Paul Raeburn: Do Fathers Matter?


Paul Raeburn
Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux; June 3, 2014; $26.00
ISBN-10: 0374141045
ISBN-13: 978-0374141042

Raeburn reports:

Do Fathers Matter? grew out of my previous book, Acquainted with the Night, a memoir of raising children with depression and bipolar disorder. When I finished that book, I thought I wanted to do a book on new research on how the brain continues to grow and change through the teenage years and into adulthood.

Paul Raeburn

After a couple of years of thinking about that, I realized I was interested not so much in teenagers, but in what was known about the fathers of teens and their interactions with their children. That led me to the idea of a book on research on fatherhood, much of which has not been reported in the popular press.

My agent helped me secure a contract, and then a second contract when my first editor was laid off. When I started Do Fathers Matter, I plunged into the research with great enthusiasm, only to make a mistake I’d made before: I spent too much time doing research and reporting before starting to write.

This is my fourth book, and I’ve had to learn this lesson over again several times. I hope I remember it when I start my next book.

Contact info:

NASW members: will your book be published soon? Take advantage of this opportunity for shameless self-promotion.

Tell your fellow NASW members tell how you came up with the idea for your book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, conducted research, put the book together, and what you wish you’d known before you started your project.


Send info and images to Lynne Lamberg, NASW book editor,

June 11, 2014

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

NASW members: Will your book be published soon? Visit for information on submitting your report.

Publication of NASW author reports in Advance Copy does not constitute NASW's endorsement of any publication or the ideas, values, or material contained within or espoused by authors or their books. We hope this column stimulates productive discussions on important topics now and in the future as both science and societies progress. We welcome your discussion in the comments section below.

Advertise with NASW