And I understand the need to make the dissertation work for you,” she told me

And I understand the need to make the dissertation work for you,” she told me

My exact question to Elizabeth and Jim was, “What role does a prospective author’s prior publication record play in determining their fit?”

Elizabeth was quick to say that prior publication records rarely factor into her decision-making at the proposal level, although they often inform her decision to reach out to an author. “Prior publications are essential in helping scholars to make their work visible. “Ideally, you’ll be able to figure out how to turn pieces that won’t fit in the book into articles rather than publishing all four chapters as separate articles first — definitely don’t do that! What you really want to avoid is giving away your book’s main idea or key concept in a journal article, so people don’t feel like they need to read your book.”

Her advice was to find the sweet spot where you establish a platform for your work but, at the same time, don’t give too much of it away

Jim echoed this advice, but he also stressed the importance of presenting one’s work in settings that mimic a peer review, like conferences, to benefit from initial feedback. “That sort of early review can help you hone your project even before submitting it to an editor,” he noted.

I have a working understanding of how to go about contacting an editor: you start with an elevator pitch, then submit a book proposal and writing sample, and then work with an editor to finalize the manuscript for peer-review. When I have a roadmap like that, my ideal scenario is to work backwards. “

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