What is the BizOMadness Blog?

This blog is devoted to raising critical awareness of psychiatry generally. It is likewise devoted to the antipsychiatry research projects, publications, and related activities of Dr. Bonnie Burstow. Especially foregrounded are The Psychiatry Project, The Madness Project, and "Psychiatry and the Business of Madness". Related to one another, The Psychiatry Project and The Madness Project involve hundreds of interviews, a dozen focus groups, analysis of several hundred documents and their activation, and dedicated periods of institutional observation. The culmination of both as well as of decades of related interviews and activities is "Psychiatry and the Business of Madness" (timely updates on its publication will be provided)--a cutting edge book in which psychiatry is investigated from multiple angles and which begins to tackle the inevitable question: So if we get rid of psychiatry, where do we go from there?

For the Events page to find events related to this research or this book, see

To check out reviews of Psychiatry and the Business of Madness and related publications, see http://bizomadnessreviews.blogspot.ca/

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Breaking News about Psychiatry and the Business of Madness

An important victory has just been achieved in my attempt--or more accurately, determination--to have my magnum opus--Psychiatry and the Business of Madness--make its debut to the reading public in the best way possible. What I wanted was a first rate international publisher, moreover a paperback release.  More generally,  I wanted something that would put antipsychiatry on the map in the way it has not been for years, such that it would engender a much needed societal wide conversation. And what goes along with this,  I needed it affordable (which it would not be if released in hardcover only). Given what I felt to be the importance of this book, how could I settle for less?

I turned to  Palgrave Macmillan--an excellent international publisher with outreach throughout the world.  Palgrave Macmillan was very enthusiastic, as were the researchers to whom they sent the book. The snag is, they have a policy about initially releasing scholarly books in hardcover only--a monetary issue. The long and the short is that while they offered me a contract, it was for hardcover only.  I imagined the book quickly buried.  And I was well aware that few people can afford a book such an expense--never mind the audience of psych survivors and students.  I took a deep breath. And albeit it was hard to do so, with my heart in my mouth, I  rejected the offer.   Months of negotiations followed, all of it in good faith. There were moments there where the suspense was almost unbearable. Today, the payoff came. Palgrave Macmillan wrote offering me a contract for a simultaneous paperback and hardcover release.

Within six months to a year, expect to see this book in your local bookstore, on Amazon, discussed in the press.  And do come to the book launch when it happens.

How do I understand what played out here? Let me say that to a degree I was just plain lucky for I had a highly receptive editor and in a way, the timing could not have been better.  Nonetheless, if there is a lesson to be learned here--and I suspect there is--it is to is to know the quality of your work, know the needs of your readers, and when push comes to shove, be willing to stand up for both.


  1. Bonnie, Congratulations, I am so happy for you :)

  2. Thanks, Sue. I am happy for all of us, for we have all won today.