Once upon a time, after I earned my PhD in May 2006, I pursued getting my dissertation published with an academic press. I actually got a serious bite from a university press (one amongst dozens to whom I sent out the book proposal).
But after nearly two years of non-followup-communication from that publisher (and after two years into a permanent full-time faculty position at a community college), the pressure to get my dissertation published was no longer there. Thus, my manuscript just sat there — mothballed.
However, I would find myself referring to my dissertation to my composition students. Surprisingly, it was not as an example of Flannery O’Connor scholarship (although I was and still am proud of what I accomplished), but as an example what a successful result of the writing and research process CAN BE — if they only trusted in the process.
Also, as time passed, the era of free and user-friendly self-publication arrived, so I thought, “Why not?”
So, world, here it is —