At long last and three weeks past the deadline my book is finished! I submitted an electronic version to the publisher yesterday evening and put the hard copy in the post to my editor today. I don’t intend to give it any thought whatsoever (after completing this blog post) until the manuscript returns from review.
I have come to several conclusions while working on the book:
1. Revising a pre-existing manuscript is probably (I imagine) harder than writing one from scratch.
2. If you intend to turn your thesis into a book, do it as soon as possible. It took me an AGE to get back into the swing of working on a major writing project. I had to refamiliarise myself with all my sources (which was a nightmare – my bibliography stretches to over 50 pages!).
3. Don’t let your doctor take you off your anxiety meds while undertaking such a huge, stressful project! This is VERY important.
4. I am possibly not cut out for academia or, at least, academia as it currently is – with the enormous pressures to publish, publish, publish and constantly demonstrate IMPACT. To be honest, if I didn’t feel that I needed this monograph to get a job and get a job quick (or even just be considered for jobs), I probably would have started something new rather than rehash my thesis.
5. Image reproduction fees can be exorbitantly expensive, but it is possible to haggle. Tell the rights holder that you have an limited budget, that you’re responsible for paying the fees yourself, that the print-run will be very limited, and that it’s for an academic publication (assuming this is the case, obviously).
6. Sorting out image reproduction permissions can take forever. Start this work as soon as you get author contract in place.
7. Make formatting changes as you edit. Don’t leave it all to the end. It’s soul-destroying.
8. Writing and editing will take their toll on your health and well-being. Be prepared. Make sure that there’s lots of healthy food in the freezer, get plenty of sleep, go for walks…
9. And remember, it’s only a book. In the grand scheme of things it’s fairly insignificant. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just good enough.
And now it’s done, I intend on doing absolutely nothing for a few weeks!
Ready to send…