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From Dissertation to Book by William Germano
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A usefully clear-sighted look at how to revise a dissertation for publication as a monograph. Germano gives some straightforward advice about how to step back from your own writing and how the publishing industry works, some of which I was already aware of, some of which I wasn't. He also helped to put into words some of the things I instinctively knew about my own dissertation, but which my advisor hadn't cared enough to either notice or help remedy. I would have liked some more practical tips, but I suppose in such a short space and in a work aimed at an audience across academic disciplines, that would have been a difficult thing to do. Still, valuable for the inspiration it provides to be ruthless with the scalpel when it comes to attacking the dissertation and turning it into something new. ( )
  siriaeve | Jan 22, 2017 |
If you've got a dissertation that you want to be a book, I guess you can read this. There were a couple of useful tips in here, especially about the planning stages of revision. Mostly, though, this seemed like a collection of common-sense aphorisms. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
A simple, honest, guide to anyone finishing a multi-year piece of research writing, and wanting to do more with that work. But be prepared for some uncomfortable truths.

He covers aspects from how to approach publishers, through re-casting chapter headings and sub-headings to make the Table of Contents more appealing. I've docked one star because I was hoping to have more examples of how to improve authorial voice away from the usual dry 3rd-person model. ( )
  jandm | Jan 29, 2014 |
Much of value in here, but there's a lot of stretching too. Short version: getting from dissertation to book means junking all the dissertat-y elements. I'd like to think my own work is innocent of most of the crimes Germano describes, but I won't know until I find an editor.

Now I suppose I have to get to work. ( )
  karl.steel | Apr 2, 2013 |
If you are a graduate student or recent PhD graduate trying to turn your dissertation into a book manuscript, this book has some helpful suggestions from an academic editor, who presumably knows what academic editors are looking for. However, I thought the truly useful information could have been covered in a 20-page pamphlet instead of a 130-page book. This is obviously a money-making strategy for Chicago press, because they know that most faculty members don't give good advice about the nuts and bolts of publishing one's dissertation, so they have a captive audience that has few other options to turn to.

As I said, some of the advice is very helpful. However (and the author addresses why this is so in the introduction), there is not much concrete information. If you are wondering things like "how many words should my manuscript be, and does that include notes?" or "How much citation is over-citation?" Germano does not provide answers. If you are wondering how to approach publishers after you've finished your revision, you'll have to buy a publishing guide. However, if the thought of even looking at your dissertation again gives you hives, and you want some tips about how to attack it, this book might give you some good ideas. ( )
  sansmerci | Aug 10, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0226288463, Paperback)

All new Phd's hope that their dissertations can become books. But a dissertation is written for a committee and a book for the larger world. William Germano's From Dissertation to Book is the essential guide for academic writers who want to revise a doctoral thesis for publication. The author of Getting It Published, Germano draws upon his extensive experience in academic publishing to provide writers with a state-of-the-art view of how to turn a dissertation into a manuscript that publishers will notice.

Acknowledging first that not all theses can become books, Germano shows how some dissertations might have a better life as one or more journal articles or as chapters in a newly conceived book. But even dissertations strong enough to be published as books first need to become book manuscripts, and at the heart of From Dissertation to Book is the idea that revising the dissertation is a fundamental process of adapting from one genre of writing to another.

Germano offers clear guidance on how to do just this. Writers will find advice on such topics as rethinking the table of contents, taming runaway footnotes, shaping chapter length, and confronting the limitations of jargon, alongside helpful timetables for light or heavy revision. With crisp directives, engaging examples, and a sympathetic eye for the foibles of academic writing, From Dissertation to Book reveals to recent PhD's the process of careful and thoughtful revision—a truly invaluable skill as they grow into their new roles as professional writers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:06 -0400)

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