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Publishing a first monograph: from thesis to proposal

Image: Ivan Radic [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

The first instalment of a two-part primer for early career academics

It may be sad, but it is no secret that to land an academic job in the arts and humanities these days, you need to have turned your thesis into a book, or must be well on your way to doing so.

This may sound daunting, especially as many people will shake their heads wisely and tell you that ‘a thesis is not a book’. There are certainly differences. A thesis demonstrates competency in the field and is written primarily with your examiners’ judgment in mind, while a book has to appeal much more broadly. Although scholarly presses mostly sell to libraries and produce small print runs, publishing is nevertheless a commercial enterprise. A book literally needs to be worth reading to be worth publishing.

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