Writing an academic book

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Writing an academic book

  1. 1. Claire McGuinness February 24 th 2011 www.ucd.ie/sils
  2. 2. <ul><li>Mix of professional practice and academic/research/teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Library work 1993-94,1996-99 </li></ul><ul><li>MLIS 1995, PhD 1999-2005, Post-Doc 2006-2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Lecturer in SILS: 2008-present </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching in SILS: 1999-present </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Information Literacy - concepts, instructional strategies, assessment, impact </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Identity and the &quot;Teaching Librarian&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective Practice in the Library profession </li></ul><ul><li>Academic-Librarian Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Theories of Learning (behaviourist, constructivist, social learning), student-centred learning, enquiry-based & problem-based learning </li></ul><ul><li>Use of social networking applications (Web 2.0) for teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Information behaviour in educational contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative Research Methods, especially Phenomenography </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>3 book chapters </li></ul><ul><li>6 peer-reviewed journal articles </li></ul><ul><li>1 conference proceedings </li></ul><ul><li>And book in progress...... </li></ul><ul><li>Different routes to getting published.... </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Conference presentation : Book chapter in 2003 based on paper given at ILIT conference in 2003 (Information Literacy & Information Technology, precursor to LILAC). </li></ul><ul><li>Martin, A. & Rader, H. Information & IT Literacy: Enabling learning in the 21 st Century . Facet, 2003. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Committee Membership: Chapter in 2003 book “Information Literacy in Europe” arose from being representative for Ireland on European Network on Information Literacy (ENIL). </li></ul><ul><li>Invited chapter – based on “profile” as Irish information literacy researcher </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Journal Articles: Normal process of submitting articles “on spec” to selected academic journals, and undergoing peer-review process. </li></ul><ul><li>Used knowledge of field, and ISI Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports (Social Sciences edition) to select journal </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>4 research papers, 1 discursive/theoretical, 1 practice-based </li></ul><ul><li>Based on: </li></ul><ul><li>PhD Research </li></ul><ul><li>Irish Information Skills Survey 2006-7 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Real-life” experience of teaching Stage One information skills module </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Focus in higher education is on peer-reviewed publications & research funding </li></ul><ul><li>Book – long-term project with lower “rate of return” in terms of tenure, promotion, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>So, why write one? </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Incentives for writing a book: </li></ul><ul><li>Experience: Awareness of gaps in market – imagined the kind of book I would like to use if I was an LIS student or information practitioner. Also kind of book I would find useful as an LIS instructor </li></ul><ul><li>Building idea over time of what a book could look like, visualising chapters, content </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Too much material for journal article – lots to say! Not really based on research, more about practice than theory </li></ul><ul><li>Desire to connect with the professional community, not just the LIS research community </li></ul><ul><li>Development of a personal reputation in the field </li></ul><ul><li>Personal satisfaction </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Original research you have done </li></ul><ul><li>Recognising gap in the market – cannot find what you are looking for, so write it yourself! </li></ul><ul><li>Experience of teaching or training – material suitable for textbook </li></ul><ul><li>Feel that you could improve upon existing books </li></ul><ul><li>“ Call for Authors” from publisher/direct approach </li></ul><ul><li>(Patrick Brindle, Sage Publications) </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>Received personal email in November 2009 from Jonathan Davis, editorial assistant at Chandos Publishing. Subject line was “Call for Authors” </li></ul><ul><li>First reaction – checked to see if it was genuine! Google search..... </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>“ As part of an on-going publishing effort, Chandos Publishing is commissioning a series of short books relating to librarianship, publishing, information management and information science, written from a management, legal or technical perspective. </li></ul><ul><li>My purpose in writing to you is to enquire whether you would be interested in writing such a book, based on your experience.” </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>Replied, with brief expression of interest, but not committing fully at that point </li></ul><ul><li>Received an Author Proposal Form to complete, along