Archive for October 9th, 2009

How to turn your PhD into a book: part 3, some first revision steps

9 October 2009

By Juliana Adelman

booksI started this series of posts because when I began the project of turning my PhD into a book I would occasionally type ‘turn your PhD into a book’ into Google hoping for some kind of magic.  Perhaps there was a translation engine I could put my text through to save me the agonising pain of revision?  Alas, there is nothing for it except to struggle on, re-reading sentences over and over until you go numb.  With that for a cheery start, I wish I had approached the process in as systematic a manner as I imply below.  It’s hard to be ruthless with your prose without getting discouraged and if you’re not being ruthless I don’t think you’ll accomplish much by way of revision.  Some people certainly have a gift for writing and the rest of us have to make do with revising.  It is hard work and a bit too similar to psychoanalysis to be enjoyable.  The past two posts on this topic have covered aspects of the publishing process, writing a book proposal and choosing a publisher.  In case you haven’t read those posts, I’ll repeat my disclaimer: my only claim to expertise on the subject is that I have successfully navigated the transition from PhD to book (only once, TBTG).  Now we get down to the nitty gritty of actually transforming your academic exercise into a book with an audience of…well at least a few hundred.  The first thing I did was to start taking things out.

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