Skip to main content
Search form
  • 00:01

    [MUSIC PLAYING][How to get Published]

  • 00:10

    MILA STEELE: My name is Mila Steele.[Mila Steele, Publisher, Research Methods, SAGEPublishing] And I'm a publisher for Research Methodshere at Sage Publishing.And in this video, I'm going to give yousome tips and tricks and my insiderview on how to get published, both books and journals.I'm going to cover how to find the right publisherand how to do what you need to do to understand your reader

  • 00:30

    MILA STEELE [continued]: and get your work noticed.Before you can explore how to get published,we need to start with why.[What is your motivation for getting published?]What is your motivation?Depending on your discipline, or your stage in your career,or your own interests and passions,there are many reasons for getting published.You might want to disseminate your findings to the widest

  • 00:51

    MILA STEELE [continued]: possible audience.Your discipline or your departmentconsiders a book a prestige publication.And you've been told you need oneon your CV to get a promotion.You are passionate about teachingand want to help students.Journal article, books, what kind of book?Your motivation will determine where you should

  • 01:13

    MILA STEELE [continued]: start trying to get published.Let's start with books.[Where do book ideas come from?]Where do book ideas come from?Your book idea starts with what drives you,your research passions.You see a successful book in the marketyou feel you can improve on.You teach a course and there's just no good bookfor your reading list.

  • 01:33

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Or a publisher gets in touch with an idea which does happen.[Who are you writing for?]Who are you writing for?Different books have different readershipsand different publishers.Before you start looking for a publisher,you should know the difference.A textbook can be for undergraduatesor postgraduates.

  • 01:54

    MILA STEELE [continued]: What's in common is that it has a pedagogical intent.It means to teach something and hasbeen structured to follow how a typical course is taught.Should you think about writing a textbook?Well, maybe you believe in great teaching and you're inspiredto teach new generations--not just a hundred students a year, but thousands.

  • 02:17

    MILA STEELE [continued]: And it can be good for your academic reputationto be the writer of a successful textbook.If you're worried about the time it takes,co-authorship can work very well on a textbookand lessens the workload.You do need to be at the right stage in your career,so consider if you need to get some moreresearch-led publishing out there first.

  • 02:39

    MILA STEELE [continued]: A monograph is a book that presents the resultsof original research.It is specialized and expects an academic readership,which is usually focused and quite small.Monographs sell mostly to libraries at a higher libraryprice.Edited collections bring togetherchapters from different authors on a topic into a single book.

  • 03:02

    MILA STEELE [continued]: It's a mistake to think this is a quick and easy shortcutto a book publication, however.It has to work as a whole, and that means a lot of workas an editor to make all chapters consistent.Don't rake leaves.And there's a lot of chasing.But an edited book can work well whenyou want to capture a broad range of perspectives.

  • 03:25

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Just be prepared to do a lot of work.Also ask yourself if this collectioncould reach a wider audience as a journal special issue.Quick piece of advice.Don't mix up your book types and your markets.Your monograph won't get used as a textbook.

  • 03:45

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Remember your readers.Are they students?Are they seasoned academics?They are probably not both.So you know what you want to write.[How do you find the right publisher?]Now how do you find the right publisher?Start with your bookshelf when lookingfor the right publisher.Who publishes books similar to what you have in mind?And think of that by book type, as well as by topic or field.

  • 04:09

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Look at those publishers more carefully.Find their catalogs and look at what's recentlypublished on their website.Make sure they are publishing books of the same typeand in your area.If you're looking for a monograph publisher,the university presses are a natural place to start.The commercial publishing houses can

  • 04:30

    MILA STEELE [continued]: have scholarly monograph lists, or textbooks,or sometimes both.Whatever the publisher, makes sureyour book idea would fit their list.[Are you ready to put your ideas on paper?]Ready to put your ideas on paper?Start with an outline when you areready to put your ideas on paper.Sketch a table of contents and play around with it

  • 04:52

    MILA STEELE [continued]: to develop the structure and arc of your book.You don't need to begin with a fully-worked proposalto contact an editor either.Send them your outline and ask if they're interested.If your idea could be a good fit with that publisherand the editor sees some potential,they'll tell you quickly.

  • 05:12

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Or keep going and write up a proposal.Find the proposal guidelines on the publisher's websiteand develop your proposal coveringthe structure they ask for.If you have a sample chapter, you can include it.You won't always be asked for one, but some publishers do.[What is in a good proposal?]What's in a good book proposal?

  • 05:34

    MILA STEELE [continued]: First, check the publisher's proposal guidelineswhen writing a proposal.They'll tell you what they're looking for.All proposals will ask for a rationale.This is where you explain the why of your book,lay out its scope, and make your pitch.Don't just describe the topics you'll write about.

  • 05:54

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Tell us what will give your book its edge.The table of contents is a very important section.This is the backbone of your book idea.And it's the first thing an editor and reviewerswill look at.Give clear, consistent chapter titles and at leasta paragraph on what each chapter will cover.

  • 06:16

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Punchy, clear chapter titles are very, very important.The same goes for your book title.Don't try to be too clever or wordy.It's better for your reader, but ultimately, ithelps your chapter or book get found more easily online too.You must include information on the market.

  • 06:37

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Any publisher is just as interestedin your interpretation of the marketas they are in the proposed contents of the book.This is where you can show that youunderstand your reader's needs.Explain who will need the book enough to buy itand where we might find them.What are the courses in this area?If you think you have spotted a gap in the market, tell us why.

