On August 22, I’ll be facilitating a workshop at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting in Chicago on a topic close to my heart: turning your dissertation research into a book. If only I’d had such information 15 years ago! At that point I was wading through my dissertation on breast cancer and wondering how I would ever get my research to those who could use it most.
Nonetheless I completed my dissertation, wrote several scholarly articles, and eventually learned enough about my topic to transform it into a cross-over book (Pink Ribbon Blues) that did make its way to people who could use it — researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, health practitioners, science writers, breast cancer survivors and advocates, and educated public audiences interested in the social and cultural forces affecting illness, or the war on cancer in general. It was a long road. I learned a lot in the process.
In this year’s professional development workshop, I share some of the lessons I learned along with information and resources to help others who are considering the dissertation-to-book path. Having presented this material in workshop and webinar form multiple times with different colleagues, it now reflects the insights of seven of us who wrote a dissertation-based book: Astrid Eich-Krohm (German Professionals in the United States), Meika Loe (The Rise of Viagra), Adina Nack (Damaged Goods), Wendy Cadge (Heartwood), and this year’s presenters Dawn Norris (Job Loss, Identity, and Mental Health) and Tristan Bridges (manuscript in progress on ‘contemporary transformations in masculinities’).
The From Dissertation to Book Workshop outlines: (1) the differences between the dissertation and the book manuscript; (2) the intermediate stages in transforming dissertation research into a full-length manuscript; (3) common barriers and strategies to overcome them; (4) elements of a book prospectus; (5) audience Q&A and breakout discussion with hands-on work. Dawn participated in the workshop in 2012 and has since developed her book manuscript and secured a contract. Tristan is in the early stages of book development. My book has been on the market a few years. Together, we present varied stages of the book process and tips from past presenters, too.
If you’re in Chicago for ASA this summer, come by on Saturday, August 22 from 4:30 to 6:10 pm. The location will be announced in the program.
If you’re a graduate student, the ASA Student Forum is pleased to offer a Professional Development Certificate (PDC) for its members who attend six approved sessions, meetings, or workshops. Click here for more information about the certificate program, the signature forms, and the list of recommended sessions (which includes ours)!