Abstract - From Consumer to Producer of the Literature - Writing as Professional Development

Writing for Publication: Transitions and Tools that Support Scholars’ Success - Mary Renck Jalongo, Olivia N. Saracho 2016

From Consumer to Producer of the Literature
Writing as Professional Development

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Mary Renck Jalongo and Olivia N. Saracho

Writing for Publication

Springer Texts in Education


10. From Consumer to Producer of the Literature

Mary Renck Jalongo1 and Olivia N. Saracho2

(1) Journal and Book Series Editor Springer, Indiana, PA, USA

(2) Teaching & Learning, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA


Even if an author prefers not to take on a major project such as a book, it is possible to participate in book projects at different levels. Graduate students/graduate assistants, for example, often develop the instructor’s manual or student study guide for a college-level textbook while professors and doctoral students might collaborate to contribute a chapter to an edited book. This chapter guides the reader through a wide range of opportunities to become involved with scholarly book writing. It also teaches scholars how to: conceptualize a book to meet the needs of a clearly identified audience, conduct a market analysis of competing works, and propose their ideas to an editor, both verbally and in the form of a written proposal. The chapter concludes with a candid discussion of scholarly book publishing, from negotiating a contract to realistic expectations for royalties.

Shortly after I was hired as an assistant professor, one of my colleagues placed an unusual hardbound book in my faculty mailbox. It was called The Nothing Book. It consisted of rainbow colored, completely blank pages. Inside the front cover, the senior professor had written, “I predict great things from you. Use this little book like a journal to list your goals and accomplishments. Wishing you every success, Emily.” At the time, my goals seemed very difficult to attain; I wanted to publish one article in the leading journal in my field, to get tenure and promotion and, even though I dreamed of writing a book someday, that goal was just too lofty to commit to paper. What I failed to realize at the time was that book authorship is an apprenticeship rather than a single event. It relies on involvement at different levels that prepare you to fulfill the book author’s role. The more that you seek out opportunities to gain experience and learn about publishing, the more you prepare yourself to become a book author.