A shameless plug

So… I wrote an ebook. Or, more precisely, I compiled one out of blog posts and put it up on Amazon for $3.99 AUD – a price point carefully calibrated to match the cost of a cup of coffee in my home town, Melbourne. I thought I would write a quick post to give it a shameless plug let you all know it’s out there and what’s in it, so you can decide if you want to buy it or not.

For some time now, readers have started asking me to write posts on topics which I dealt with much earlier. Owning a blog is like having a large and very untidy attic; posts become submerged as the blog rolls on. I have to rummage through the boxes to find the precise thing the reader is looking for. I have trouble remembering what month a particular post was written or what it was called. I am a sloppy tagger, so the wordpress search tools are not that much help. I often resort to googling my name and random words to find what I am looking for.

A book provides a structured reading experience that a blog just can’t because it’s not sequential. I write on topics which interest me or which are prompted by reader requests and things which happen at work. So the posts tend to address different parts of the thesis writing endeavour. Compiling these posts into a book was a way of ordering what I have written in such a way that echoes the process of writing a thesis: start, middle and end.

I chose some of my favourite posts for this book. Others I chose because, at the time, they seemed to resonate with you, the readers. Putting it into a book has taken 10 months because I was doing it in what little spare time I had and, on returning to these posts, I found the itch to EDIT had to be scratched.Β  I fiddled with some posts, extensively rewrote others andΒ occasionally pushed to unrelated ones together. I then wrote an introduction and conclusion. The whole time I nagged my overworked and wonderful sister, @anitranot, to design me a cover (which I think is great).

I believe in the advice in this book – because I followed it myself. I don’t make much of a big deal about this normally, but I did do my thesis in 3 years while working two days a week for most of it. I believe I turned out high quality work: I won my faculty award at the end, as well as best paper and my examiner’s reports were glowing. On those two days I wasn’t doing my thesis I taught PhD students. This experience deeply informed my teaching style. I believe that a thesis can be written in 3 years and that it doesn’t have to kill you.

This doesn’t mean writing a thesis is easy. Although I was well versed on all the ‘tricks of the trade’ and had professional colleagues, such as Dr Robyn Barnacle (thanks Robyn!), to get me through, I still experienced all the emotional ups and downs I write about with relish. While I was doing my PhD I often felt like I was in a helicopter, watching myself toil away on the ground making, literally, every mistake in the book. I used to tell my sister I was like a medical doctor: I could diagnose each disease I was suffering with ease, but was completely unable to cure myself.

The only way I could deal with this strange, contradictory experience was stubbornly put into practice everything I learned in the books that I used to prepare my workshops at RMIT. PhD students in these workshops helped me refine these techniques and would suggest others. I still listen closely when colleagues and students talk about how they work and what technology they use. I am an avid believer in the power of ‘kitchen talk’ to solve practical problems (Twitter enables this now on a much bigger scale of course) and many of the things I learned are in the book.

Finally, running a blog is not a cost neutral enterprise. I have funded the expenses of Thesis Whisperer out of my own pocket. Although in the past RMIT has been supportive, allowing me some work time to do the blog, I recently removed this time from my workplan. This is a story for another time, but suffice to say I now do the blog in the evenings and on weekends – that’s why posts have slowed to one a week.

I do this work because I love it and think it’s valuable, not because I want a promotion or money to support my lifestyle. Due to the vagaries of the international banking system I will only get a cheque after I have sold more than 300 copies. I am trying to guilt you into buying the book,Β  you can, if you wish, read a lot of this content for free if you can be bothered to trawl through the blog to find it. I do hope, however, that enough of you will find the book to be a worthwhile alternative to your next coffee so that Thesiswhisperer.com can pay for it’s own domain registration next year!

In case you missed the link earlier, you can download ‘Tame your PhD’ from US Amazon store here.If you have trouble with that link, here’s the link to the Tame Your PhD on the UK Amazon store

I have put the book on Amazon without digital rights management (DRM). I would prefer people not to pirate it, but I suppose they can if they want to. I hope you wont. I chose no DRM so that you can buy it and read it on any e-reader which can load .mobi files. You don’t have to own a Kindle or any ereader to access the contents of this book; you can use the free Kindle app to read it on your computer, phone or tablet.

I’m looking forward to hearing what you think πŸ™‚

46 thoughts on “A shameless plug

  1. Joey says:

    What a good (and affordable) ‘Welcome to PhD-Land’ gift for friends starting a PhD. I an sorry that I didn’t discover this blog earlier in my PhD, as it has been a great resource since I have.

  2. Emma Reid says:

    hi Inger, congrats on the new book! I think Santa is bringing me a new Kindle Fire so once I have that I will be downloading the book as that should coincide with me entering “mega write up” phase!
    Good luck with it!