  • 07:01

    MILA STEELE [continued]: And ask yourself, is it a gap or a hole?Does it need filling or not?There might be a good reason why no one haspublished in this area before.Do talk about competing books.Don't say there aren't any.It helps a publisher to know there is a robust market readyand waiting.

  • 07:22

    MILA STEELE [continued]: We will work with you to set your book apart.And tell us your writing plan.How long will it take you to finish?Be realistic.18 months is a common starting point.And how long will your book be?Longer is not smarter or more impressive.A typical chapter shouldn't be longer

  • 07:42

    MILA STEELE [continued]: than eight to 10,000 words.Your whole proposal doesn't have to be too long either.10 pages is usually more than enough.Always try to find the name of the commissioning editorand email directly to them.You can send an outline or a proposal,but don't send a full manuscript.And don't start writing your book until you get a contract.

  • 08:06

    MILA STEELE [continued]: The most important advice is to show you know your readers.Make sure your proposal shows that youare thinking about them first.[What is the basis for all successful writing?]This is the basis for all successful writing,whether in your proposal or in your book.Always write for your reader, not for yourself.

  • 08:29

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Know your reader, know what they know and don't know, and knowwhat they want, and know what they need.Provide cases and examples that are interesting to everyone,not just you--relevant and effective for everyone in your readership.Think international if you expect international readers.

  • 08:52

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Avoid unnecessary jargon.If you are writing for students, don't overestimatehow much they already know.If you're writing a textbook, make it like a swimming pooland get them in at the shallow endbefore teaching them to swim to the deep end.Tell the story of the idea you want to get across.

  • 09:12

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Don't assume your reader has read everything you have.Don't assume they've remembered the vocabulary they've learned,especially if you're writing for students.[What about getting published in a journal?]Let's talk about getting published in a journal.There's hardly an academic who won't be expectedto publish journal articles.

  • 09:34

    MILA STEELE [continued]: You need to get to know the journals in your fieldand how to tell them apart.Start with basic questions.[Questions: Do you use the journal for your own research?]Do you use the journal for your own research?[Does it publish journal articles relatedto your research?]Does it publish journal articles related to yours?[Have you already cited articles from the journal?]Have you already cited articles from the journal?Advice, try to.

  • 09:55

    MILA STEELE [continued]: It's not cheating.Start with a journal short list.Think about your priorities.Is it getting published quickly?Being able to publish open access?Getting published in a journal with high-impact factor?Being in an international journalor an interdisciplinary one?

  • 10:16

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Talk to your colleagues, look on the journal's web site,and then prioritize your journal short list.Go to the journal's web site, find the submission guidelines,read them, and follow them.Find the journal's aims and scope,and look at recent tables of contents.

  • 10:38

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Make sure you understand the journal's parameters.Most submissions are rejected because they don'tfit the scope of the journal.Don't give the editor a reason to reject you.Here's some advice as you prepare your article to submit.Get the title right, keep it clear, and use strong keywords.

  • 11:00

    MILA STEELE [continued]: Don't try too hard to be clever--no jokes, no puns.A journal article title has to be good for Googleand good for humans.Pay attention to the abstract and keywords.These are the metadata that will helpyour journal article get found.Repeating the most important keywords and phrasesis important and helps make your article more discoverable

  • 11:23

    MILA STEELE [continued]: online.So put them in the title and in the abstract too.Don't go over length.Check those submission guidelines.And the total word count means everything,including references.[What happens once you submit?]Now, submit, just one journal at a time, please.

  • 11:45

    MILA STEELE [continued]: It's frowned upon to do otherwiseand it wastes a journal editor's valuable time.OK.What happens next?An editor of the journal will assess your paper,and will look for its fit with the journal,and its potential to contribute to the body of research.They may desk reject, then in there.But if they see potential, they will send it out

  • 12:08

    MILA STEELE [continued]: for review to two or three experts in your research area.When the reviews come in, only a very small number of papersget accepted right away.In most cases, the editor will send you the reviews,usually with their commentary on what's important, and willask you for either major or minor revisions

  • 12:28

    MILA STEELE [continued]: before you resubmit.If the editor gives you advise, make sure you take it.Be positive about peer review.Peer review is there to help the research communityand strengthen your paper.And most reviewers put a lot of care into their feedback.Sometimes, it can feel like your research is misunderstood.

  • 12:49

    MILA STEELE [continued]: But try to be patient and constructive.Respond to the feedback, even if you disagreewith some of the points.Explain to the editor in a responseto the reviews what you will do to take on board the feedback,rework your paper accordingly, and then resubmit.Your article will be stronger and hopefully, this time,

  • 13:10

    MILA STEELE [continued]: will get accepted.But you will often have to deal with rejection.It happens to everyone.Many journals have a rejection rateover 75%, top discipline journals, more like 90%or above.You're not alone.Keep going down your journal short list.Perhaps even consider smaller, newer journals.

  • 13:33

    MILA STEELE [continued]: They're faster, too.You'll get there.Keep trying.[MUSIC PLAYING]


Mila Steele examines the process of disseminating and publishing research findings. Steels explores both books and journals as publication mediums.

Looks like you do not have access to this content.

How to Get Published

Mila Steele examines the process of disseminating and publishing research findings. Steels explores both books and journals as publication mediums.

Copy and paste the following HTML into your website