Ask the grumpies: Delay getting the book out?

Sapience asks:

Do you have any suggestions on this issue for someone who is in a book field, but isn’t going straight into a TT position? I have a 3-year post-doc that I’m starting, and some faculty at my doctoral institution have cautioned me against getting my book out too early, because then it might not count for tenure if/when I manage to get a TT. But getting a contract would probably help me actually land a tenure track position. I do have articles in the pipeline (one not related to the diss that is in a collection that just got a contract, and one spun-off from the diss that I presented at a conference last May). I’ll add that I’m unsure whether or not I need a break from the dissertation topic; I’m not sick of it at all yet, but I can’t tell if I need more perspective on the project before I begin the heavy lifting of revising.

So, take our advice with a grain of salt, and let’s hope we get lots of feedback from people who know their stuff (Dame EleanorUndineDr. CrazyHistoriann? — may have to pop over to some blogs to give a nudge).

You have more than one book in you. Your letter writers will think much more highly of you the earlier your book is published, and the sooner you make a name for yourself, the easier it will be to get more published.  Either the book will be a book once you’ve started your job and it will count, or it will be a book before you’ve started your job and that makes you a bit of a rockstar, and chances are you’ll have a second book out before you’re up for tenure.  And that will mean stronger letters, and a better position.

So, see what happens, and don’t intentionally work less.  Continue to work on your book and to produce articles.

If you’re not sick of the topic, go ahead and start revising!

Grumpy Nation, what advice do you have for Sapience?