From Idea to Published Book: How a Qualitative Tourism Research Book Came Together

This month we published Qualitative Methods in Tourism Research edited by Wendy Hillman and Kylie Radel. In this post the editors give us an insight into how the book came together, from the seed of an idea to publication!

Our book was imagined from an idea that there were no qualitative research books, or the juxtaposition between qualitative and quantitative methods, that is, mixed methods, in Channel View Publications’ Aspects of Tourism series. After much discussion with commissioning editors Sarah and Elinor, we finally put together a proposal for a book on qualitative research methods that are being used and adapted for tourism research. Putting together the original book proposal was relatively easy. However, the questions from the series editors were more difficult!  While they liked the outline of the book, they asked us to provide a bit more information on what would be in each chapter; information about the author of each chapter; and, they asked us to include a chapter on mixed methods, as they felt that readers would want to know how the two diametrically opposed positions of qualitative and quantitative analysis could be brought together.

This was an exciting time for us as, although we had written book chapters before, we had never edited a book, or edited a book together. The commissioning editors had the patience of saints, as we took quite a long time to find others to write chapters, extract their details and bios (from some of them) and put this all into an acceptable format for the newly evolving and extended book proposal. We began by approaching some well-established researchers in tourism that we knew well, and asked them to participate in chapters. This way we were able to find authors for four chapters. We were to write the introduction, a chapter on grounded theory, and the conclusion ourselves. So, we were able to account for seven chapters of the book already – this was exciting!

At the next Council of Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Educators (CAUTHE) conference, we decided to approach early career researchers in tourism; those who had not long graduated with their PhDs, or were in the process of completing their PhDs. This worked really well, and gave the opportunity for up and coming researchers to get “a foot in the door”. We then had eleven chapters, plus the introduction and the conclusion. This meant that we had developed a book that would provide a valuable contribution to research methods in tourism; one that brings together traditional qualitative positioning with current applications in the field.

Along the way, at least one of the authors did nothing, wrote nothing and sent us nothing. This was very disappointing for us. And others also experienced life changes, work struggles, health issues and a new addition to their family. At the following CAUTHE conference, another researcher promised to write one of the (now) missing chapters for us. This went well until we asked for the draft and it transpired there had been a misunderstanding: the author said they thought we wanted a systematic literature review, when we had asked for a chapter on a specific qualitative research approach. We’re not sure what happened there! Anyway, we carried on, wrote the additional chapters ourselves, co-wrote a chapter with one of our research students, and finally got the book to completion. Again, the commissioning editors were very, very patient; and for all their help and extremely good dispositions, we truly thank you!!

While all this took a long time, we have ended up with an excellent product. We have produced a qualitative research book that is distinctive, informative, up-to-date and of value to researchers in any community, not just that of tourism and hospitality research. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing and editing it! Happy reading and researching!

Dr Wendy Hillman

Central Queensland University, Australia

w.hillman@cqu.edu.au

Dr Kylie Radel

Central Queensland University, Australia

k.radel@cqu.edu.au

For more information about this book please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Quantitative Methods in Tourism by Rodolfo Baggio and Jane Klobas. 

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