Been a long time. Been a long time. Been a long, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lone-ly...time. (drum solo)
Sorry, wrong band there. But it has been a while since I've had anything to update regarding the process of transforming the dissertation into a book. Not sure about the lonely part, but it sounded good.
After months of doing nothing I finally got around to contacting Routledge's music editor to test the waters. During my dissertation defense Rob immediately mentioned Routledge as a good press to look into since they seem to be good a walking the line between a commercial press and a university press. Certainly they're not as prestigious as something like Oxford or Cambridge UP, but really all that prestige only gets you very expensive books that no one can buy. Routledge is certainly no tabloid press either. Also, Jacqueline is signed with them to do her dissertation and she has had a fairly pleasant experience so far.
Because I didn't really know how to proceed I simply said, "Hi, I'm writing to see if Routledge would be interested in publishing a book based on my dissertation about Metallica. Here's a title, a proposed table of contents, and a short abstract. Let me know what you think." Fortunately, the editor was interested in the idea (his words were "VERY INTERESTED"). I figured someone would be interested in the dissertation but it was nice to receive such an enthusiastic response from a publisher. Apparently he needs to make the case to a larger in-house editorial board so he has asked me to send him a more fleshed out proposal (7-15 pages), a detailed TOC (with a one- or two-paragraph description of each chapter), a CV (not sure exactly what that's about), and a sample chapter.
This is pretty standard stuff, but I got the impression from Jacqueline that she didn't have to do nearly this much. She told me she merely had to send them a proposed table of contents (probably with summaries) and a two-page proposal. No sample chapters needed. Oh well. So I'm editing what was the second chapter of the dissertation, the chapter on the performance of musical complexity as a performance of race and gender. I think the Routledge editor assumes that we write in a clear "dissertation" style at UCLA and he's stressed that the chapter really needs to be prepared like a "real" book chapter. I don't really know what that means since we're told in our department to write the dissertation as the rough draft of a book (more or less). In any event I've spent today re-reading the chapter very closely and fixing little things, but I think I'm going to send it to Routledge pretty much as-is and spend more time on the proposal and chapter summaries. After all, the proposed book has two more chapters than the dissertation, so I need to figure out (really) what they're about.
I shall keep my readers informed...
Posted: Monday - December 15, 2003 at 02:59 PM