I’m SO excited! My new edited volume, Translanguaging in Higher Education, is now available from Multilingual Matters on paper and as an eBook through Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, and many other sources (maybe at your library!). If you’ve never published an edited volume before, you may be wondering what goes into the process. You may be surprised to learn that the process took about three years from idea to publication. Here I’m going to take you on a little “behind the scenes” tour in the form of a timeline for the project. Please ask any questions about this process in the comments below!
Fall 2013: I had recently started using the term “translanguaging” in my research and realized that there was a real lack of research in the area of translanguaging in higher education. My amazing co-editor Kevin S. Carroll (who was my colleague at UPRM at the time) and I started out with an idea to write an AERA (American Educational Researchers Association) conference grant to bring together major players in the field and international researchers on language in higher education here in Puerto Rico. We contacted the people we wanted to invite (of course everyone wanted to come to Puerto Rico for a few days to talk about translanguaging!) and then submitted the grant proposal.
Spring 2014: We didn’t get the grant. Sigh. But both Kevin and I were scheduled to present at AERA 2014 in Philadelphia, and we decided to pitch the idea of an edited volume to our target publishing house: Multilingual Matters. In advance of the conference we contacted them and asked if they would be interested in discussing the idea in person at the conference. They said yes, and we talked to the managing director of the publishing house face-to-face. He was positive about the idea and asked for a proposal. Since we already had the conference grant proposal ready, it took us a short amount of time to change it to meet Multilingual Matters’ proposal format. We sent the proposal about two weeks after the conference.
At the end of April 2014, the managing director got back to us with the good news that the proposal had been passed on to the series editors for consideration. About a month later we got a very positive email saying that the series editors would like to see two sample chapters before we were offered a contract.
The editors wanted to see the introduction and another chapter. However, since my vision of the introduction was to theorize translanguaging based on the studies reported in the chapters, we negotiated to just submit two chapters. We contacted one of the contributing authors that we felt had a strong chapter draft ready (from my conversations with her) and we agreed on a July date to submit the chapter to us. I decided to prepare my own chapter as the second sample. Multilingual Matters agreed to our proposed mid-July submission date for the sample chapters.
Summer 2014: I worked on my chapter and we got the chapter from the other author with enough time to read it and give feedback. My co-editor and I made sure that the draft chapters put our best foot forward and we submitted them for the July deadline.
Our proposal was accepted and we signed the contract! Then the real work began…
We used the summer to develop our peer-review process. Each of the chapters needed one internal (a fellow chapter author) and one external (not an author included in the volume) review. We recruited external reviewers from our professional contacts and assigned internal reviewers to each chapter.
Fall 2014: The individual chapters were due to us as the editors on September 1. Of course, some of our authors missed the deadline, but we just kept sending chapters out for review as they came in. Our deadline for the reviewers’ feedback was December 15.
Spring 2015: After receiving both the internal and external reviews, my co-editor Kevin and I made decisions about whether the chapters were of high enough quality to include in the volume. We compiled the reviewer’s feedback with our own and sent it to the chapter authors asking them to make revisions.
Summer 2015: Chapter revisions continued to trickle in over the summer. I was pregnant and due in September 2015, so I was really hoping to submit the volume before baby came! We decided to pay a professional editor to do the detailed work of copy editing (I knew that the third trimester was no time to do detail work!!). That was one of the best things we did because he was GREAT and did a lot of the tedious work (checking references, etc.). We submitted the entire copy edited volume at the end of July, 2015.
Fall 2015: The series editors reviewed the book and asked for some revisions. Then they sent out the revised manuscript to their own peer reviewers, and sent us more feedback. We worked on revisions back and forth throughout the fall.
Spring 2016: Once the final manuscript was accepted, it was passed on to another team at the publisher for the proof stage. We got first and second page proofs back and sent queries to contributing authors for their corrections. We also chose cover art and wrote our dedication.
Summer 2016: Once the final proofs were done it was time to index the book. The publisher got wonderful quotes from major players in the field of translanguaging for the promotional materials and back cover of the book.
Fall 2016: The book was in the online catalogue and the publisher gave us a discount code to promote it to our contacts. As of the writing of this post, the book has been available in print for about two weeks and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my copy!!
As you can see, the process is loooong. Of course, this high-level timeline obscures some of the very time-consuming aspects of the process. Following up with authors, reviewers, and the publishing house was a major time investment. It helped to have an excellent co-editor, of course.
If you’re considering doing an edited volume, it’s an excellent way to establish yourself as an authority in your niche and to develop your professional network. Have questions? Want more posts about writing an edited volume? Comment below!!