There are many resources helpful for understanding scholarly publishing. We recommend:
Writing and Publishing
- Writing for a General Audience
- Books for Understanding, a resource on university press publishing
- “What Do Publishers Do?”, a chapter from Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books, by William Germano
- “The Art of Responding to Peer Reviews”, by UBC Press author Francine McKenzie, in University Affairs
- A Session on Scholarly Book Publishing, a video presentation about scholarly publishing and what to consider when choosing a publisher
- Stylish Academic Writing, by Helen Sword (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012).
Thesis Revision Guidelines
There are a number of useful references providing general information on making the transition from thesis to book. Three of the best known are: Eleanor Harman et al., The Thesis and the Book, 2nd edition; William Germano, From Dissertation to Book; and Beth Luey, A Handbook for Academic Authors, 3rd edition.
It is imperative that you treat this process of revision seriously. Honestly assess your own dissertation to see what work needs to be done, and then devote the time necessary to complete the task thoroughly. Failure to do so will inevitably complicate the process, and in some instances may even put publication into jeopardy. As all of the literature on the topic makes clear, there is a significant difference between a thesis and a book. The better and more thorough the revisions to a thesis are, the quicker the manuscript will pass through the peer review process and the greater the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Advice for Volume Editors
Producing an edited volume is a collaborative endeavour. Holding a workshop where contributors can meet, present draft papers, and discuss the book together can be a productive step in a volume’s development. But there are also many small ways in which volume editors and contributors can help make the development and production stages unfold smoothly.
Volume editors should plan to write a coherent and solid introduction that is much more than an “annotated table of contents” and a concluding chapter that draws the strands of the argument together and points to directions for future research. You must ensure that the chapters are organized in a logical sequence, that the chapters are of roughly the same length, pitched to roughly the same level of audience, and so on.
Contributors can help you create internal coherence by doing the following:
- Sticking to the word count
- Adopting the right referencing style (see the Documentation Guidelines)
- Writing for a broad audience
- Framing the chapter to be explicit about how the topic relates to the volume’s overarching themes or central questions.
- Submitting an original chapter (if a contributor intends to publish some of your chapter in another venue, please discuss the question with your acquiring editor first)
- Asking whether illustrations will be accepted (see also the Permissions Guidelines)
- Addressing the key themes
- Expecting editorial feedback and copyediting queries.
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