A Big Week at The Professor Is In: My Book Comes Out!

The day finally arrived!   On Tuesday the book came out and The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D. into a Job was officially launched onto the world. 480 pages, half of it newly updated and revised versions of the most essential academic blog posts, and half of it entirely new material, on things like adjuncting, grad student debt, and the post-ac job search.


You can buy it at all these places:


indiebound-button-graphicbn-button-graphicgooglebooks-button-graphicamazon-button-graphicNew iBooks Badge - 11 12

[For bulk orders for use in classes, seminars, and workshops, please call Random House Customer Service at 1-800-733-3000. ]

I couldn’t sleep very well on Monday night.  I was too excited.  (I will pause to note that I was never this excited about my first book, my monograph-for-tenure, Women on the Verge: Japanese Women, Western Dream.)

“Happy on-sale day!” emailed my agent, editor, and publicity team at Random House on Tuesday morning.

Tuesday night my family and friends (100 of us!) had a book launch/Kellee birthday party in the glorious twinkle-lit barn on the grounds of a historic filbert orchard, in Eugene, Oregon. It was magical.


Karen and Verena

Kellee and Verena

Kellee and Verena

Verena and Petra

Verena and Petra

Book signing table

Book signing table


Karen signs books

On Wednesday the book hit #163 in ALL BOOKS on Amazon.

It currently has three five star reviews on Amazon! (Thank you, anonymous reviewers!)

The book and I got some great coverage this week.

Rebecca Schuman did a terrific interview on Slate. (Thanks, Rebecca!)

IHE published a really engaging interview with reporter Colleen Flaherty. (Thanks, Colleen!)

Hippo Reads published an excerpt, on adjuncting as addiction.

Books for Better Living published an adaptation, about women and imposter syndrome

“Why They Want to Reject You,” an excerpt, got featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education Academic Workplace 2015.

Readers are enthusiastic!  On Twitter, lots of folks posted pictures of the book arriving at their desks, and into their hands.

 Best present ever! Thanks @mhbastian

— Larissa Pschetz (@entretags) August 7, 2015


Looking forward to all the #phdtojob wisdom in @ProfessorIsIn‘s new book!


.@ProfessorIsIn Your book arrived today. My dog adopted it immediately. Clear vote for what I am reading next! pic.twitter.com/dHMBsrOi9I

— Eliza Bliss-Moreau (@eblissmoreau) August 4, 2015


And even this:

My non-academic husband has finished reading @ProfessorIsIn ‘s book. Thanks for writing a book to explain it all!


And people immediately started putting the book to good use!

60 pages into @ProfessorIsIn and I’ve already started applying her advice #stopactinglikeagradstudent

Last week, was prepping work for an edited collection. This week: got @ProfessorIsIn‘s book, & dumped that. Book proposal revisions instead!

As I responded on Twitter:  My work here is done.

There are more interviews and essays coming.

I’m going to do a Reddit AMA on Monday 8/10 at 1 PM EST.  Find it on [ /r/iama].  Join me to talk about anything related to the academic job market, adjuncting, Ph.D. debt, and the post-ac transition.

Also, my response to Sarah Kendzior’s piece in Chronicle Vitae about me, called “The Paradoxical Success of The Professor Is In.”  That’s coming out Monday.  Be sure and check it out!

And Inger Mewburn of The Thesis Whisperer will be reviewing the book soon!

@ProfessorIsIn 26 pages in and already I totally love your book.


What does all this mean for you?  Why, you too should buy my book!  If you’re reading this blog, you need the book.  If you are a grad student, will be a grad student, love a grad student, know a grad student, are the bewildered parent or partner of a grad student, were a former grad student, are a Ph.D., a new Ph.D., an old Ph.D., an adjunct, an assistant professor, a tenured professor, an advisor of Ph.D.s, a Career Center advisor, support staff of a graduate program, a DGS, a DUS, a Dean of a Graduate College, a Dean of any college, a Provost, a Chancellor…  this is the book for you.

Here are a couple little tastes of it:

“Adjectives are not arguments.  The simple repetition of words on this list [complex, multiplicitous, unique], over and over in your documents, does not suggest that you have a coherent project, or make a compelling point, or advance an original argument. The adjectives on this list are simply pointless.  These is no Ph.D. research project that is not on a complex, multiplicitous, and unique topic, and there is no analysis that you can conduct at the Ph.D. level that is not complex, multiplicitous, and unique.  Therefore, to use these words to describe your work is to say precisely nothing.”

“The recruitment of new Ph.D. students into humanities and social science degree programs that routinely offer inadequate ‘full’ funding packages is the academic equivalent of subprime lending–the predatory lending practices that target vulnerable and unqualified borrowers.  The inevitable foreclosures on these borrowers’ properties, while catastrophic to them, only increase the banks’ profits.  In academia, the university is the bank, and the faculty are the bankers.  Faculty are incentivized to increase graduate student enrollment, and suffer no personal consequences from graduate students’ ruinous circumstances post-graduation.  The university benefits from  — indeed depends upon — graduate student labor in teaching and research, and transfers the costs of maintaining the labor force back on the laborers themselves, in the form of personal debt….”

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A Big Week at The Professor Is In: My Book Comes Out! — 4 Comments

  1. I got your book last night and read the whole thing. I’m debating accepting an offer into a PhD program right now and your book gave me so much great information about the realities of how to prepare for the eventual job hunt (which I’m not even sure I want to do…).

    It was also amazing seeing a section on those outside gender norms in the interview clothing section.

  2. Congrats on this amazing (and much needed) contribution to the world of academic advising! While the book focuses on navigating academic culture and the academic job market, it also stands for something else: the living proof of a viable Post-Ac career!!!! There is life after quitting, and a wonderful life at that. Karen – I’m sure I speak for the whole Alt/Post-Ac team at TPII when I say that we are so glad to be part of your truth-telling project 🙂

    • Karen! I’m…. ferklempt! What an honor and privilege it’s been to work with you – you are an inspiration (as I make clear in the book!) I am grateful for you and the rest of the alt/post-ac team, the insights your provide me, and the assistance you give to our clients. We need to get the message out: you CAN leave and thrive!

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