Publishing Scholarly Monographs

The present climate is notoriously difficult for scholarly publishing, and making a
first approach to academic presses with the fruits of your doctoral research in a book
proposal can be a daunting and uncertain business. This workshop is designed to
demystify the task, shedding light on the decision-making process and helping
researchers considering book publication to present their work to publishers in the
best way. It encourages participants to view their research as others will see it, along
the line that stretches from commissioning editors and peer-reviewers all the way
down the supply chain to booksellers, librarians, review editors, and the prospective
readership. This involves thinking about the market, choosing and approaching a
publisher, and working out how to represent your work to best advantage. In addition
the workshop deals with how to negotiate the particular problems surrounding
interdisciplinary work and essay collections. Discussion and exercises ensure that the
material remains practically based throughout. Handouts and recommended reading
are supplied.
The workshop is preceded by a lecture with questions and discussion on the current
state of the academic publishing industry, designed to give an understanding of the
market and conditions in which publishers operate. It includes discussion of issues
raised by digital publishing, the profound changes now underway with the rise of
open access, and how this climate affects the reception of publishing proposals.

The workshop coverage includes:
• From PhD to Publication – understanding the transition
• Who are you writing for? Who needs it?
• Book vs article – what makes a monograph?
• Interdisciplinary work
• Choosing the right publisher and making your approach
• What makes a good book proposal?
• Choosing a title
Workshop tutor: Josie Dixon was Publishing Director for the Academic Division
at Palgrave Macmillan and spent 11 years in commissioning and managerial roles at
Cambridge University Press. She now works as a publishing consultant with a special
interest in training, and has given workshops and lectures in over 100 universities in
Europe and the USA.

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