Publishing academic books
Welcome to this module on publishing your monograph, where we’ll follow the whole process, from making the initial decisions, to what to do once you have the finished book in your hands. You’ll learn:
Turning your thesis into a monograph
This video explores what is required if you want to turn your thesis into a monograph and some key questions to ask yourself.
Resources I mentioned:
Choosing a publisher
Getting the right publisher is going to make a big difference in your experience of publishing a book.
This video from the University of Warwick library outlines the process of choosing a publisher in 5 steps.
If you are unsure about whether a publisher is trustworthy and right for you, this checklist by Think.Check.Submit. will be helpful in evaluating your options.
What about agents?
Some academic authors have agents, though it is by no means a requirement. Having an agent is going to be more important if your book is likely to have broad appeal, while you probably don’t need an agent for a book aimed at a subset of specialists. Speak to colleagues in your field for advice on whether you should look for an agent or not.
While academic publishers are happy to consider proposals coming directly from authors, an agent can help you select the best publisher for your needs, write a good proposal, revise the work following review, and negotiate with the editor. Naturally, agents will require compensation and they are likely to only be interested in books with significant commercial potential.
If you do decide to look for an agent, make sure you find one with a good reputation and track record. Read the acknowledgements of books you admire to see if the author thanked an agent, or ask for recommendations from colleagues.
Open Access publishers
Just like with journal articles, we’re seeing a growing movement to make access to monographs free and unrestricted. Let’s make this clear straight away: Open Access publishers are NOT the same as vanity presses! Reputable Open Access publishers have rigorous peer review and quality control and offer quality products, just like legacy publishers.
This talk by Rupert Gatti explains in detail how your book can ‘be more’ through an Open Access publishing model. Do you agree with him that Open Access publishing can improve research methodology?
Let’s explore what an Open Access Book works. Take a look at this book published by Open Book Publishers and try to answer the following questions.
To find the answers, scroll to the bottom of this page.
Writing a proposal
Each publisher has its own specific requirements for proposals, so make sure you check their website and follow their guidance closely. In general terms, however, a proposal typically includes the following:
In this video, Jay Phoenix Singh shows you exactly how he composed two successful proposals.
The peer review and publishing process
So what can you expect from the whole process of publishing a monograph? This video gives you an overview of the key stages.
Here are the answers for the Open Access publishers activity. They were gathered on 17 April 2020 and may have changes slightly since.