The process of publishing a book generally begins with discussions with an acquisitions editor of a press. This is an important relationship, where an editor can be a source of valuable guidance throughout the publishing process.
In exploring publishers and finding an editor, many of the same considerations about audience and scope that apply to finding a journal publisher apply:
Other strategies for identifying a publisher include talking to mentors and colleagues and researching publishers' and editors' active interests and reviewing their current catalogs. What kinds of books on which topic areas are they known for publishing?
The following resources may be helpful in finding a suitable press:
When preparing a book proposal, check for a proposal-writing guide on the website of your desired publisher. Many publishers provide guidance in this area. University presses will commonly request a statement that includes the following information (taken from the website of the University of Michigan Press):
These resources provide general advice on writing book proposals:
The peer review process for books is similar to that of articles (see Peer Review for Articles). The Best Practices for Peer Review handbook (2022, Association of University Presses) was written by and for scholarly publishers -- it also provides a valuable overview of the peer review process for authors, reviewers, and publishers alike.
Some resources that may be helpful for turning a dissertation into a book include:
The University of Michigan requires the deposit of dissertations in the U-M institutional repository, Deep Blue. This allows for long-term preservation and, in the vast majority of cases, open access. There is little evidence to support the view that placing your dissertation online interferes with subsequently publishing your work as a book. Research indicates that publishers do consider manuscripts that are revised versions of openly-accessible dissertations. See Ramirez, M. L., Dalton, J. T., McMillan, G., Read, M., & Seamans, N. H. (2013). Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities? Findings from a 2011 Survey of Academic Publishers. College and Research Libraries, 74(4), 368–380.