It is Academic Writing Month at SAGE MethodSpace, and for 2018 we are looking at ways researchers develop a holistic publication strategy. This means looking at all of the options, and choosing the type that fits with our content, will allow us to reach our target audience, and create real impact. This is the second post in the series about the choice to publish independently or self-publish. (See the interview with Dr. Fuehrer to learn about his book.)
This interview is with Dr. Kristine D. Jones-Pasley. She also contributed a post about her work for the Research for Social Good series.
JS How did you use or build on your doctoral research? Could you just add a sentence or two about the methods you used– type of study you did? (Qualitative or quantitative, type of data collection…) If your book is based on other research, discuss the approach.
KPJ My dissertation was a qualitative study – multiple case study document analysis. I researched organizational websites for information on environments of inclusion within the organization. My first book, You’re Not the Boss of Me! A Guide to Leadership Development touched on my research. My book to be published in December 2018, DIVERSITY-The 9-Letter Dirty Word is more in alignment with my dissertation study.
For the diversity book, my goal is to address leadership challenges in leading a diverse organization/team. I also cover recruiting for diversity and both areas touch on what I looked for in my study. In my dissertation study, I wanted to know what organizations were doing to create inclusive environments; in my book, I speak about how organizations can create a diverse and inclusive environment.
The diversity book is just as personal as my leadership book; however, the diversity book was far more difficult to write. My observations and experiences regarding diversity and inclusion have brought back memories that I would rather forget but the memories molded me into who I am. I want the book to show the importance of diversity by providing personal stories and observations.
JS How did you choose a publisher? What did you consider when making that decision?
- Why did you choose an independent/self-publisher?
- Did your independent publisher provide editorial or design services? Did you have to contract with editors/designers?
- What did you learn from this process?
KPJ I decided to self-publish. I actually found it to be fun in publishing my own work. I did not really have to answer to anyone and was able to present my vision for my book. Fiverr (freelance website) was my go-to for book cover design and editing. I had several rounds of editing, I had family and friends and then two paid editors.
- What were the top challenges you faced– writing, publishing, promoting– and what do you wish you’d known?
Promoting was the most difficult with my first book. I can promote others but I have a difficult time promoting myself. The lesson learned was reaching out for promotional help. Creating a budget for promotion is very important and I will have that in place for my next book.
For the diversity book, writers-block is an issue that I am having. With the first book, the words just flowed, with the diversity book I am cautious in what I am writing and it is affecting my creativity. I am working through the block by outlining each chapter and working through each topic within the chapter.
- Any other suggestions for people who want to build on their dissertation research and/or use professional experience as content and write a book?
Dissertation research is more personal and you do not have to worry about anyone “liking” your final work. When writing a book, you are hoping that your audience will like your book and you have to come to terms with negative reviews and feedback. If you are passionate about your topic, keep researching and writing, the right audience will read and appreciate your work.