Signup date: 05 Jan 2010 at 8:45am
Last login: 23 Feb 2015 at 8:32pm
Post count: 410
I'm not sure about publishing work outside of the thesis. If you have the time then fair play to you!!!
I'm from the humanities and I published 4 articles that were from my thesis during the PhD.
It was a really useful experience as I got to use material that didn't make it into the final book and by submitting articles you are getting even more feedback on your work. Plus it forces you to rewrite and make the thesis better.
The only thing I'd be wary of is publishing too much that is close to the stuff you want to publish in the book post-PhD. Some publishers might be put off by that.
My better half had our first baby three days into my PhD and no.5 was born two months after my graduation.
My best pieces of advice (which a think are gender neutral but please excuse bias - I am a man after all haha!!)
- If possible write early in the morning so you always feel ahead of your work.
- Be involved with every aspect of bringing up the kids
- Be consistent with the kids so they understand when daddy or mommy is "working" or when its the day for daddy or mommy to give them their bath or their trip to the park etc so they don't get stressed.
- Be honest with your spouse; if either or you are too tired to do something that day then communicate this and help the other person.
- Do not compare yourself with other students
- If you are struggling with work do not take it out on the kids - its not their fault
- Always be open and honest with your supervisor re: family issues and the impact of these things on your work.
- The majority of successful academics had families late in life or have no families at all - maybe they cannot or don't want to understand everyday domestic things that can mean having to change your plans. Don't take reactions personally.
This is what I found anyhow. Good luck!
Can't believe it's been 3 months since I last posted in here!
Anyway my no.1 choice for my book - the no.1 publisher in the field - has offered me a contract for my manuscript. I'm over the moon!
Since I last posted in here there has been some back and forth with the editorial team regarding the structure of the book. The reviewers were very positive with the proposal I sent but did ask for changes. It has been agreed therefore that I will rewrite the first part of ch. 1 (say 5000 words) and to take out the proposed ch.2. I feel bad about losing the material for ch.2 as it was my supervisor who pushed for that chapter to be included in my thesis, but in terms of marketing the book from a publisher's point of view then it does make sense. And at 100,000 even as a thesis I knew that the project was too long and convoluted. Anyhow I have already published the main argument of ch.2 in a journal article and I can incorporate some of ch.2 into ch.1 as well. That is the only major change; the other suggestions were just to explore further some arguments I made in the sample material I sent.
All the reviewers made the point that a book manuscript is not the same as a PhD thesis. I got the sense that they found some of the material dry and maybe a little anal in terms of setting out arguments and saying what I was going to do and why I was doing it etc etc. So I will try to emphasise my own voice in the manuscript I am preparing.
All in all I have 6 months to send the manuscript but even though I am working full-time I hope to send it in 3 months and get the ball rolling.
I anyone has any questions about the process thus far then I'll try and help!
@Emma - I agree with what you are saying. I think that self-publishing is an ideal model for an established scholar and I have a dream on someday publishing all my work through my own webpage while generating interest and revenue through that. However as early-career people the whole drive of publishing is the peer-review process which is what ultimately establishes you in the academic community (Sorry for all the 'academic speak' there!)
@Tim - Thanks for your post. To be fair, all the publishers that I contacted did reply. To the credit to the publishers that had no interest, they replied immediately (even one two minutes after I emailed!!!) Also, the other publishers that are interested haven't had my work for 4 months but 4-6 weeks thus far. Again to their credit, the publishers who appear to be interested have been very professional and courteous although of course there is no guarantee their interest will go any further.
@Emma: From what I've been told from my sups and department people, a good publisher will NOT ask for a contribution to publishing costs. I've been advised to steer well clear of publishers that do.
I sent out various individual proposals to various publishers and received two offers straight away. I thought this was a bit dubious as surely the proposal needs to go through a peer-review process AND the manuscript itself needs to be peer-reviewed. To top it off one of the offers said I would have to pay over £1000 toward publishing costs. No chance. One publisher was a pretty established one but with less of a reputation in the humanities field. The other is a pretty well known one who plays on the name of a more prestigious uni to attract more people I guess.
