Chatting with Editors and Publishers

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In the first of a new series, we talk with

Weekly wisdom: tips and tweaks #26 by Linda Levitt

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Serve as a reviewer for conferences. While it varies across

WTDTYIGS

Random Post: What Does Writing a Writing Lab Look Like? by Charlotte Frost

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This blog post by Charlotte Frost (aka PhD2Published’s founder/director) is


Weekly Wisdom #49
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Weekly Wisdom #49 Make your book the one you wish had been available when you were researching your thesis!

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Tim Rutherford-Johnson – Style vs. Style
Posted by Sarah-Louise Quinnell

Today’s guest post comes from Tim Rutherford-Johnson. Tim is a freelance copy-editor who has been making academic authors more stylish for longer than they realise. You can follow Tim on twitter here.

Style? Simple: it’s Bryan Ferry, Oswald Boateng suits, Coco Chanel, the E-Type Jaguar. Right?

Well, for an editor ‘style’ also conjures up images of reference books, dictionaries and lists of acceptable abbreviations. It is – as far as such as thing is possible – a way of codifying certain characteristics of how an author writes, or how a publisher or journal would like to be represented.

A publisher’s stylebook is a guide for editors that gives definitive answers to most of the questions they will face when editing a text: 19th century or nineteenth century? Postmodern, post-modern or post modern? US or UK spelling (or U.S. or U.K.)? The idea is to make the whole text a consistent and even read, and to present it in a professional light. It goes further than pedantry: in large reference works, for example, it’s useful to have every instance of a person’s name, for example, spelt the same way. (This is especially important with the move to electronic searches.) Continue Reading »

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Pete Langman – Promiscuous Penmanship
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Here’s a lovely and creative a guest post from Pete Langman – an academic with his pen in a lot of inky pies. Pete muses (and meta muses) on what it’s like to try and work across a range of writing sectors today while lamenting a distinct lack of permanent lectureships .

It’s the beginning, isn’t it? It’s always the bloody beginning. How to start writing a piece? Since I became Dr Langman I have wrestled with this conundrum on many occasions. Here is a selection of recent first lines:

ThumP!

ThUmp!

CruMp!

CruuUnChH! Continue Reading »

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Weekly Wisdom #48
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Weekly Wisdom #48 If the jobs aren’t out there, pour your energies into getting your book pitched and written!

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Donna Reish – Be Vigilant about Jargon: The Importance of Avoiding Academic Lingo
Posted by Sarah-Louise Quinnell

Today we present a guest post from Donna Reish, a freelancer who blogs about best universities.  She loves to write education, career, frugal living, finance, health, parenting relating articles. She can be reached via email at: donna.reish13@gmail.com. In this post Donna discusses the issue of academic jargon …

As anyone who has chosen the profession of professor knows, academia is hurting. The contracting job market and loss of tenure track positions aside, academic journals are also experiencing a paradigm shift.  At the same time, publishing is an important part of achieving tenure, not to mention the fact that it’s a very personally rewarding experience in its own right. As such, it’s not enough to be the leader in your field or specialty. It’s just as important to keep up with publishing trends, and that means knowing what acquisitions editors are looking for.

Just as Freud asked of women, academics must ask themselves of editors. And according to an Inside Higher Ed article from 2005, editors want expanding audiences, which means you’ll have to watch out for jargon. Of course, those outside academia have a very skewed picture of what it means to achieve that level of specialized education. Many contemptuously view academics as charlatans who spout obscure nonsense that they try to pass off as knowledge. While this portrayal is a definite misconception, in order for academics to attract the attention of editors, it’s very important to avoid technical, highly academic nomenclature when it isn’t necessary. Continue Reading »

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Weekly Wisdom #47
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Weekly Wisdom #47 Be conscious that a book has a complicated life-cycle which your editor is responsible for. The work doesn’t stop when your book hits the book shops!

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Sarah Caro – REVISING YOUR PhD: Part 6 ‘More Revisions for a Monograph’
Posted by Charlotte Frost

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. Continue Reading »
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Vivienne Dunstan – Producing a Prize-Winning Journal Paper in Quick Time
Posted by Sarah-Louise Quinnell

This week’s guets post is from Vivienne Dunstan (follower her on twitter here & visit her home page). Viv gives us her experience of producing journal articles. The moral of this story is grab any opportunity you can, you never know what may come of it …

I finished my history PhD in 2010 (viva March, all completed and graduated by June). After a well-earned rest I decided to spend twelve months converting my thesis into journal papers. My external examiner had thought journal papers were a better bet than going for a book publication, and it’s also something I have experience of, having produced two journal publications during my part-time PhD. I can’t work as an academic due to progressive neurological disease (it’s amazing I made it through the part-time PhD), but have been awarded an honorary research fellowship by my department, which provides good access to journal papers (so essential when producing new publications), and therefore set to work producing more journal papers. Continue Reading »

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Weekly Wisdom #46
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Weekly Wisdom #46 Meet everyone you can in your field, and make an effort to understand their research before assuming yours is relevant!

