This is what’s waiting for me on my desk:
- William Germano, From Dissertation to Book (Chicago University Press, 2005)
- William Germano, Getting It Published (Chicago University Press, 2001)
- Beth Luey, Handbook for Academic Authors (fourth edition, Cambridge UP, 2002)
- Susan Rabiner and Alfred Fortunato, Thinking Like Your Editor (W. W. Norton, 2002)
- William Zinsser, On Writing Well (Collins, 2006)
- Richard A. Lanham, The Longman Guide to Revising Prose (Longman, 2006)
You guessed it — it’s time to revise my dissertation for publication. People at the ESSHC conference in Lissabon kept asking me where my thesis was published. Their interest really motivated me to take some action in that department.
I read Germano’s From Dissertation to Book while I was waiting for my delayed plane on the Lisbon airport, and I decided that I need to do what he calls a “deep revision” to turn my dissertation into a publishable book. I need to make my chapters more lucid, strengthen my line of argument, speak more in my own voice instead of that of other critics, and get rid of excess block quotes.
Germano’s book suggests that I don’t contact a publishing house quite yet. He recommends revising the book first, so that I am ready to send it out if a publisher reacts positively to my book proposal. So that is my plan of action now: revise first, then write a brilliant book proposal to sell my Wild Justice: The Dynamics of Gender and Revenge in Early Modern English Drama to a publisher in England or the United States. Ah yes, I probably need a snappier subtitle too.
All practical advice on how to go about turning a dissertation into a published book is greatly welcome!