Highlights from “Publishing Your First Book”

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On October 21, 2014, the CSI Library hosted a panel of CSI faculty authors to present at the highly requested “Publishing Your First Book” program. We were delighted to have a packed room of students and faculty in attendance to hear various perspectives of one’s first journey into the book publishing world. On the panel were Lecturer Jessica Burke (English), Associate Professor Jean Halley (Sociology), Associate Professor Michael Paris (Political Science), and Professor Mark White (Philosophy). They all gave useful insights and lessons learned along the way, and some of these included:

  • How to repackage one’s dissertation into a marketable book for publication – condensing your proposal and thesis statement into the first two paragraphs of your book;
  • Reading the book contract thoroughly–what you want to see in it and what you don’t want to see in a contract;
  • Preparing oneself for a string of rejections – sulk for one day, pick yourself off the floor, dust yourself, and get back on the hunt for a new publisher;
  • Creating a “poor man’s contract” to protect the ideas in your manuscript.
  • Insights to independent publishers, vanity publishers, and how to sniff out the predatory publishers.
  • Working closely with and developing a good relationship with your editor;
  • Working with an agent who will market your work to bring in revenues.

The Q&A session was quite engaging and were it not for the schedule class after club hours and other commitments, the conversation would have gone on and on. It was rewarding to hear a student share with a friend that this was the best CLUE program!

-Wilma P. L. Jones, PhD.
Associate Dean and Chief Librarian