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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dissertation to Book: Next Steps

This guide explains how a scholar can approach revising their dissertation into a book in order to publish it with a scholarly press.

What happens next?

Each press may have a slightly different process once you and an editor decide to move forward, but below is an outline of the general process your proposal and manuscript will go through. The University Press of Florida has also designed this helpful chart that outlines the life cycle of a book.

Peer Review

  • Once you and an editor decide to move forward, the next step is typically peer review.
  • Peer review can start with a proposal and sample chapters or a full manuscript. When the project is a revised dissertation, it almost always starts with a full manuscript.
  • Editors may ask for suggested reviewers, so think about who might be the best scholars to review your project (excluding dissertation committee members, co-authors, or others who may be perceived to have a conflict of interest).
  • Peer review timelines are widely variable and depend on the editor’s and reviewers’ schedules. Plan for at least several months from the time your manuscript goes to a reviewer before you receive their reports.
  • Once all the reviews are in, an editor will typically ask you for a written response to the reviews.

Contract

  • Once you and the editor have agreed on a path forward, they will likely take your project forward to their internal committees to seek a contract.
  • The editor may seek an advance contract if your project requires further review. This may happen when a project is contracted as a proposal, or if the full manuscript requires substantive revision.
  • The editor may seek a full contract if no further peer review is required. This may happen when revisions are small enough that the editor can oversee them without further outside review.
  • Note: To be clear, there is no difference between advance and full contracts in terms of language. If an author receives an advance contract, they will not have to go back to receive a full contract. The only difference between the two is that an advance contract requires another round of peer review.

Revision

  • As part of the review response, the author typically outlines a revision plan that incorporates feedback from the reviewers, editor, and series editors (where applicable).
  • The revised project may be sent out for a second round of review once the manuscript is ready.

Faculty board approval

  • Once reviewers have agreed that the project is ready for publication, the editor submits the project to their press’s faculty board for approval.
  • The faculty board is made up of scholars at the press’s institution.
  • This represents the final level of editorial approval for the project.

Final submission

  • The author submits the final revised manuscript and all its elements, including elements like illustrations and permissions.
  • The author works with the acquisitions editor or assistant to evaluate these final files and make sure they are ready for production. For example, illustrations need to be evaluated by the art staff to make sure they are reproducible.

Production

  • The final submission is moved from the acquisitions department to the editorial, design, and production department, which handles copyediting, layout, proofreading, cover design, and printing.

Marketing

  • The marketing department will make plans for marketing the book to relevant audiences. This typically includes exhibiting the book at scholarly meetings, including it in print advertising, and publicizing it on social media, among others.
  • The author can be a critical component of this process, for example, by alerting their networks about the book on social media, or by giving public talks about the book.

University of Illinois Press

University of Illinois Press

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1325 South Oak Street
Champaign, IL
Phone: 217-333-0950
Email: uipress@uillinois.edu

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