ABSTRACT

Writing a book is a considerable endeavour to undertake at any time in one’s life; deciding to write one during medical school is not for the faint-hearted. A book is intended to be a lasting contribution to the literature, with a half-life much longer than an original research paper. Further, unlike academic papers, which are typically unpaid, publishing a book is an academic activity that may lead to some financial remuneration for the editor/author. This is without doubt a bonus but should not be the driving factor in your decision; I wouldn’t want to know my hourly rate based on the time invested, and I doubt i’m alone. Writing a book will bring you into contact with stakeholders you may have seldom interacted with before: commissioning editors, copyeditors, marketing officers, lawyers, trade unions and so on. This should be seen as an exciting opportunity, but you are now a small fish in a great lake – flap with caution. With whole books written on this topic, the purpose of this section is to bring you up to speed on the process and provide a strategy along four key steps: conception, pitch, preparation and publishing.