Today’s guest post comes from Agata Mrva-Montoya. Agata is an archaeologist turned editor, currently at Sydney University Press and interested in books, publishing and social media. Here she gives tips on turning your thesis into a book.
Congratulations! After years of doing research and writing, you finally joined the ranks of freshly minted PhDs. You even have an endorsement from your examiners – ‘this work is brilliant and should be published’. So you send it in to a publisher, then another one or two. And your proposal gets knocked back, time after time. Why?
Publishers rarely consider unrevised PhD theses. A dissertation in social science and the humanities is written with a different intent and structure to a book, and for a different audience. Your thesis may be brilliant – well researched, well referenced and well organized – but what the publisher sees is a manuscript that is too long, with tedious and predictable structure, full of jargon and repetitious announcements of intent, and so many quotes and references that it reads like compilations of facts and regurgitated opinions.
So before you send your dissertation to another publisher, you need to revise it, rewrite it and turn it into something that someone, apart from your long-suffering supervisors and briefly accosted examiners, might actually want to read. Read more