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Sarah Caro – REVISING YOUR PhD: Part 5 ‘Some Additional Tips’
Posted by Charlotte Frost

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.

How you decide to restructure your thesis will depend in part on the subject matter and discipline within which you are working but there are some more general points regarding style that are relevant what­ever your topic and disciplinary background.

One of the most common problems is a too heavy reliance on the opinions of others – in other words too many direct quotes from other critics/theoreticians/scholars. While it is perfectly understand­able that you will wish to position your own work in relation to those who have gone before you and show how your own work builds upon theirs, excessive direct quotation can distract from and weaken your own argument and even be quite confusing out of context. It can also become quite tedious if you are constantly referencing the same people and may give the impression that you are less well read than is actually the case (not a desirable outcome!). To avoid this pitfall read through your manuscript looking for opportunities to reduce the amount of direct quotation. Paraphrase or summarize arguments instead of reproducing them verbatim and perhaps cut them out altogether if they are not strictly necessary. Do make sure, however, that you still scrupulously reference any idea that is not your own – the last thing you want is to make yourself vulnerable to accusations of plagiarism. Continue Reading »

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Weekly Wisdom #45
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Weekly Wisdom #45 Learn to accept rejection and move on!

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Sarah Caro – REVISING YOUR PhD: Part 4 ‘More Revisions for a Monograph’
Posted by Charlotte Frost

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.

Returning to the example thesis from last week, let’s look at content. Here’s the thesis outline:

Chapter 1: Definitions, Empirical Puzzle and choice of case studies

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Chapter 3: Timing, size and composition of X

Chapter 4: Social and political factors affecting X in the Netherlands 1975-1990

Chapter 5: Social and political factors affecting X in Austria 1975-1990

Chapter 6: Some additional factors affecting X in the Netherlands and Austria

Chapter 7: The impact of X in the Netherlands and Austria: a com­parative perspective

Chapter 8: Consolidating X in the Netherlands and Austria References Appendix 1 a

Continue Reading »

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Isabel Ashdown – Writing Competitions: a vital step on the journey to publication
Posted by Sarah-Louise Quinnell

This weeks guest post is one for the creative writers and arts scholars amongst us and comes from author Isabel Ashdown. Isabel  has a first class degree in English & Creative Writing, and is the winner of the Hugo Donnelly Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement. In 2010 she completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, passing with distinction.  Her first novel Glasshopper (Observer ‘Best Debut Novels of the Year’, London Evening Standard ‘Best Books of the Year’) was published to critical acclaim in 2009 and an extract from the novel won the Mail on Sunday Novel Competition. Isabel Ashdown’s second novel Hurry Up and Wait is due out in June 2011. You can follow Isabel on Twitter @IsabelAshdown

One of the most valuable pieces of advice I received early in my writing career was from a tutor during my time at the University of Chichester.  It was this: if you are to stand any chance of getting your writing published, you must work hard to get examples in print.  This means entering competitions, sending your poetry and short stories off to magazines and journals, and sticking at it until you have a portfolio of successes to show to prospective agents and publishers. Continue Reading »

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Weekly Wisdom #44
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Weekly Wisdom #44 Prepare for the long haul, writing your book is going to be a lot like writing your PhD (with the possible difference of now having a full-time job to do too)!

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Sarah Caro – REVISING YOUR PhD: Part 3 ‘Revisions for a Monograph’
Posted by Charlotte Frost

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.

Transforming your thesis into a format suitable for publication as an academic monograph may or may not involve much cutting down of length. In fact it may require the inclusion of some additional material or expansion of existing sections (as we shall see below). What is cer­tain, however, is that unless you are exceptionally gifted, lucky, or have been guided by a supervisor who has early-on spotted the publication potential of your work, it will need substantial reworking and restruc­turing if it is to escape its roots and become a convincing monograph.

As discussed before the average monograph does not follow the thesis-methods-results-analysis paradigm unless it has started life as a PhD and it is usually screamingly obvious when this is the case and the author has not revised it. Recently I received a pro­posal with the following table of contents (some details have been changed to avoid the person and project being identified): Continue Reading »

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