All publishers ask you to specify the period as to when the manuscript will be available for their consideration. As I have finished my PhD I put 'immediately' as in my naive mind I'm thinking, at least in my case in terms of the structure of the thesis, I need to simply CMD+F all the mentions of "thesis" and change them to "book"!!! I know I'm in for a shock somewhere down the line thinking that way lol!!!!
@Eska: Proposals have to follow the guidelines of each publisher. I found that most proposal forms have the same sections but in a different order. Some do ask for more specifics but it just depends. One I had my paragraphs pretty tight after doing 3 or 4 proposals I found I could complete the others pretty quickly.
One piece of advice I would have is NOT to approach your preferred publisher first. I did, and thankfully they have taken it to the next stage, but looking back the later proposals were so much tighter and well written after all that practice!
I thought I would start a thread about post-viva people working towards getting their thesis published.
This might be a good thread to ask questions, air doubts, and hopefully get some support from others in the same boat during the publication process.
I finished my humanities PhD before Xmas and started approaching publishers in March. I had a list of 12 potential publishers and sent out individualised proposals to all of them.
Of the 12 I have since received 5 rejections and 5 follow-ups. Rejections were pretty sharpish so its good to not be waiting about. The 5 follow ups / expressions of interest took around 4-6 weeks for the replies so I guess to a point no news is good news for others waiting out there. Luckily thus far my top 3 publishers are all interested - so hopefully, after peer-review of the proposal, I might be able to move onto the next stage with one that I want.
Are there any publishers that you have worked with? Any advice/tips?
The only anecdote I have is that there was an EARLY CAREER permanent job recently in my department.
The person who got the job had 2 books, 10+ articles, AND a permanent job already in another institution. How can people coming out of a PhD compete with that?
I've been told that the very minimum that you need for any position - even postdocs - is your book published.
Still in my opinion its who you know and 90% pure luck.
I am hardbinding my finished thesis on Monday and I've go a question in the back of my mind.
When submitting for the viva I couldn't work out how to page-break the endnotes from the main thesis and THEN have the bibliography after that. As such, my biblio is in the same section as my 8pt footnotes but of course formatted to the normal 12pt.
So my question is how do you separate the endnotes and the biblio?
Originally I had all my notes as footnotes and then simply clicked "convert to endnotes" (in case that might be important..???)
I have a good story.
An "early career" position came up in my department recently. The criteria in the job description had the usual - PhD in relevant field, teaching experience, publications relevant to stage of career etc etc.
I found out that the 6 candidates all had a book published (basically their thesis) and at least 4 articles in top level journals (this is humanities). One candidate already had a proper position in a higher ranked uni (but obviously was after the permanent position). Two had post-docs.
The preferred candidate in the eyes of the member of staff I was speaking to (but who wasn't on the selection panel) was a candidate who was AHRC funded for MA and PhD, had TWO books published, 6 articles in top-level journals, co-edited special editions of books, and teaching experience in 3 institutions. By my calculations the person did this in about 5 years or so.
How can someone just walking out of a viva (like myself) expect to be taken seriously in any job application.
In my mind it is now about building my CV and getting the book published (luckily I've had interest from 3 reputable publishers) and working on NEW material outside of my thesis.
I have certain financial and personal responsibilities that perhaps other PhD students don't have (i.e. a family) and I'm projecting that I will be very lucky to be in academic employment (in the UK at least) by Sept 2014. It might even be the year after.
To be honest I don't mind working outside of the academic bubble at all in whatever job - as long as I can get a job that pays similar (if not a bit more) than my PhD funding.
That's the reality.
I am not saying that I am so good and it was easy; I'm not saying that at all. I was just expecting a more in depth, critical discussion of my work. Again I'm not saying we didn't talk about anything - all the major themes were covered and when speaking about them I backed up my answers with specific examples from the thesis - I was just expecting a different type of experience. I think this reflects more on me than the examiners or more than the university. I think I had just built it up into something that it didn't turn out to be.
I really hope I don't come across as a moaning minnie and I don't want this to reflect upon other people's experiences here in the forum. I am fully aware how lucky I am to have gone through the PhD relatively unscathed and come out the other side. I am over the moon to be Dr LD. I just had never read about this type of viva before and thought I should put it out there rather than simply writing a "I had a good experience and I passed" story. I do think the word anti-climax is the fairest word I can use at the moment. Maybe I'll feel differently in a few days or weeks when I process everything.
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