I mentioned before that I’ve been working on the second edition of my first full-length research methods book. And I’ve just finished! It’s been quite a chunk of work. I’m sure some people turn out second editions that just have a few new paragraphs, some updated references and a different cover. Not this one. This second edition has a whole new chapter, several new sections, lots of updated references, and all the work that goes with shuffling the old bits to make the text cohere and the narrative flow smoothly around the new bits. We’ve even updated the cover – isn’t it lovely?
I’ve also corrected a few small errors (ahem) and tried very hard not to make any new ones (fingers crossed). Luckily I’ve had help, from friends and colleagues, my lovely editor and others at Policy Press, and the useful constructive criticism I collected from some of the kind people who took the time to write reviews of the first edition. Many books have just one name on the cover but I don’t think any book worth reading or using can really be produced by one person entirely alone. It’s too complex a task. In these days of indie publishing, authors can do more themselves, and have more control of the process, if they choose. I support that – I even do it, at times – but I would still use beta readers and a professional editor, as a minimum. Plus there are all the people I bounce ideas off as I go along.
You might think the work is done at the point when I email the typescript off to the publisher. If only! These days, if you write a textbook, you need also to write a companion website. So these last few weeks I’ve been devising discussion topics and essay questions, quizzes and scenarios, and searching out resources to add to the companion website for the second edition.
There are still tasks ahead: respond to queries from my editor, respond to queries from the copy editor, read the proofs, probably other things I’ve forgotten. Then there will be marketing, in the New Year, ahead of publication in April. I’ve learned a lot about marketing in the last few years but I still know very little, and I’ll be interested to learn how to market a second edition.
But before all that, I’m off on my travels! A stop-over in Tokyo this weekend, Sydney next week, then Melbourne the week after for work. I’m aiming to blog at least once when I’m away, and will be interested to see who’s around to chat to on Twitter when I’m usually asleep. My aim was to finish the substantive work on the second edition before I left the UK, and I’m very glad I have.