Dissertation-to-Book Boot Camp

My 4-day virtual, synchronous dissertation-to-book boot camp gives you a handle on your book as a book, independent of the dissertation on which it was based.

You’ll leave with:

  • A clear vision of your book’s main claims, contributions, and scope
  • Confidence that your book’s structure and corpus serves the project
  • Clarity about the intellectual work your book does in your fields
  • A roadmap to complete your revisions while foregrounding your voice

Why the boot camp format?

  • Dedicated time and space to work ON your book intensely
  • Camaraderie with other scholars working on their first book
  • Feedback on your book project as it evolves in real time
  • Experienced sounding boards to help you distill and refine your ideas (2+ hours of individual conversations total)
  • Two one-on-one coaching calls related to the book, strategizing your publishing pipeline, and productivity habits

Ready to finally get a handle on your book, its structure, and how all the pieces fit together in?

Join the wait list and you’ll be the first to know when you can sign up.

The Boot Camp Curriculum

During boot camp, you work through tried and tested activities that break down the critical steps of getting a handle on your book into manageable activities. Because it is synchronous, I tailor the material in real time to your specific project.

Here are the general topics we address:

Dissertation to Book workbook cover
Dissertation to Book Boot Camp Curriculum Page 2

Boot Camp Testimonials

Thank you again for putting together such an amazing boot camp experience for all of us! I can’t tell you enough how valuable I found it. […T]his was exactly what I needed for me to feel confident in my abilities to move forward with this project, and I feel it was worth every penny and then some.

[This program offers] step by step instructions to get the book done. This is unlike much of the literature out there on the book, which focuses more on academic publishing industry, style, etc, but doesn’t focus on HOW one writes/revises the book. […] I left with a sense of clarity on what my book was really trying to do and how to WRITE the book that communicated such to its primary audience. Thus, what was most valuable was actual steps (rather than the philosophy behind them) to execute a dissertation to book (or first time book) project.

It helped me tackle my anxiety about being able to write a book. Now, I feel like I know what to do and how to proceed. I still face a lot of resistance from my inner critic, but I now know what to do. Once I develop a writing routine and prioritize my book writing, I will know exactly how to best proceed because I have basically a guide to do it. That’s empowering.

It provided a roadmap and the necessary tools to continue with the revisions. It forced me to articulate my ideas in a clear way for a non expert. In so doing, it showed me how I needed to proceed with my project.

Your boot camp revolutionized the way I had been revising [… because] I finally thought of the manuscript AS A WHOLE. And the timing couldn’t be better. I have been trying to figure out the argument of each chapter, but now I realize that the arguments will derive from my overall book’s goals (which I wrote down based on your curriculum)[…] I now see that I can slow down, not take any of my argument for granted and thoroughly argue its foundation. I am happy about my shift in perspective because it will make the chapter and book stronger and more focused.

Having [Katelyn] as a sounding board, carrying out the assigned boot camp activities you assigned each time and listening to others in my cohort really helped in ways I had not anticipated.​​

[Boot camp] helped me frame my project in a way that gives me a sense of direction and most importantly, it gave me the tools to continue with this process on my own.​ I left with a sense of clarity, on what my book was really trying to do and how to WRITE the book that communicated such to its primary audience. Thus, what was most valuable was actual steps (rather than the philosophy behind them) to execute a dissertation to book (or first time book) project.​

Is Boot Camp Right for Me Right Now?

As I explain below, boot camp is not for everyone. I want to make sure that boot camp is a good use of your time and money. In this quiz, I tell you honestly whether boot camp will be useful to you at this point, whether you should wait, or whether boot camp is not set up for your book project type.

Meet the Boot Camp Facilitators

During boot camp, you’ll work through the curriculum I’ve developed alongside other first-time academic book authors. But, the most valuable aspect of boot camp is that you will receive real-time feedback from Ph.Ds with experience helping authors clarify their ideas. We will serve as sounding boards, developmental editors, critical ears, and above all supporters during the four days.

Katelyn Knox

Katelyn Knox

In 2013, I began my first tenure-track job and immediately panicked. In these high-stakes conditions, how was I supposed to master a publication process and genre (an academic book) I had never written before while teaching more classes than ever (4/4 load)? The resources I consulted helped me understand the process my manuscript would go through, but didn’t offer targeted strategies to help me revise my book for style, content, and narrative arc. While revising my own book, I learned a lot that could have saved me time and spared me stress and frustration. After my book was published, colleagues began approaching me with the same questions I’d had, so I vowed to put together resources to help other first-time academic book authors navigate this process. This boot camp is the best of what I have to offer.

