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How I went from PhD to Published: Part I

I’ve signed a book deal and my first academic book is due to come out mid 2012! But how did this happen? Well, I’ll tell you one thing, it wasn’t down to magic! Nope, it’s pretty simple when you look back over the last few months. I’ll walk you through it.

I decided that I wanted to try more of the writing I’d learnt how to do with my PhD and figured that with the job market looking so bleak; it was a really good time to focus on getting my first book published.

I talked to everyone I knew who knew something about academic publishing and after one particularly useful bit of advice, I decided not to try and publish the content of my thesis now, but take a section that was of standalone interest and work it up into a book.

I read submission guidelines on a range of academic press websites and wrote a proposal. I made a list of courses I that might use my book and added it to the proposal.

I sent the proposal out and got rejected.

I decided that if I was going to get a book deal by the end of 2010, I’d need to get better at writing book proposals so I asked around and discovered that there was very little advice out there for academics at the start of their careers on how to get their first book published.

I set up PhD2Published so that I could learn about how to get my own first book published while feeding back everything I found out to the wider academic community.

I got a bit distracted by PhD2Published and didn’t work on my own proposal for some months. But during this time I learnt all manner of things about academic publishing and got my name circulated round both British and American publishing houses and among people who wouldn’t have known me at all before.

I realised I needed an intern to help share the work load in return for career mentoring and the chance to work on an academic publishing upstart and started to speaking to local universities – eventually finding the most conscientious and kind graduate to help me.

But by this point I had a great website, lots of knowledge about academic publishing but still no publisher, so be sure to read my next post and find out what changed…

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