, it is that simple. It has taken me a long time to learn, but you really can't make a silk purse from a pig's ear. And we have too many good manuscripts to choose from as it now stands. Let's see what the other three authors have to say.
How important is solid and extensive archival research to you? Is repackaged work acceptable? I posted a poll on this subject at the top-left of my blog. Feel free to vote there, and weigh in on this blog post with comments.