From Diss to Book

Anybody who’s seen my CV will notice that, for a person who’d been in grad school as long as I have been, my “academic” publication is non-existant. Some presentations, here and there, and LOTS of teaching, but no articles. The reason, of course, is because I *have* been teaching in the community colleges, where academic research and publication are not required to keep one’s job. So all of my research has been focused on one thing: to get that dissertation written so I can finish with my Ph.D.

Now that *that’s* been done, I have this manuscript that my three dissertation readers have *reemed* to make it as close to a bona fide academic tradebook, and not merely a “this will do to graduate” dissertation. Actually, two of them would like copies of a couple of chapters of my dissertation to use in the classroom, which tells me that there’s a market for my dissertation as a book.

So, in the spirit of ambitious optimism that seems to dictate much of my Major Life Choices, I’ve looked around for a university press that publishes books on topics like my dissertation. I’ve narrowed it down to six, and I’ll narrow those six to one, whereupon I’ll put together my book proposal, and send that sucker out.

It’d be nice to have my diss published. After all, I had my students in mind when I wrote the thing initially, thinking what *I* would’ve liked to have read when I was an undergrad English major, working on Flannery O’Connor for my senior research project. Many drafts later, that audience also included teachers and scholars — that is, my dissertation committee. It’s an academic book, to be sure. But it’s blissfully free of the tortured jargon that riddles many academic texts out there because, well, if *I* can’t stand reading it, why would I write that way and inflict that language on others?
Luckily, according to a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, that attitude is what academic book editors are looking for, as a way of ensuring a good market return. Let’s hope one of ’em will see the bait-and-hook of my proposal and chomps.


About lizardqueen

If single-mothering were a paid job, I'd be rich. However, it doesn't, so I write (which doesn't pay the bills) and teach (which does). I'm overly-educated in the liberal arts, but that doesn't hinder my ability to be pragmatic and realistic. YAY.
This entry was posted in Academic Research, AVOCATIONS, The Writing Life. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to From Diss to Book

  1. lizardqueen says:

    Even though book publishers don’t expressly forbid simultaneous submissions, it’s been my experience that they don’t prefer that prospective authors do. So the press that I picked has a three-week turnaround in replying to proposals — that’s lightning-fast in the academic publishing world! The next one down the line has a month-long turnaround.

  2. Zathras says:

    Why just submit to one? Many manuscripts are submitted to more than one publisher. It should increase your chances of publication.

    I’m in the midst of a similar issue–making a submission (an article not a book) for publication. It seems really difficult to get good information about the best place to submit it. This article is basically the first 1/4 of my dissertation, so I anxious to get it done, do I can say I’ve made definite progress on the final piece of the grad school puzzle.

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