5 Tips for keeping your book plans on track during lockdown

The Source
By: Guest contributor, Tue Apr 21 2020

Author: Guest contributor

The past few weeks have been hectic for everyone in academia, with all the rush of sudden lockdown announcements, event cancellations and campus closures, and switching to online teaching. Now that we’ve all had some time to settle into new routines and habits, you might be trying to plan out your work over the next few months. You may be feeling daunted by the prospect of picking up your research and writing without the prospect of conferences on the horizon, where you can usually seek feedback and collaboration from colleagues. Alternatively, this could feel like a good opportunity to take stock and think about embarking on your next writing project! Whatever your state of mind right now, see how our Editorial teams can support you, even while you’re working from home.

Written by Cathy Scott, Editor, Language and Linguistics, Palgrave

1. Keep us updated

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to think about how the ‘new normal’ will affect your intended schedule for submitting a proposal or manuscript, so now is a great time to get in touch with your Editor via email and update them on your situation. We completely understand that your plans might have changed – we’ve also had to adapt our ways of working since our office closed in mid-March – and we’re more than happy to talk through your needs, whether that means negotiating a new delivery date or just answering questions as they come up. It’s much easier for us to help you if we know what’s happening, and your Editor will always be glad to hear from you.

2. Arrange a phone call or video chat

Sometimes an email conversation just won’t cut it, especially if you want to talk through an idea in detail or if you have lots of questions about the publishing process. These are the kinds of conversations that we would normally have with potential authors at conferences or during campus visits, and it can be difficult to replicate this from afar. Don’t be afraid to ask for a phone call if that’s easier – your Editor will always be happy to arrange a chat at a time that’s convenient for you. A multi-way video call using a platform like Skype or Zoom can also be a good solution if there are lots of contributors involved in a project and you want to have more of a group discussion.

3. Use our online resources

As well as speaking directly to an Editor, you can also find a wealth of resources for potential and current Palgrave authors in the Authors section of our website. Whether you’re looking for advice on submitting a proposal, converting your PhD thesis into a book, navigating third-party rights and permissions, or promoting your book after publication, we have tips and guidelines available for every stage in the publication process. Even if you’ve never contacted us before, you can fill in our Want to Talk? form to be put in touch with an Editor commissioning in your field of interest.

4. Go to the (virtual) library

While field research is almost all on hold for the foreseeable future, losing access to institutional resources like libraries as well would also be a serious blow for most academics. Luckily, most university libraries now have electronic access set up, so that students and staff can access their holdings online instead. Researchers whose universities subscribe to SpringerLink can continue to browse books and journals there, and we’ve also opened up access to a range of key textbooks and research on COVID-19 so that anyone who needs them can read for free.

5. Keep shouting about your research

Finally, keep promoting your work, now more than ever. Without conferences and other events to highlight new and interesting research, both academics and publishers will be looking online to find out what people are working on. Make use of blogs and of social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and ResearchGate to announce new grants and projects, publication of books and articles, and other research news. If a conference you were hoping to present at has moved to an online-only format, still present your paper in this virtual setting. Even if there isn’t an online equivalent of the event itself, perhaps you would consider uploading a video of the presentation or the slide deck online, so that the work you already put into preparing and submitting the paper doesn’t feel wasted. 

Visit Springer Nature’s COVID-19 hub to access the latest research, resources, and updates related to the coronavirus outbreak.

About Cathy Scott

Cathy Scott_headshot
Cathy Scott is the Editor for Language and Linguistics at Palgrave Macmillan. She studied at the University of Oxford and University College London, and started working at Springer Nature in 2015. She spent two years working on textbooks with Red Globe Press before moving to the research publishing side of the business in 2017.


Author: Guest contributor

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