What a chilling moment it is when your committee calls your PhD dissertation terrific, isn’t it?
The hard work, restless days, sleepless nights, and the surplus amount of anxiety and frustration has paid off well in the end. Then we let your hard work go in vain if not turn it into your first publishable academic book? Yes! You can craft your first academic book from your terrific PhD dissertation.
But your dissertation needs a lot of work to become a scholarly book having commercial potential. Here is what makes a published book and dissertation different:
Written for supervisor, university and experts specialised in the research discipline.
Written for the general reader that may or may not be an expert but academician in the research discipline.
Doctoral chair checks dissertation for analyzing the scholarly credentials.
Publisher or book editor judges the quality of the book by its academic rigor as well as the commercial prospect.
The chapters of dissertation cannot be read and understood individually.
The book chapters, however, are usually meant to be stand-alone.
The writing style, tone, and genre is formal and scholarly.
The writing style, tone, and genre should be scholarly yet engaging.
You can convert your dissertation into a book in two ways: either you rewrite your dissertation all from scratch or edit your dissertation through cut, copy, and paste! The latter is not advised since the cut, copy, and paste often results in the work of poor quality done in a hurry. The former, rewriting dissertation as a comprehensive book can be a good choice. While rewriting, you get a liberty to improve the overall standard of the book by not sticking up to the strict guidelines and other formal aspects of your dissertation.
1. Eliminate Signposting
Signposting words are connecting words that make clear the purpose of paragraphs, chapters, figures to the reader. In your dissertation, you must have used the signposting words to direct the reader to comprehend the different phases of your research. Such as “the aim of this study…”, “to begin with…”, “to summarize…”, “in conclusion”, etc. These are necessary when your dissertation is going to be evaluated by the university but might appear troublesome for the general readers outside the niche research academia. Instead, your book can be made engaging and interactive if you let your reader think and decide about the argument or question you posed. Therefore, do not make excessive use of signposting while rewriting.
2. Limit References in LR
Since your doctoral chair needed the complete list of articles and research papers you studied for your research, there would have many citations and references in your literature review chapter. This, however, is not required when it comes to writing an academic book. You should limit the number of references in your literature review chapter as the reader do not need to go into much detail about everything you studied. However, you may create a supplementary list for the additional readings referenced in your literature review as the suggestions for the readers.
3. Alter the Writing Style
You need to pay particular attention to the language, style, and tone of writing for the book. Because your dissertation is evaluated by the experts, making the grip on your writing style and tone is easy for them. This thing might not happen with the general readers of your book. Thus, you should aim for the wider readership and write it accordingly.
4. Keep Abstract Aside
When you would find a publisher, you do need to prepare a book proposal for demonstrating the potential of your book. Once you are done with the extraction of your dissertation to a book, do not forget to make the smart use of the abstract. You can keep your abstract aside for the time when you are rewriting the dissertation and later refine the abstract into the book proposal.
5. Self-Cite For Credibility
Self-citation is the one simple rule you should always follow to maintain the ethical decorum in the academia. You should cite you dissertation in your book for if anyone wants to read it in detail, he can quickly look up to it. This would not only increase the visibility of your book and but also would give you recognition as an established post-doc academician.
6. Prepare Book’s Back Cover Copy
Do not forget to prepare a back cover copy for your book. Such copies printed on the back just give an insight to the surplus amount of knowledge contained in the book. Around hundred and fifty words printed on back act as the ad for your book and make the people decide whether to buy the book or not. You can also mention this in your book proposal to grab the opportunity for getting published.