On a tip from E., I recently picked up a copy of William Germano's From Dissertation to Book. While it was published about eight years too late for me, I figured it might offer me some tips to pass along to our local pack of dissertators, many of whom are already thinking about life beyond the diss. Germano does a great job of highlighting the differences between dissertations and scholarly books, explaining how editors work, and encouraging the new Ph.D. to revise thoughtfully but quickly. He also offers up some useful things about writing itself, including an especially humorous and lovely indictment of the evils of passive voice.
Turns out Germano offered me some helpful suggestions as well. Now that I've finally moved beyond a couple of deadlines that loomed for way too long (hence the obsessive posts about writing earlier this week), I'm back in more generative reading/writing mode. I need to draft the introduction to the book, but I have been anxious about it and putting it off. I'm not really sure why. But Germano's remarks about how an introduction should make clear its audience and establish the "throughline" or "plot" of the book resonated. I think I'm ready to tackle it now.