You have finished your dissertation. It has met the approval of your committee. They have encouraged you to get your work published. You mail your dissertation to several noted publishers in your field. The dissertation comes back with a rejection note. You are discouraged.
But you can have another ending. A happier ending. If you take the time to convert your dissertation into a book manuscript.
Following the steps below can turn your sadness into joy when your book manuscript is accepted.
STEP 1 - THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE Your dissertation is a scholarly manuscript. You are now writing for a broader audience. Think about how you can make your manuscript appeal to more people.
STEP 2 – REREAD YOUR DISSERTATION Reread your dissertation with an eye as to what can be taken out. What do you think needs to be added now that you do not have to please your dissertation committee? Can your topic be tied to a current issue of interest?
STEP 3 – DEVELOP A SCHEDULE You are going to have to approach this project with the same dedication you applied to writing your dissertation. However, you now have more responsibilities. A job. A family. Friends. All are vying for a share of your time. Devise a workable schedule for this project.
STEP 4 – GET COLLEAGUES OPINION Ask your colleagues to read your dissertation with an eye for it becoming a book. Record their comments. What needs to be added? What should be taken out? What needs further explanation?
STEP 5 - WRITE INTRODUCTION Write the new introduction to your book. Make it as strong as possible. Rewrite it as many times as necessary. The introduction is what will make an editor want to read your manuscript.
STEP 6 – DEVISE A NEW TITLE FOR YOUR MANUSCRIPT A book title is very important. It describes what the book is about. It makes readers want to pick up your book. Make your title clear. Make it grab the interest of readers.
STEP 7 – DO MORE RESEARCH Complete additional research needed for your book before you begin writing. If new chapters are added make sure you have all background materials needed. Doing needed research beforehand will make the writing of your manuscript easier.
STEP 8 – REWRITE THE TABLE OF CONTENTS The table of contents for your dissertation is different than the table of contents for a book. The table of contents for a book serves as a blueprint for its contents. It is the road map that will guide you all the way to the end.
STEP 9 – WRITE EACH CHAPTER Write each chapter of your book. Make each chapter of manageable length. A 50-page chapter is too long. Present the material in each chapter in a clear, concise manner.
If you follow the steps outlined above you should be able to convert your dissertation to a book manuscript. It will take time and dedication on your part. But it can be done. The additional months spent on this project will be well worth it when you open your mailbox and inside is a book contract from a publisher.
Margaree King Mitchell is the Co-owner of MKM Book Services, a book-consulting firm. Converting dissertations to book manuscripts is one of the services offered. Her website is www.mkmbookservices.com
Margaree King Mitchell is the co-owner of MKM Book Services, a book-consulting firm. Converting dissertations to book manuscripts is one of the services offered. Her website is http://www.mkmbookservices.com