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My Palgrave Pivot Experience by Kathy Charles

Kathy Charles, talks about her experience of publishing with Palgrave Pivot.

I first became aware of Palgrave Pivot through my co-author, Michael. Michael had read a number of Pivot titles in Sociology and liked their approach to new research and promoting texts using social media. Once I read about Pivot and saw some examples of the work they published I became interested very quickly. Michael and I were looking for a way to publish our work on deliberate weight gain and feederism. We wanted to combine our backgrounds in psychology and sociology, and we wanted some space to explore the topic in detail. Feederism is not widely researched even though increasing numbers of people know about it and see mainstream content on the subject. The length of Pivot texts was really appealing because we couldn’t write a full size book based on our work but we certainly had more to explore than a conventional journal article allows. Using the Pivot format gave us space to explore our subject in an interdisciplinary way. It can be difficult to get exploratory, interdisciplinary work into traditional journals as most prefer a single perspective. We felt the lack of interdisciplinary thinking had been detrimental to understanding deliberate weigh gain and feederism, and had caused researchers to take a blinkered approach in some instances. The publishing format of Pivot is beneficial because of the open-mindedness it encourages in terms of perspective, and because of the additional length it offers. It was also important to us to retain credibility for our research so we were really pleased to find a publisher like Palgrave using the Palgrave Pivot format.

Our initial approach to Palgrave Pivot was responded to very quickly and positively. The proposal forms we needed were available online and once we submitted them they were acknowledged and sent out for review within a few days. We expected to wait for weeks but we had feedback from a reviewer after one week and it was very constructive and encouraging. We set our own timeline for completing the book and Palgrave set up and agreed our contract very efficiently. We worked on our book for a whole year because we were undertaking new research and during that time our Palgrave representative changed – the support and attention to detail remained consistent though. Once we submitted our manuscript the 12 week turnaround Palgrave advertise was closely adhered to. Deadlines for proof reading became quite tight during this phase but every detail is checked and confirmed and the staff who deal with this side of the process reply to queries very rapidly.

One of the things that really helped us get the word out about our book was the availability of downloadable flyers so far in advance. We were able to take flyers to public engagement events and promote the book around our university over a month before it came out. It was also helpful to have it on the Palgrave website so that we could use social media and our blogs to link people to it in advance. We had quite a lot of interest in our work from outside of academia, and the Pivot marketing materials, along with the length of the book, made it really easy for us to promote it to a wide range of people.

I would not hesitate to approach Palgrave in the future for similar sized pieces of work and I have already been recommending them to my colleagues.