“A dissertation is a report, a book tells a story”
Turning a thesis into a book means more than simply printing and binding your thesis as is. Neither will it be a quick touch up or superficial revision. Your book manuscript will likely mean a substantial rewrite of your thesis. Consider the following aspects that will need to change:
The audience for the thesis is mainly your committee whereas for a book it may be fellow researchers, professionals working in the field, policy makers, educators, or the general audience. The majority of your readers will be less familiar with your topic than was your supervisor and will be more interested in the bigger picture than in the methodological details.
A book has a different purpose from a thesis. A thesis is meant to demonstrate your mastery of the subject and research process. A book is an opportunity to discuss the implications of your research to the larger community. The way you define an audience for your book will directly affect its goal and vice versa.
A book’s structure will be different from that of a thesis. You will need to thoroughly re-order your work into chapters. In particular, the Literature Review and Methodology sections would be shortened drastically or incorporated into the introduction. Copious footnotes typical for a thesis could be transformed into stories.
The voice you use for a book is different from the academic voice in your thesis. You will want to edit out the academic jargon, complex sentences, lengthy paragraphs and passive voice. Be ready to show your own voice and clearly say what you think.
When looking to publish a book you would normally follow these steps:
Select a press
Start by selecting a press that would be a good fit for your topic and audience:
Prepare your book proposal
Negotiate and sign the contract
Other tips from book publishers
Additional resources on converting your thesis into a book:
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