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Scholarly Communication and Publishing

This guide is designed for those wishing to publish their research.

How Do I Write and Publish a Book?

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How Do I Write and Publish a Book?

It is a good idea to begin by consulting a guide to writing academic books. You will probably already have developed a book proposal. If not, Writing a Good Book Proposal This link opens in a new window is an excellent guide to writing one.

As with everything else, looking at examples of published books in your field will help you a lot. For example:

  • Select five or six academic books you like and have found useful
  • See how they are structured
  • See if any of them has a structure which will work for you
  • If not, compare those you have reviewed to work out how you will do things differently.

An easy way to figure out how you might structure a book is to create a contents list and annotate it. You have then specified, at least in outline, what will be in each chapter. You may well have done this for your proposal so you can expand on your existing work here.

You should aim to have each chapter written up by a specific date. This may slip, but don’t let it slip too much. Make sure that any amendments to the timetable are recorded against the original. This will enable you to keep a systematic check on your progress.

It is usual to work through your book by writing chapters in the sequence they appear in your annotated contents list. This has the advantage of enabling you to connect what is said in each new chapter with what has gone before. This is not the only way to work, but it is the easiest—linearity is often appropriate.

Choose a way of working that suits you and stick to it. This may be a matter of writing a certain number of words every day, day after day. It may be a matter of writing in short, intensive bursts and taking breaks between them. If you do the latter, try to timetable in your periods of intensive work.

Choose a place to work that suits you. You will almost certainly be working on a computer. Set up an ergonomically efficient work station. Bad backs and Repetitive Strain Injury are not fun, so you should take advice from occupational health on how to ensure that your working area is safe. If you are an academic, you may well find it easier to work at home where there are fewer distractions.

  • It is easier to take out than to put in.
  • Don’t worry too much about length in your first draft.
  • Get the words into electronic files (always backed up at least in triplicate).
  • When you have a draft, cut to length.
  • Cutting is first done by removing extraneous or duplicated elements in the text.
  • Then go over what you have written, remembering always that shorter is better.
  • Eliminate unnecessary adjectives and adverbs—the word “very” can be overused, for example. The end result will be punchier.
  • As a crude rule, two-thirds is always better in terms of the relationship of final draft to original draft.

Publishing Your Dissertation in ProQuest

SNHU dissertations are submitted to ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database. Information about author rights and dissertation submission to ProQuest is located on this page: