This book, Contemplating Unification Thought, was written by none other than myself. I’m a proud author! It was the first book I published. Well, published would be a bit of a stretch for the first edition. Let me tell the story.
Unification Thought is the philosophical system based on the teachings of Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Dr. Sang Hun Lee, under Reverend Moon’s guidance, took his rather theological writings and applied them to philosophy. Although Dr. Lee tried to formulate the theories according to traditional philosophical fields, there are a number of novel and intriguing aspects to his writings, and several sections that are almost entirely incomprehensible. The main reason for that is that Dr. Lee wrote in Korean, a language vastly different in structure from English, not to mention the cultural differences that affect the nuances of complex philosophical discourse.
While attempting to teach these Unification Thought concepts at a graduate seminar, I decided it would be helpful to write about them in “plain” English. This simple desire was the foundation of my first book.
I was encouraged to go ahead by my friend who was editor of a monthly newspaper. He suggested I write a column, well more like a whole page, covering the different theories and their applications, and he would be happy to publish them. He even gave me the title for the series – “Contemplating Unification Thought.”
As a teacher, I wanted my students to have access to all these writings so I decided to put the articles together into a book. I bought a machine that did spiral binding and bound together the printed pages of all the articles, and sold them to the students. This was the epitome of self-publishing! And I don’t think I made any money!
Print on Demand Publishing
After finishing the course I lost interest in writing new articles for a while, and my homemade bound copies languished. Then one day a friend and colleague introduced me to print on demand publishing. She said it was the best way to go, and recommended Lulu Press. I was skeptical, at first. Well, with a name like “lulu” it didn’t seem the place for serious writing!
Finally, I checked it out and was quite impressed. After quite a few false starts, I was able to get my first volume in print. I called it Part 1, because I had started writing with the idea of covering all the theories and then had moved on to writing about their application to real life, but hadn’t written many of those at that point. So, Part 1 covered the theories and gave me an incentive to write some more articles on their application!
Eventually I finished several more chapters about the application of the ideas to real life which allowed me to make Part 2 of Contemplating Unification Thought into another paperback book. Quite exciting to have two books in print!
Meanwhile, I had also prepared what I called Unification Thought Supplementary Materials, a collection of questions and answers with Dr. Lee, his testimony about writing Unification Thought, and some other related materials he had given out at a seminar.
I had wanted these to be available to students and did the same spiral binding job on them. Now I realized I could print them as a proper paperback booklet too. So this became my second published book!
Into the digital age
Then, ebooks started to appear and I thought I should make the effort to go digital. Because I had diagrams I hit a few obstacles in my first attempts. So, actually, my first ebook was not Contemplating Unification Thought, but instead I started with the easier Unification Thought Supplementary Materials which was text only.
Paperback and Ebook Versions
Once I had my first ebook, Unification Thought Supplementary Materials, working, I decided it would be better to put the two parts of my original book together. That involved a bit more editing before the final edition could go on sale as Contemplating Unification Thought. Now, I have both paperback and ebook versions available for sale. That makes me feel good!
All my published books are available for sale at Lulu.com.