Column / On Publishing Well – February 2019

Column: On Publishing Well
by Ashok R. Chandran
(Book editor, writing trainer)


In this inaugural column, I chart our journey and give you a flavour of what to expect.

What will you get here about academic writing and publishing (AWP)?

  • News from around the world
  • Short notes on concepts
  • Announcements of AWP training
  • Ideas, opinions, and experiences (mine and of others) in AWP.

The goal is to improve the way we write and publish on Kerala. I hope to inform, instruct, and incite.


International publisher Bloomsbury has started publishing academic books from India in the humanities and the social sciences, reported the Economic Times.

If you are writing in the humanities, social sciences, visual arts, law, or tax, pitch your book idea to Bloomsbury Academic & Professional. See the Bloomsbury India website’s section for authors.

Concepts in AWP

DOI (Digital Object Identifier): A unique, permanent address (of letters, numbers, or symbols; e.g. 10.1177/0973174118804449) assigned to an online book, article, figure, table, or any such digital object. Usually created by the publisher.

When you key in the DOI, in the address bar of the browser, and prefix it with ‘’ (e.g., you will be redirected to the current location of the digital object (say, journal article) on the Internet. This avoids problems caused by changes in web addresses.

While citing journal articles that you consulted online, you are expected to provide the DOI in your References list.


How do I find a publisher for my manuscript?

Consult your bibliography to identify 6-7 publishers who have brought out books on your topic or theme.

At your local bookshop or library, pick up their most recent books. (If they aren’t in your favourite library’s catalogue, they probably aren’t very good at marketing and distribution.)

About each book, ask two questions: Does the content/writing resemble yours? Is the book well produced (attractive cover, no typos)? Shortlist 2-3 publishers.

Visit their websites. Publishers’ websites usually have sections titled ‘For Authors’ or ‘Publish with Us’. Read the instructions for authors.

Overall, which publisher impressed you the most? Download their book proposal form and fill it.

You are now ready to play snakes and ladders. Roll the dice!


The Department of Sociology at the University of Kerala has announced a workshop on Qualitative Research & Publishing from 8-15 February 2019 at Karyavattom, Thiruvananthapuram. I will be facilitating a few sessions on academic writing.

Comments? Visit Kerala Scholars Messenger website

© Ashok R. Chandran, 2019.

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