There is a very understandable temptation to use dissertation as a base for a book. If you are very careful and analytical when you read through your draft to ensure that it really does flow and link seamlessly, there is no reason why you should not be able to produce an excellent book manuscript from reworked dissertation material. Whether a dissertation is submitted as photocopied and ring-bound A4 pages or as a properly printed and bound book-shaped object, its contents are fundamentally different than what we expect to find in a scholarly book.
However, there are dangers in reusing material, particularly when patching together pieces of text; this can jeopardize consistency and fail to create a coherent voice and storyline of the work. Once you have satisfied yourself with real answers to the questions and decided to go ahead with a book, you must plan it out in detail. There are issues pertinent to research arising from the different processes involved in revising a dissertation and writing a book from scratch.
There is no one right time to begin. Start too soon and you will lack the distance and detachment from your dissertation that is needed if you are to write a monograph that is fresh, lively and free of ‘dissertation baggage’. While, delay too long and you may lose momentum and your ready grasp of the subject in all its complexity; worse, your material may begin to show its age. In any case, soon enough your hand will probably be forced by the need to make important life and career choices.
Plan by preparing a comparative table of contents for writing a book. If what you are proposing is a monograph derived from a dissertation, then especially useful (not just for planning but later also for making an approach to a publisher) is to map the similarities and differences between the two works. On the basis of such an analysis, you will be able to draw up an annotated table of contents that both describes the content and indicates where the material comes from. It is this annotated table of contents – not the comparative map –that you will use to ‘sell’ your book proposal to a publisher (as it is the proposed book, not the original dissertation, which is of interest). Reliable Dissertation Help by experts can be hired for converting your dissertation work to a best-selling academic book.
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