Monday, March 19, 2007

Historians shouldn't overlook self-published books

An article published in the Austin American-Statesman on Sunday, March 4, just came to my attention. The article, entitled "Texas authors are doing it for themselves" by Mike Cox, talks about self-publishing, saying this it isn't for "no talent hacks." He writes, "Not so long ago, authors who published their own work were considered second-class citizens in the world of letters. But that has changed. Though there are a lot of poorly written self-published books out there, any Texana buff who completely overlooks 'home-did' books is apt to miss something worthwhile."

The author then cites several examples of self-published books on Texas history and includes my friend--Austin historian and real estate agent Dan Arellano--and his self-published book "Tejano Roots: A Family Legend." Dan's book takes a look at his family connection to a little known military conflict in Texas history which occurred in 1813--The Battle of Medina.

What makes this book fascinating to me is that the Battle of Medina occurred approximately 7 miles from Palo Alto College. Dan, and a group of his friends are working hard to bring the Battle of Medina into Texas history courses and the into the conscience of Texans everywhere. In fact, Dan and I are in talks to bring an academic conference to the college centered on the Battle of Medina. We're currently discussing potential dates. I will provide you with more information as we start getting into the specifics of planning this event.