Dissertation to Book

Once you have finished a Ph.D. or Ed.D. program, use your hard work to propel you into the next level!

Congratulations on earning your doctorate and surviving your dissertation defense! That is the first step to creating a polished, readable, and marketable product that can thrust you into the center of the conversations in your field. Though your degree is a huge accomplishment, your hard work can also serve to further your career. Turning your dissertation into a published book can also boost your career and place you in the enviable position to promote your study and gain a following. However, many dissertations are not structured to be published as-is. So how do you turn your dissertation into a book? You can start by setting systems in place before you even start and beginning with the end in mind.

Determine your market and who will be your audience.

The goal of your dissertation may be to satisfy your academic requirements and your advisor, but a book has a much different goal and audience. Do your research. Take a look at books that have been written previously about your topic and research the potential market for this potential book.  Consider academic institutions, educators, experts in the field, and other non-academic audiences. The market for your book is your audience, as they will be the ones who will purchase your book.

Consider which aspects of your dissertation belong in your book.

Consider your audience when evaluating your dissertation and what may belong in its book version. It is important to start by knowing that not all of your dissertation will be included in your book version. Sections about methodology are usually condensed to a few lines in a paragraph, and sections of your literature review may or may not be included- either a small section or in various sections sprinkled throughout the chapters for context.

Write in a way that others will want to read.

While academic writing may evoke presumptions of dull textbooks, that need not be the case, especially if you want it to be something that people want to read. Focus on your style of writing. Focus on your sentence structure, the way in which you weave stories together, and the way that you engage the reader in your content. Ask for colleagues to read your writing and provide you with critiques and suggestions. When it’s offered by your university, utilize a writing coach or tutor. Make it enjoyable to read. While that may seem like an arduous task, it is worth its weight in readers. Though your time is certainly limited, read selections from some popular books that are hot on the market and pay attention to the way that the authors use narrative structures throughout their books. How do they utilize storytelling techniques? How do they keep you interested in reading more?

Consult other resources for helping you along the way:

Some other resources that may be helpful as well: