Determine Your Audience

When you have decided you want to complete a book or article based on your dissertation, determine your audience. This will encompass the type of people you want to read your publication, what professions they may have, and what geographic regions they may be from. In other words, who do you think would want to read your book or article? My preference is to produce a book because you have much more latitude regarding what is included. You do not have to answer to anyone except yourself. You can put your opinion and point of view any place. It cost next to nothing to get published if you choose, which is the publishing department of Now if you are a professor at a university and need to publish journal articles in order to maximize your career promotion, then converting your dissertation into a journal article makes the most sense.

How Will Your Reader Benefit?

This is also important for you to determine. What will your readers gain; how will they benefit from reading a book or article based on your dissertation topic? This understanding will also give you a greater focus as you make adaptations and editorial changes. If you wrote a traditional dissertation, there was probably a section in chapter one entitled the importance or significance of the study. This is the place to go in your dissertation to write about the benefits to the reader.


What Are You Willing to Give?

Before starting to convert your dissertation into an article or book, you need to clearly decide how much time, effort, and money you are willing to devote to your project. This includes the length of time you invest, how much effort you put forth on a weekly basis, and how much money you want to spend (there are costs). But the benefits are worth it. With the publication of a book or journal article, you are now an author. And as such you will be viewed differently than just a doctoral graduate.

Determine Possible Working Titles

Take the time to sit down and write out four possible working titles for your book or article. These are subject to change, but it is important to determine what your working titles may be before you begin the process. You will want to rename your book or journal article for at least one simple reason: dissertation titles are generally long and obviously academic. For a book you generally do not want to convey this image. No doubt there are key words and phrases in the title or purpose of your dissertation that can be presented as an attractive title that people will want to read.

Be Willing to Self-Publish Your Dissertation as a Book

After all the time and effort you have invested in completing your dissertation, seriously consider converting it into a book. There is a relatively new approach to book publishing called “print on demand” (shortened to POD and often casually referred to as “publishing on demand”). It was spawned by the digital technology that allows publishers to print any number of copies regardless of the size of the order. As the author, you share the setup costs with the publisher and have total control of the content of your book. Adapting your dissertation into a book is relatively easy. You can receive as much support as you need from on-demand publishers such as Lulu, Trafford, and Xlibris. These on-demand publishers have greatly increased their fees in the last two years so that even minimal services from them are very expensive. If money is not a consideration, then I would suggest

The Reward of Publishing Your Dissertation


Think about this: you have spent years and thousands of dollars to complete your dissertation. You are now an expert on the specific topic of your research. Why not go the extra mile and become a published author of a book or article that will help improve your image and greatly increase your visibility in your profession.