Q&A: What is the first step in launching my idea for an academic book project?

Q: I have an idea for an academic book. What is my first step in launching this project?

John Bond, Publishing Consultant, Riverwinds Consulting:

“Whether it be an academic monograph, textbook, or other type of book, the first step is to solidify ‘The Idea.’ This process has several components. My recommendation is approach this in a stepwise fashion:

Put your dream of publication to the test

In his book, Put Your Dream to the Test, Dr. John C. Maxwell says, “Dreams are valuable commodities. They propel us forward. They give us energy. They make us enthusiastic. Everyone ought to have a dream.”

What is your dream? Do you have a dream of publishing a book or article, but don’t know where to start? Have you started, but lose momentum? Have you lost hope and set your dream aside?

Maxwell adds, “It’s one thing to have a dream. It’s another to do the things needed to achieve it.” To put your dream to the test, he outlines the following list of 10 questions to help you recognize your dream and seize it.

Will getting published achieve what you think it will?

People want to be published. Whether it is a journal article, textbook, monograph, dissertation, or something else, the urge to be published is palpable with many scholars, researchers, and academics. I work with many people and they all have different motivations: tenure, career advancement, to have their work disseminated, financial rewards, and more. Many have a sense of urgency to them.

But will getting published achieve what you think it will?

Writing with open ears

It’s time for a new edition of Doing Qualitative Research Online! I previously wrote how I began the process of updating and enhancing this book. Every time I write or update a book, I promise myself that I will do better next time and not end up with chaotic versions or incorrectly-labeled figures. I was approaching this project in a systematic fashion, reading through the 2016 edition with fresh eyes, making minor changes, and taking notes about steps to take for more significant additions to content.

I was confidently moving along, and then…boom! The world changed! Whether we’re grappling with school closures, isolation, illness or spending our time cancelling all the travel we had planned, it is hard to escape this pervasive pandemic. And for researchers, the impact is nothing short of profound.

3 Strategies and 5 steps to developing your dissertation into a manuscript

Let’s set the record straight. “A dissertation is not a book.” In her recent TAA webinar, “Writing Your First Book: Developing Your Dissertation Into a Manuscript”, Margaret Puskar-Pasewicz of MargaretEdits shared practical strategies and tips for bridging the gap between completing your dissertation and writing a compelling book manuscript.

 

During this session, Puskar-Pasewicz offered three strategies for making the transition from dissertation to book and then suggested five steps to get started on the journey.