Six Things You Should Do After Finishing Your Dissertation

Before you revise it and submit it to publishers as a book

Hi Manuscript Workers,

As we approach the typical end of the school year (in North America at least) many PhD candidates are wrapping up dissertations and turning their thoughts to what comes next. If you’ve always imagined turning your dissertation into a book, you may be thinking it’s now time to start the process of revising your manuscript. But I say no! For one thing, you and your brain definitely need a rest, and you deserve to take one.

You may not be able to take an actual vacation right now, but you should at least take a vacation from your dissertation. To help you do that, while still helping you move toward your eventual goal of publishing a book, I have a few tips. I published them as an advice column in Inside Higher Ed, so you can go read them in full there.

Once you’ve read them, you might want some pithy reminders you can keep close by over the next six months to a year while you let the diss marinate. Enter my handy handout you can either print out and pin over your desk or keep at the ready on your computer desktop:

To get the PDF of this handout, click here.

You can also see these tips on my brand new Instagram account, where I’ll try to post more stuff like this, plus beauty shots of client books and other announcements on a regular basis.

One of those tips in particular—”read about writing” (and publishing)—is where I can help directly. The Book Proposal Book: A Guide for Scholarly Authors is currently available for preorder from Princeton University Press and should be shipping in a matter of weeks. If you preorder and send me a screenshot or forward of your order confirmation, I’ll send you a set of worksheets that you can get started on even before your copy of the book arrives. You can reply to this newsletter (or, if you’re reading this online, you can email me at—use the subject line “Worksheets for preorder”).

Other Manuscript Works offerings coming up:

A 90-minute webinar on developmental editing for academics on June 24, 2021.

A self-study 6-module course on developmental editing for academics (enrollment closes July 10, 2021).

A workshop on Outstanding Academic Book Proposals on August 20, 2021.

A workshop on your Set Up for Publishing Success on September 24, 2021.