First steps for a second edition
It’s time for a new edition of Doing Qualitative Research Online! At SAGE, that decision isn’t an automated step. The decision is thoroughly considered and vetted. I had several meetings with my excellent acquisitions editor, then created a proposal which was sent out for review. Comments from reviewers were discussed in further conversations, and we came to an agreement.
Now I have to do the work. How should I start? Every time I write a book, I am determined to avoid problems encountered in past projects. No matter how hard I try, I end up with some degree of frenzy at the end. To lay a positive foundation, here are the questions I am exploring and the steps I am taking:
The first three questions, in the blue boxes, are big picture topics I thought about and discussed with my editor as part of the proposal process. Now these topics will be part of my mental framework as I work through the other parts of the process.
For example, for the question What has changed in the world? I am thinking about the situations readers of the book will confront when using these research methods. This book is about using technology, so you might think that new technologies would need to be considered. Actually, there have not been significant changes to communications technologies, but changes in public attitudes towards them are profound. Issues such as privacy and distrust of trolls and hacks have grown. I need to keep these factors in mind when suggesting ways to recruit participants and gain their trust. For the question What has changed in the field? I am thinking about the interest in using Big Data. I have already decided to add a chapter on approaches for Big Data from qualitative and mixed methods perspectives. While being cognizant of these key questions, the basic purpose of the book remains sound.
Next, I am starting to work with the final, copy-edited manuscript of the first edition. I will go through it and color highlight to correspond to the next three questions. These “green box” questions signal levels of work to be done:
- What should be updated? Edits might include updating references to current literature, or updating discussion of technology features. These updates don’t involve a lot of new writing, or changes to the organizational structure of the chapter.
- What should be rewritten? Rewriting might entail clarifications or new examples. These updates might involve some new writing and some structural changes.
- What should be removed? If there pieces too outdated or irrelevant to leave in the new edition, there may or may not be a need to write new transitions or add in new material.
As mentioned, in the proposal process one new chapter and inclusion of example cases were discussed. After this careful review of the manuscript, I will reconsider the next two questions shown in the purple boxes:
- What new chapters, sections, or text should be added?
- What new images or figures should be added?
The real work of the new edition will come from these more substantial additions. I will highlight places where I think new material is needed and make notes. While at this initial stage I have some ideas, I will make specific plans for new material based on the proposal comments, discussions with my editor, as well as my notes.
- What changes are needed for the instructional/student resources?
Finally, I consider the online resources offered for instructors and students. In my careful read-through of the text I will make notes about learning activities or exercises that might be useful. Once the second edition manuscript is completed, I will work on the resources while the publication process is underway.
A new edition is a lot of work! I hope that this systematic approach will help me keep motivated while I complete this new edition.
Janet Salmons is an independent scholar and writer through Vision2Lead. She is the Methods Guru for SAGE Publications blog community, Methodspace, and the author of six textbooks. Current books are the forthcoming Learning to Collaborate, Collaborating to Learn from Stylus, and Doing Qualitative Research Online (2016) from SAGE.