with Chandos catalogue </li></ul><ul><li>Invited to submit my own ideas, rather than the publisher’s brief </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>AUTHOR AND TITLE INFORMATION </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>1. Book title and subtitle (if any) </li></ul><ul><li>2. Author's/editor's full name </li></ul><ul><li>3. Please provide some biographical information about yourself, including current position and affiliation </li></ul><ul><li>4. Full mailing address (work) </li></ul><ul><li>5. Full mailing address (home) </li></ul><ul><li>6. Telephone Fax Email </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>SUBJECT MATTER </li></ul><ul><li>8. Please write a short description of your book </li></ul><ul><li>9. Please list up to five features of your book which make it unique   </li></ul><ul><li>10. Please list the proposed contents, including chapter, section and sub-section headings (use the additional page(s) if necessary </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>MANUSCRIPT INFORMATION </li></ul><ul><li>11. Approximately how many words would you expect your book to contain? </li></ul><ul><li>12. How long do you estimate it will take for delivery of the completed manuscript (most authors take, on average, six months)? </li></ul><ul><li>13. Will you be able to prepare your manuscript on a word- processor? If so, what software will you be using? </li></ul><ul><li>15. Please tick the following for any special physical features you would expect to include in the book: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>tables </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>illustrations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>problems/solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>photographs </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>THE MARKET </li></ul><ul><li>16. Please identify the readership for your book </li></ul><ul><li>PRIMARY MARKET </li></ul><ul><li>SECONDARY MARKET </li></ul><ul><li>17. Is the book mainly aimed at practitioners or students? </li></ul><ul><li>18. If the book has a student market, which courses are likely to be interested in the book? </li></ul><ul><li> Level </li></ul><ul><li>Typical student numbers </li></ul><ul><li> Length of course </li></ul><ul><li> Is the course optional or compulsory? </li></ul><ul><li>Would your book be for main adoption, supplementary reading or </li></ul><ul><li>recommended reading? </li></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>COMPETITION </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>19. Please list, in order of importance, any books which compete directly with or are similar to your book . Please supply (if possible) author/editor, publisher, publication date, price and any further information you feel relevant (please use a separate sheet if necessary). </li></ul><ul><li>20. Please outline in what ways your book is better than and differs from the competitors mentioned in section 19 . </li></ul>
  21. 22. <ul><li>Proposal reviewed by editor at Chandos, Glyn Jones </li></ul><ul><li>Accepted – “subject to contract” </li></ul><ul><li>Publisher then carries out a “Project Investment Appraisal” exercise (PIA) </li></ul><ul><li>Involves analysing competing titles, readership, break-even point (how many copies need to be sold) </li></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>January 2010 – proposal accepted fully </li></ul><ul><li>Contract sent out – Chandos’ Standard Publishing Agreement </li></ul><ul><li>Manuscript submission deadline – January 1 st 2011, minimum of 40k words, max. 75k </li></ul>
  23. 24. <ul><li>Rough division of workload </li></ul><ul><li>Six chapters; 40000 words minimum, 75000 max. </li></ul><ul><li>Approx. 8000 words per chapter,12500 max. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember also that references eat up a lot of the word count. Also, end of chapter exercises. </li></ul>
  24. 25. <ul><li>Approx 2 months per chapter max. </li></ul><ul><li>Aimed for faster completion time </li></ul><ul><li>Target: ca. 2000-3000 words per week </li></ul><ul><li>Started with Chap 1, wrote in sequence </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-headings already set out in proposal </li></ul>
  25. 26. <ul><li>Wrote steadily – eventually too extra day solely dedicated to book project </li></ul><ul><li>Did not stick rigidly to word lengths per chapter. Some chapters longer than others depending on content </li></ul><ul><li>Kept a rough tally of word length as I went along </li></ul><ul><li>Sent 2 completed chapters to publishers in June for approval </li></ul><ul><li>Tip – create bibliography as you go. </li></ul>
  26. 27. <ul><li>Submitted final manuscript in mid-December, after removing two sections to cut down the word count. </li></ul><ul><li>In early January, received email that manuscript was good to go, and was being sent to “RefineCatch”, a company which manages books through all stages of production </li></ul><ul><li>Manuscript sent to copy-editor, who looks for errors such as missing references, etc </li></ul>
  27. 28. <ul><li>Proofs being prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Proof-reading in March, plus compilation of index </li></ul><ul><li>Typesetting to be completed early May </li></ul><ul><li>Publication scheduled June 30 th 2011 </li></ul>
  28. 30. <ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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