Title : From a tweet, to a blog, to a book – writing an open access book Myself: Chris Rowell – Academic developer in DEL at LSBU
From a tweet to a book: Social Media in Higher Education
This short presentation will trace the journey from a single tweet, to a blog post and finally to a book about social media in higher education. I will describe how the process evolved on social media, how the book was edited into a coherent manuscript and give advice to others who might be interested in doing a similar project.
The original idea: Some time ago I had a lecturer ask me about the process of self publishing a book. I didn’t really know much about so I did a little bit of research – mainly contacting David Hopkins and naively thought this didn’t look too much work – I’ll have a go! Looking around at what had been published recently I knew there was a gap regarding publications on Social Media in Higher Education.
1. Tweet: Contacting my Personal Learning Network: Given that the book was to be on Social Media I thought that the most appropriate way to contact people was through Twitter so in Sept. 2017 I sent out a tweet asking if anyone was interested in contributing a chapter, I had about 15 replies.
I then contacted further people I thought might be interested via DM on Twitter – in total I got 28 respondents who said they would contribute a chapter
2. Blog post: outlining the book and what I intended to do – post sent out via Twitter and Linkedin.
3. DELcasts: Once I started receiving some of the chapters I started up a series of podcasts on the chapters. I interviewed the authors about their chapters and with a little bit of editing made them into podcasts. These in turn became a chapter in the book.
4. The book: Should be out very soon…just waiting for proof reading to finish.
Managing the authors. First I set a deadline of 1st February 2018 for the first draft and then a final deadline for 1st May last year.
This was a time consuming task – it was a bit like set a assignment for students – here were ones who sent it in weeks before the deadline and other asking for extensions and others not producing anything!
Putting the manuscript together. By the beginning of June I’d received 20 finished chapters. Then I started the editing process – which mainly consisted I having a consisted look and feel to the chapters I grouped the chaptets into 6 themes
Integrating social media: As the book was about SM I was keen to add some interactivity into the process so I started interviewing the different authors and creating a podcast on each chapter which I tweeted out – DELcasts – these have not been integrated into the book.
Editing process – 1st August I sent the manuscript to the publishers for them to peer review it. This took them 3 months. From which they recommend a number of changes – I agreed to these and it was only at this stage that I decided to go with them. I then spent the next 2 months making the changes.
Contents of the book: In total there are 24 chapters including: Introduction – summary but also created reader personas using hashtags Podcast chapter And Glossary on common SM words and phrases.
6 different themes:
Professional Practice – so how SM can be used for staff development – chapter on using SM in PGcert course and a course running entirely on Twitter called 12AoC. Teaching and Learning – Use of SM such as Instagram and Pinterest on creative studies course Leadership – two chapter from a PVC and one from Laurie/Donna about their Jisc leadership course. Building Networks – Various chapter – how students build networks and coherence but also how staff meet up across institutions. Innovation – bit of a catch all but staff who are doing innovative things especially like the chapter on the ‘Etequette of the Anthropocene’ which explore some the fears that students have of using SM in the context of much bigger ideas of global destruction. The Personal Journey – Personal reflections – one by a librarian (who seem to be the first to explore SM) and one by a Senior Academic working with student nurses.
Why choose a Publisher?
Greater accessibility and readership. It means that when a search is made in a library readers are more likely to find it. Also greater academic credibility – because the book is peered reviewed.
For me it had to be an ‘Open Publisher’ – commitment to providing free to read publications
Who are Open Book publishers?
OB Publishers books are published in hardback, paperback, pdf and ebook editions, but they also include a free online edition that can be read via our website, downloaded, reused or embedded anywhere. Their free online books are currently being accessed worldwide by over 20,000 readers each month.
They are a nonprofit independent publisher with no institutional backing. Open Book relies on sales and donations to continue publishing and free to read titles. They are platinum publisher.
What is a Platinum publisher?
i.e. without any charges to authors, or payment of fees or charges to readers and third parties
Overall they have been very encouraging and supportive – especially to someone like myself who has not done this before.
Costs will depend on the level of preparation of the manuscript provided, and the complexity of the tasks required. (Total £5,000)
Final proofreading £1,500 Typesetting £900 Cover design £150 Generating digital editions & website maintenance £250 Distribution and retailing £200 Marketing £500 Overheads (office rent, utility bills, and general administration)£1,500
They cover our costs in 3 ways: 1. sale of our printed and ebook editions; Paperback £20 Hardback £35 Epub/mobi £3.99
And a Free pdf
2. grants sourced by authors (not compulsory, about 50% of our authors are able to do so); 3. library membership
each of these bring in about 1/3 of our revenue.
Tips for doing a book:
Be very patient…it’s a long process. Especially editing a book where you are dependant on so many authors. Also the peer review process is very long winded.
Give very clear instructions to the authors eg I asked for Harvard referencing and got 24 different versions!
Decide on your print format a the start.
Decide whether you want to self publish or go to the publishers from the start. If you go with the publishers find out all the things they want eg copyright has been left to the last – and I could have started this much earlier.
Editing process – for me this has been very time consuming – If I was to do it again (and I might) I would involve the authers in the editing – assigning authors to edit the other chapters and then me overseeing the process.
From a tweet, to a blog, to a podcast, to a book
From a tweet,
to a blog,
to a book,
writing an open access
- Chris Rowell
Image : Pixabay