Find a Niche

Posted on February 28, 2006

Velma McBride Murry (bio) gives advice on how to start publishing.

 

It took a while to just begin getting into a publishing mode or publishing cycle, just learning how to do that. How do you really work on several projects at one time and then balance that research with teaching and serving on committees and meeting with students? How do you do all that and then have a life of your own? That balancing act itself could be a career for individuals.

There were bumps along the way, rejections, getting manuscripts back and you say this was the best I've ever done. Well, guess what, it's not good enough. Find someone to help you structure things in a way that it becomes a publishable document. Be willing to revise until you get it to that place.

Once you get into that track, it's almost as though it takes on a life of its own because you begin to develop other ideas. Other people will see the work that you're doing, they will ask if you're willing to be a part of a book they may be doing, which is how I got my first book chapter written. Someone saw an article I had written and said, 'We have a niche for this particular idea, and would you be interested in writing this book chapter with us?' which then gains visibility with some senior scholars, but it's realizing that you don't know everything there is to know; you just have the framework to learn how to do the work when you get out of graduate school or get out of your first post-doctorate experience.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher in April 2005.

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