Finally, I received my author copies, an actual book, with my text in it and my name on top. Happiness! But: a book is only good when it is being read, and to find readers (as well as catalysts such as reviewers), one needs to engage in some marketing. Which can feel a bit awkward - academe rests on and yet despises selling oneself and one's intellectual produce. So I used the adrenalin and joy of the moment to write this series. And thought about what else to do.

After writing a book, deciding to publish it, submitting a proposal, getting accepted, and finalizing the manuscript, I though I was done with my first book. My publisher disagreed: afte rwriting, editing, submitting, rewriting, and resubmitting followed: editing, copyediting, proofreading, indexing, marketing. It would have been easy to drown in these tasks, particularly as a perfectionist. So what to do?

Congratulations! After weeks of waiting (two for this post, but probably many more for the readers' comments on your manuscript) a press offered to publish your book. You must be delighted. I for sure was.

And then I was frightened. Once the offer from SAGE was in, it dawned upon me that I would now increasingly loose control. Until now, it was only me who read the text, some supervisors, some friends, the publisher, and his external reviewers. But whatever they read was a draft. So far, I managed to deceive myself into believing that all could still change. This time was over now. Now was time to let go - and quickly so...

Many authors, especially young ones like me, seem to be afraid of the peer review process. To be honest: I wasn't. Once SAGE decided to read the full manuscript for my book on Muslim peace activists, I knew that acceptance creep would set it. They were ready to invest effort, some money, and their network to check my book - and would not have done this if they had not seen potential in my proposal. Moreover: whatever the readers had to say would likely improve my work even in the unlikely event of not leading to a contract. Your book's first honest readers are its reviewers. I knew the road ahead was still long - the marketing department would have to go over everything, for instance, before I were to be offered an actual contract - but I was in.

After last week's post clarified whether your work is worth publishing as a monograph, this week's reflects on how you might convince a publisher of that - especially if you have very little to offer on your CV yet. When I started to contact publishers for my own "Being Muslim and Working for Peace" in 2010, my publication list was meagre: one refereed article on a different topic in a local South Asian journal, two German book reviews, and a string of conference papers. I had just enrolled for my PhD and started working as a lecturer at a not-well-known university in Germany. Even though I could boast my Associate status at Oxford and a splendid record as a student, there was little in my CV to reassure publishers that I know what I am doing. A good student is not necessarily a good writer and author.