Writing and Publishing Your Book
A Guide for Experts in Every Field
by Melody Herr
October 2017, 138pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5875-8
$61, £47, 54€, A84
Paperback: 978-1-4408-5902-1
$36, £28, 32€, A50
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5876-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

How do subject experts with years of study, research, and lived experience transfer that in-depth knowledge into successfully authoring—and publishing—a book?

Are you ready to write your book? Partner with an experienced publisher, writing coach, and author and find out how to turn your research and scholarship into a book.

This book is the next-best-thing to a personal writing coach. Drawing upon her own extensive experience as an author and publisher, Melody Herr guides the reader through every step of the writing and publishing process: constructing a table of contents, preparing a proposal, finding a publisher, negotiating a contract, drafting the manuscript, and marketing the finished product. Throughout, she offers proven strategies for producing a book that highlights its author’s authoritative knowledge and writing skills.

Unique among writing guides, Writing and Publishing Your Book: A Guide for Experts in Every Field acknowledges the reader’s own expertise; speaks to researchers and scholars across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities; and provides information and guidance that will benefit junior authors as well as their more senior colleagues. By following these practical, step-by-step instructions, new authors will more easily liberate their own creativity while avoiding the many pitfalls that mire new writers, thereby maintaining momentum for a successful publication.


  • Breaks into clear, actionable steps the complex process of producing a logically organized, accessible, and useful book that has strong market potential
  • Explains how to determine when a book is the appropriate publication venue for a specific project
  • Describes how to form a mutually beneficial and collaborative partnership with a publisher
  • Provides clear guidance for navigating peer review and interpreting a publishing contract
  • Identifies effective strategies for overcoming the common struggles of every writer—advice that comes from someone who has faced all of these challenges as a writer herself
Melody Herr is a writer who spent more than 16 years in scholarly publishing and acquired more than 250 books for several publishers, including Johns Hopkins University Press and the University of Michigan Press. During the course of her publishing career, she coached authors writing books in a number of fields ranging from regional topics, business history, and U.S. history to law, political science, and international relations. She continues to assist authors in her current position as head of the Office of Scholarly Communications at the University of Arkansas. Herr has published nonfiction and historical fiction for young readers as well as scholarly work.


"Herr's important experience as an editor gives this book authenticity, and I am so pleased to recommend her generous insights on book publishing."—Carole Sargent, Director, Office of Scholarly Publications, Georgetown University

"Most academic authors need boatloads of help getting published. Melody Herr reminds scholars that while they are experts in their fields, negotiating the publishing process from idea to bound book requires different skills. A former university press editor, she offers practical advice valuable for those who want to get published."—Rachel Toor, Professor of Creative Writing, Eastern Washington University, and Columnist for The Chronicle of Higher Education

"Friendly, funny, beautifully written, and thoughtfully sequenced, this no-nonsense guide will help you become an expert at writing books that publishers will want to publish and readers will want to read."—Helen Sword, Professor and Director, Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education at the University of Auckland; Author of Stylish Academic Writing and Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write
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