From Dissertation to First Book

After watching this presentation, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify steps to create an effective book proposal.
  • Interpret the complexities of peer review and how to apply it to your book.
  • Recognize how to avoid common pitfalls of first books.

Presented by David Congdon, PhD (Acquisitions Editor, University of Kansas Press).

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Use the Take Notes widget at the bottom right of the page to answer these questions and complete the exercises for this unit.

Questions to Consider

  1. When is it appropriate to approach a publisher? What should you have completed first before approaching a publisher with a book proposal?
  2. What types of publishers are there and what are the differences between them?
  3. What are the important aspects of a book proposal?
  4. What is appropriate etiquette for emailing an acquisitions editor at a press?


  1. Visit the resources section of and download the yearly AUPresses Subject Area Grid to see which presses specialize in your area of research. Do some further research. Do any of these presses seem like ones you might like to work with?
  2. Who would be the target audience for your book? Who is your most likely reader and who is the secondary reader you might realistically be able to reach?
  3. As you begin to think about the content of your book, what anecdotes or stories could you use in your book to grab your readers and bring them into the content?
Have you completed this unit? Then mark this unit as completed.
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