Writing Resources Center

[GUIDE] How to Publish An Edited Book: A Guide For Book Editors

By Editorial Staff, Writing Resources Center

Edited books are known for their focus and speciality of content. An edited book uses to have varied content but within a specified subject domain. This subject domain is prescribed by the book’s editors who are responsible for the content speciality of their book. Editing and publishing an edited book is not like publishing a book as an author as in the edited books, the chapters are generally contributed by various authors falling within the scope of the book.

So to maintain the content quality and relevance, book’s editors have to work hard to make their edited book rich in scholarly content. Though they (the book’s editors) are supported by their publishers, they remain of sole responsibility when it comes to the content integrity of their book. So, here is a guide helping those who want to bring, edit and publish an edited book as an editor.

Plan for essentials

In the very first step of the process, the editors need to plan for the essentials. These essentials include identifying the subject scope of the book, the publisher with whom the book should be published, the prospective authorship for the book chapters, identifying co-editors and reviewers for the book, the timeline of the process for inviting chapters, reviewing, editing and making the draft ready for its publishing, etc.

The editors need to identify and define the focus of the book within which the contributed chapters should fall. The editors need to identify and engage a publisher for publishing their book. For doing this, the editors need to determine how effectively the published book will be made visible and made available to the maximum possible readership by the identified publisher.

Generally, all reputable publishers will need to know about your credentials, the proposed book’s scope, and its suitability for their content inventory before accepting to publish an edited book.

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Engage co-editors and reviewers for the book

The book editor can have co-editors to assist in the book editing task. The reviewers for reviewing the book chapters should be engaged. The editors can also ask for the review support of their publisher for reviewing the book chapters if the same is available.

Discuss and plan the scope of the book’s review process. Plan and fix responsibilities of co-editors and reviewers.

Inviting book chapters

Once co-editors and reviewers are decided and the publisher has been engaged, the next thing is inviting chapters for the book. The editors need to make a word for their edited proposal and invite chapters for their book. The book chapters should be covering the topic concentrates of the book and be within the scope of the book to maintain the content quality and editorial integrity.

The editors need to decide on the key dates and deadline for submission of chapter abstracts, full-text, revisions, the timeline for review and editorial decisions, etc.

Selecting only quality chapters makes the edited book a great title and earn a reputation for its own and its editors. The editors need to ensure that the chapters are written well and the content is presented with academic rigour.

The contributing authors should be made aware of the key guidelines for submitting their chapters for the book.

Have an on-going engagement with the publisher

The editors need to take a call on how a chapter should be checked for its content originality, copyright permission verification, the suitability of the same for publisher’s content inventory, managing conflict of interest if any, preparing review records, etc.

For all these tasks, the publisher’s support if available should be made use of. For this, the editors need to keep in on-going engagement with the editorial office or the contact of support at the publisher's end. This will make the editorial flow smoother and effective. This way, the editors can also make use of the publisher’s infrastructure for editing their book i.e. originality checking of book chapters, compliance with the publisher’s publishing layout, etc.

Review, accept and edit

The editors will be reviewing and accepting the chapters and also be suggesting the authors if any revisions are needed. Ask for clarification if there is a need for the same. Ask chapter authors to make available copyright permissions if there is an instance of the use of any copyrighted work.

Be considerate while checking the submitted chapters for their content originality. And ensure that all the referred works are duly cited by the authors in the references/bibliography part of the chapter.

A draft of the compiled copy containing all accepted chapters is then finalized with the available support from the publisher's editorial office. From this point and onwards, the publisher will assign a publishing team to the book’s editors and the final publishing is done.

Some dos and don'ts

Don’t accept chapters without proper check and review.

Accept chapters from authors having verified credentials only.

And finally, abide by the editorial policies of the publisher.

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This guide is brought to you by the Writing Resources Center of CSMFL Publications

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