  3. Ariana says:

    Hi Inger, I’m a recent follower of your site, and I would be really interested in reading your e-book but I don’t own a Kindle. I’m a big fan of good old paper books *shy* What should I do? Thanks in advance*

    • ingermewburn says:

      you can read it with the kindle app on your phone or computer. The link in the last para of the post takes you to the page to download the app. It’s not really worth doing a paper book right now, but if I manage to get the other ebooks I have in mind together I might look into doing a paper compilation.

    • ingermewburn says:

      you can get the kindle app from the istore and install it on iPad. You can then buy the book as you would any other amazon purchase and direct the app to download it. Kindle on iPad is a great reading experience – and you can read it on 5 other licensed devices as well.

  4. eleanor says:

    Already bought it! Thesis Whisperer should make some folding something something from all of her wonderful, insightful and nervous-breakdown-postponing advice πŸ™‚

  5. ddoran1 says:

    Hi Inger,

    Congratulations! I’m just entering the 2nd year of my PhD so I will certainly be downloading the book to help keep me sane πŸ™‚

    Many thanks and good luck!

  6. Natalie says:

    I’ve just read the introduction… I think Im going to leave it open on my second screen… every time I read a paragraph, I quickly dash back to my writing to make use of the burst of enthusiasm and understanding.
    Thank you x

  7. Anonymous says:

    The book is downloading as I type – the Amazon ‘one click’ system makes it so easy!

    FYI I use ‘Calibre’ to reformat it into a pdf for my Sony reader.

  8. Audrey says:

    Long time reader and I’m still only at Masters level! But I’m working full time at a university and need to do a PhD to keep my job so I anticipate having a long term relationship with you which means I’m more than happy to support you financially.

    For those interested I have two android devices and I’m glad to know that there is some method of reading Kindle books on them without having to purchase anything extra.

    • ingermewburn says:

      thanks πŸ™‚ The kindle app is free and can be down loaded from the app store linked to your phone (I believe it’s called ‘google play’ now?). I had Kindle app on my android phone for 2 years – was awesome.

      • eyesalight says:

        Now that I have your attention πŸ˜‰ I also need to acknowledge that you have really helped me with my ‘regular’ life as a working researcher at a university. So much of your advice is applicable to long research projects and your advice about navigating the university system has been indispensable to me even though as I mentioned above I haven’t yet started a PhD.

        Often when I feel like tearing my hair out at some faculty issue, or have had yet another conversation about workload allocation, or the lack of research jobs, or another one of our PhD students has needed a caring ear, I turn to this blog to reassure me that I’m not alone in the chaos and wonder.

  9. just submitted says:

    Hi Inger. I submitted my PhD this week! Honestly, your blog helped me get through; it absolutely did. I have commented on here using various names over the years – mainly because of shyness and fear – and I have always been quite touched by the generous responses from you and your blog’s followers. You make a difference to people. You really do. And as hard as it must be to keep going with such a big, non-financially-rewarding commitment, you must know how important you are and have been to the people who read this. So thank you thank you thank you!! And congratulations on the book too.

  10. Jane says:

    Thank you Inger – just downloaded the kindle app and bought your book – it looks fabulous. Thank you!! I have written 6 chapters … only 3 to go … li review scares me the most … looking for some ‘pearls here’ .

  11. Marie says:

    I so thoroughly enjoy your blog, had to buy the book! I wish you many many cups of coffee and thank you for all this invaluable advice and support…

  12. Marion says:

    I tried to buy it but am in UK and it’s not in amazon.co.uk Any chance you can arrange to sell it from there as well (.com refused to sell to me)

  13. Miriam Landor says:

    I have only just found out about the blog so have bought the ebook gratefully! Am also recommending you to my researcher son and daughter! Thank you for your warmth and energy.

  14. Matt says:

    Can I suggest that you offer it directly on your site with about 5 different pay options and have PayPal o I’m not forced to use kindle and you don’t give away 34% of your profits?

  15. Kate Devitt says:

    Bought it and very much enjoying the linear format. Could you let me know how a University Library can order copies of this book for their research students?

  16. fortheloveofcaricomCourtney says:

    Gosh. I have spent money on two previous PhD how to books, and found them tiresome and sort of hard to digest in that they were good advice that you somehow still not sure how to put to work. I was hesitant about purchasing yours, maybe these books arnt for me, I thought…But Gosh, Mrs Whisperer…your book has me grinning ear-to-ear, I feel empowered! Glad I bought it. I hope book sales make you rich!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Robert says:

    I want to buy the ebook but I wonder whether I would be able to convert Amazon format to pub or pdf and read it on my OnyxBooox reader. Does anybody can confirm that after installing the kindle app. and calibre there is no problem with conversion?

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