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Video Blog: P2P Episode 3

It’s the one where I talk about book pitch etiquette…

Publisher Tips: Oxford University Press
OUP Logo

Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world and publishes in all academic fields from multiple offices across the globe. Here, they share their 5 publishing Top Tips…….

1. We are always glad to hear from prospective authors.  We offer both general guidance on submission  and a set of relevant contacts as it is sometimes best to send the relevant subject editor a brief email describing the project.

2. The hurdles at which most first-book proposals fall is a) suitability (for the list) and b) likelihood of achieving a sufficient level of sale.  An initial email may help signal a project’s chances of clearing those particular hurdles. If an editor can encourage a submission, he or she will advise what should be sent. Read more

Weekly Wisdom #8

Weekly Wisdom #8

Ask someone (who knows nothing about your field) to read your book summary and put it into their own words. They’ll likely do a better job of capturing its essence than you!

Publishing Markets Part II

or the last post we looked very generally at the main areas of publishing. So now we can move onto analysing the specific focus of different academic publishers and the easiest way to do that is by looking more closely at who they are selling to.

For the academic publisher, there are three main ways of breaking down their target markets.

Firstly this can be very easily done by country or language. The big presses will have offices in different parts of the world and, in theory, can target a range of global markets. Smaller presses will likely target buyers in their country of origin and may extend to overseas buyers, but perhaps only those that speak the same language.

Secondly this is done by selling primarily to libraries or libraries and individuals. Some publishers, like Ashgate, for example, focus very much on the library market. A publisher like this might be working with a print run of as little as 250 books. Others consider their market to be the university educated public more widely, like Cambridge University Press. A publisher like this might well produce a print run in excess of 3000 book. Read more

Author Tips: Marianne Coleman
Marianne Coleman book cover

Marianne Coleman, author of Educational Leadership and Management, provides her top tips on how to get published:

1. Be absolutely clear about your focus and the main point(s) you are trying to get across.

2. Don’t be too ambitious in what you try and cover. Most people write more than they intend to not less.

3. Do market research on potential publishers. Find out who is likely to publish material in your area and proposed format. Read more

Weekly Wisdom #7

Weekly Wisdom #7

Consider that university libraries may well buy your book based on a very short, text-only description so try and nail the writing of this right from the start!

Blogging for Beginners
Alex Mathers illustration

Other ways of getting your book published involve learning how to market yourself – as I’ve mentioned before. Soon, PhD2Published will be offering advice on how to use social media to publicise your work. In the mean time, you’ll find my first post on this subject on  Red Lemon Club, a fabulous website providing self-promotional advice for creatives, run by illustrator and designer Alex Mathers. My post is on 5 Ways to Generate Outstanding Ideas for Blog Posts and is a bit of a beginners guide.

Read more

Publisher Tips: Prestel
Prestel Logo

Prestel Publishing is one of the world’s leading publishers in the fields of art, architecture, photography, design, cultural history and ethnography. Although not specifically an academic publisher, Prestel have offered us their top 5 tips for pitching to publishers……..

1. Think of the audience first. Who will buy it?
2. Listen to the publisher and be flexible.
3. Allow the publisher to demonstrate their expertise.

Weekly Wisdom #6

Weekly Wisdom #6

Summer is a bad time to pitch; people are at conferences or on holiday. Better to take the summer to work on it and get in fresh in September!

Publishing Markets Part I

ight, it’s going to be beneficial, before you go too far down the line of pitching to publishers, to learn a bit more of the basics about types of publishers, their imprints or departments, markets and lists or series. This is an area which you’d be forgiven for thinking you know all about; you read books all the time! Right? But don’t be fooled into thinking this gives you a knowledge of the publishing industry, it doesn’t! There are lots of publishing territories you won’t yet have mentally charted, and you need to have at least looked at a map before you set out.

So, over the next two blog posts, we’re going to take general look across the realm of publishing, eventually focusing in on the territory you need to claim: the beautiful land of academic publishing!

There are roughly five main types of publisher, these are:

Read more

Tools of the Writing Trade

As I’d decided this site was long over-due for a post on the actual nuts and bolts process of writing, I was grateful to find a post on Fuel Your Writing on Making Writing Easy: Practical Tools. It’s basically a list of tools to support your writing by helping you manage the process more effectively.

The interesting thing about doing a PhD, but which seldom gets discussed, is the natural way you tend to evolve your own techniques for writing and researching. I still like to hand-write notes when I do an initial trawl through a book, so when I started my PhD, I printed out a batch of note cover-pages. The cover-page allowed me to quickly and clearly record a complete reference for the book and summarise both its content and what areas were of particular relevance to my own research. It was a bit clunky (I didn’t get all the boxes the right size and never got round to changing it) but at times it was such a life saver when I knew I’d read something, somewhere, at some point that was sort of related…

Read more

Author Tips: Edward Shanken
edward shanken book cover

Edward A. Shanken, author of Art and Electronic Media, offers some insight on how he has been successful in getting published. He explains:

The only thing I can figure out about why I got published early in my career and continue to get published is that I wrote (and hopefully continue to write) about things few other people are writing about but that quite a few people are hungry to read about.

 1.    It helps that the things I write about are super cool!

2.    I try to have a catchy title and to start off with something that hooks the reader, whether it be an epigraph or a short anecdote.

3.    I clearly establish a position with respect to a polemical issue.

Read more

Weekly Wisdom #5

Weekly Wisdom #5

Don’t be coy, pitch to the major publishers if you can see the gap in their list your book would fill!