Tuesday, 3 July 2012

tese & livro

3 july 2012 

 Como falei no primeiro post, eventualmente teremos um texto em inglês.
Esse post traz minhas anotações de uma das muitas ‘training sessions’ oferecidas pela universidade. A gente participa da sessão, escreve anotações e as envia para o departamento para obtenção de créditos. Essa foi uma sessão com dicas de como transformar a tese de doutorado em livro e encontrar uma editora interessada no seu livro. Apesar de refletirem diretamente o contexto europeu, acredito que a maioria das dicas se encaixem em muitos outros contextos, como no brasileiro.

PGR training session: 'How to turn your thesis into a book'
Led by Dr Neil Gregor
Monday 14 May 2012, from 10am -12pm in room 65/1145

The session explored how to turn our PhD thesis into a book.
The bullet points below give account of the tips and suggestions provided by Dr Gregor in the session:
-         Don’t fantasise about being a senior in your field.
-         How many copies would a publisher like to print? About 600. ‘print on demand’ is now very common.
-         How many copies do you think they expect to sell? About 350.
-         We deal with a small readership, i.e. other academics. 90% of people who read our books are undergrads.
-         Make intelligent judgments when revising, cutting. Make sure you provide some key background.
-         First thing to do with a PhD thesis is to close it in a drawer and forget about it for a year.
-         Look at the thesis and ask yourself: ‘where is the book in this?’ Maybe when revising chapters will change in number from thesis to book. If chapter has been pointed out as weak, it can be either revised or cut out.
-         Think of a broad title so that it is more attractive to more people. No random titles and no ‘case study’ on cover or title.
-         Sign post to help the readers. Use good and pre-empt with chapter headings to help the reader follow you. Sign post the argument.
-         Don’t use far too much detail, as most PhDs have done. Many details don’t help the reader. Two examples should be enough. Just give the bigger picture / idea.
-         Make it interesting. Show it to your supervisor.
-         Publishers are worried about length. Every four pages cost more money. Books are better for being shorter.
-         Even knowing rules it takes experience to work it out. Some publishers really don’t like PhD works.
-         Don’t mention the work PhD to a publisher. They will find out eventually but don’t mention it. The symbolic message here is that you know that what you want to publish is an interesting work.
-         Send a proposal which should be neat:
(a) outline main line of book in two, three or four paragraphs;
(b) provide chapters summary in two, three of four pages;
(c) indicate length of book;
(d) include target readers [if it is interdisciplinary don’t use the word ‘interdisciplinary’;
(e) schedule for delivery of final manuscript. Be serious about revision and allow time for it. Two months? If you need to do further research, allow more time;
(f) write a cover letter and show you know about them and thought about that particular one publisher.
-         You are trying to show how good you are for an intelligent and more experienced reader.
-         Academics usually take three months to respond to reading your piece.
-         Contact one publisher at a time. Same orientation applied to journals.
-         Make a note of it when you have had bits of your writing published elsewhere.
-         You can have an agent, but they are only interested if it is viable financially.
-         From 500 sold copies they give you 5%.
-         Write a very good academic book which gives you a name and voice in the field. This makes everything easier later on.
-         In some academic cultures the researcher / PhD student subsidises the publication, but it is the last resource. If you want an academic career you need a serious publisher.
-         Books: there are three categories:
(a)    Trade publishing: very commercial, they are interested in volume, in selling 10,000 copies. Ex: the flat tables Waterstones [a bookshop] books, with a nice cover; from publishers like Penguin.
(b)   College publishing: textbooks; school books for degree programmes
(c)    Academic publishing [the one we are interested in]: it sells from 500 to 2,000 copies. There are two major groups of publishers:
                                              I.            The university presses: Oxford UP, CUP, Harvard, Chicago, Indiana.
                                           II.            Commercial presses [less choosy]: McMillan, Palgrave, Longman Pearson.
                 If you think you have something good try CUP, OUP. If you get and the book is well
                 received you never have a problem publishing again.

nota: esse post esta hoje tambem no meu blog no portalaz.


  1. Replies
    1. oh yes Mo, that was actually useful. we have so much to think about that we need outside reminders to do the thing properly, i reckon.