Sarah Caro, author of How to Publish Your PhD has kindly offered us this six-part guide on revising a thesis for publication as a book. Over the coming weeks she’ll be explaining how to understand what type of book you can produce as well as discover ways of shaping it up into a more book-like body of material.
As final summary of how to revise your thesis into a publishable book:
- Do be aware of the stylistic and structural differences between the different genres of academic writing.
- Do identify those features which are original to your thesis and those which are common to the genre so that you can work to enhance the former and minimize the latter.
- Do remember that a journal article needs to be focused, concise and is geared towards a highly specialized audience so you don’t need to spell everything out.
- Do bear in mind that in a monograph theory, data and methods should be synthesized and integrated into the text rather than merely described.
- Do be prepared to collect additional material or do extra research in order to broaden the scope and hence the potential audience for your book.
- Don’t assume that you simply have to present your thesis as a book for it to be accepted.
- Don’t do lots of extra work restructuring and broadening the scope of your thesis unless you are fairly certain that there is interest in it from a publisher and you have a good chance of a contract.
- Don’t rely too heavily on the opinions of other critics/academics. Too much direct quotation can be confusing and obscure your own argument.
- Don’t write to impress by using lots of jargon and complicated phrasing.
- Don’t on the other hand risk sounding arrogant by being dismissive or denigrating the work of others, even if you disagree with it.