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What is it like to publish your first book? – A New Blog Series Starts Today

By: , Posted on: July 31, 2015

Hello and welcome to our blog. During this blog series we will try to give insight into the process, from start to end, of publishing an academic book.

Who are we? – Dr Komang Ralebitso-Senior and Dr Caroline Orr, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK.

Dr. Komang Ralebitso-Senior

komangI am an early stage academic with a keen interest in research, and research-led teaching, on how microbial communities are studied and then exploited in different environmental biotechnologies. My senior lectureship with Teesside University in 2006 was my first academic post following postdoctoral fellowships in Singapore and Oxford. I really enjoy working in successful partnerships with different colleagues especially where we do research across disciplines, share ideas and learn from each other. So co-editing a book with Caroline will go down in my memoirs as one of my career highlights.

Dr. Caroline Orr

caroline orrI am a relatively early stage researcher whose area of expertise is in molecular ecology specifically looking at functional microbial communities within the soil. I first joined Teesside University a couple of years ago as my first lectureship position following my PhD and a small amount of postdoc work. When I first joined the University I was keen to establish myself as a researcher not just a member of teaching staff but struggled initially to juggle the two. I was quickly introduced to Komang who was interested in research similar to my own area.

Initial collaboration

It seemed logical that we try and collaborate in an area which suited both of us so we began to establish a project looking at the effect of biochar on the nitrogen cycling community using undergraduate/masters level projects and gaining small amounts of funding to initially set this up. As Komang is more established in this field she was approached to write a review on the topic for an open access journal. We put the review together and found the writing process, as a first-time duo, quite enjoyable.

Writing a book?

Around the same time Komang was approached to write another chapter for a book on a similar subject, which we then co-authored with our former MSc student. We started to think of ideas for chapters that we could submit and realised that there was potentially a gap in the market for a book covering the effect that biochar application can have on the soil microbial community. It seemed like a daunting task but we challenged ourselves to pursue the idea and started looking at potential publishers.

caroline and komang

In our next blog we will talk about how we navigated the process of selecting a publisher and wrote our proposal. Stay tuned!

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Earth & Environmental Science

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