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:

Your inner expert

I have the good fortune to work with many highly educated, highly qualified, experts in a diverse range of fields. Masters-prepared. Doctorly-prepared. Academics and researchers that have devoted themselves to the pursuit and sharing of knowledge in the US and world-wide. Others seek their opinions and expertise. They have done significant research and published journal articles and other valued communications.

So, I could say I work with “leading experts,” “internationally recognized leaders,” or the “most important authorities.” Does this describe you?

Conference networking in the age of Zoom

Conferences and conventions have been one of many things that have changed in the age of COVID. While much of the great education and content is still available through virtual conventions, one aspect of conference attendance that has changed significantly is networking.

Losing out on networking in the age of virtual conference would be quite a loss. But how do you proceed without the in-person experience? Fear not. There are solutions.

How do you look in profile?

Being visible in your academic or research is essential to your long term career. It also affects how widely your work will be read and disseminated. Search engines like Google will care about who you are and how connected your writing is.

So how do you ensure that you look your best in your online academic profile?

Permission granted! But not the kind you think.

Permission conjures up the image of asking a publisher to use a table or a photo from their publication in your next journal article. This post is not about those types of permission, but rather about the permission you give yourself.

We have all read too many articles (including mine) about how things have changed over the past year. Time challenges. Financial challenges. Changing and increasing demands in the classroom. Emotional rollercoasters. Pressure. The ground under us appears to be constantly shifting.

You need to take this all into account and be good with giving yourself permission.

The nuts-and-bolts of self-publishing

Self-publishing is on many aspiring authors’ lips as they decide how to bring their work to fruition. But how do you actually self-publish? What is involved with it and what are the steps? My last two posts have discussed the rise of self-publishing and considering whether it is right for you. Now let’s dive into the nuts-and-bolts.

Some brave souls or DIY type people might truly self-publish: that is create a publishing company, find an editor, find a typesetter, find a printer, contact Amazon, etc. This is all possible, but most people use a self-publishing partner like Kindle Direct,  IngramSparkSmashwords, or many others. For this post, let’s assume you want to use a self-publishing partner so as not to reinvent the wheel.