Allison Van Deventer

Allison VanDeventer

I (Katelyn) asked Allison to join boot camp as a facilitator for 2019 because of her extensive experience leading academic writing boot camps at the UCLA graduate writing center (GWC) and because she is without question one of the best developmental editors I know. She is one of the main reasons I was able to write a strong dissertation and the lessons I learned during her workshops at the UCLA GWC are at the heart of the boot camp curriculum.

But let’s hear from Allison directly–tell us about yourself!

I’m an academic copyeditor who specializes in working with writers in the humanities disciplines. I help clients sharpen their ideas and polish their language at every stage of the writing process. I hold a PhD in comparative literature, and I’ve taught writing, literature, history, and French. Thanks to this experience and many years of editing in various capacities, I have a solid familiarity with the genres of academic writing and a variety of strategies for helping writers appeal more effectively to their audiences.

Dissertation-to-Book Boot Camp FAQ

What is the dissertation-to-book boot camp format?

Prior to the boot camp, I will distribute an activity to help you prepare for boot camp. On Sunday evening, the cohort will meet from 7 pm-8:30 pm (Central Time) for an opening webinar.

On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, from 9 am-12:30 pm, we will work synchronously using a virtual platform called GoToMeeting. After a quick check-in (9-9:15), you will work individually on the curriculum, synchronously with other participants. Throughout each working session, Allison Van Deventer and I will serve as sounding boards, helping you talk through your project, see the big picture, and frame its contributions.

After a lunch break (12:30-1:30 pm), we will meet to debrief the morning’s session (1:30-2 pm). Twice—once during the 4-day boot camp and once in the weeks following, you will schedule a time to meet one-on-one with me for one hour.

Who is this dissertation-to-book boot camp for?

The dissertation-to-book boot camp is for you if you are working in humanities and qualitative social science disciplines and are looking to publish your first book, based on your dissertation, in English with a US/UK university or academic press. I have geared the material toward authors who have already spent about 4-8 months at the revisions stage.

Who is this dissertation to book online boot camp NOT for?

 If you have already revised 80%+ of your manuscript and are looking to prepare your book proposal, this boot camp is not for you. This boot camp is not recommended for you if you are writing a first book that is completely different from your dissertation.

What’s it like to work with you?

Take it from my past boot camp participants:

Katelyn is great to work with – I felt like she provided excellent structures and techniques for revising the dissertation. More importantly, I found Katelyn to be an excellent listener who was then able to offer thoughtful suggestions on direction.

Katelyn is skilled in listening and distilling what you say, into clear words that you can use to clarify your learning objectives; is amicable, constructive, and critical in probing why you make decisions about your book project; Finally, Katelyn leads/ models by example.

Having you as a sounding board and carrying out the tasks you assigned each time. Also, just listening to others really helped in ways I had not anticipated.

When is the next boot camp?

I might offer a multi-week format during fall 2019 and spring 2020, but the next 4-day boot camp will not happen until summer 2020. If you would like to be the first to know when registration opens, use the form below to join the wait list.

What technology do I need to participate in boot camp?

You need reliable internet access, a private space (ideally a door that can close), a webcam, and a microphone. Earbuds with a microphone are recommended but not required.

We will use a web conferencing software called GoToMeeting (GTM), which is free to use. You will need to download a small program to use GTM on desktops and laptops. I will send you instructions about how to download and install it before boot camp.

Is it OK if I can’t make one (or more) of the sessions during my chosen week?

The main value of the program is the synchronous element—working alongside peers and talking your project through with me and Allison. But, I understand that the program is a serious time investment and that not all schedules can accommodate the full program. However, missing sessions can also be disruptive to the group working dynamic. So, I recommend that you do not sign up if you cannot commit to attending at least 4 of the 5 main synchronous sessions (Sunday webinar; Monday through Thursday morning working sessions).

What if I can’t attend your upcoming boot camps?

What is your refund policy?

There are no refunds once you pay for boot camp registration.

Humanities First Book Author Inner Circle

Writing your first academic book in a humanities or qualitative social science discipline? Wondering how to manage such a large project? You don't have to struggle alone! Sign up, and I'll send you resources and advice to help you get a handle on your manuscript, find the best publisher, and develop productivity habits to get the book done.

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