Publishing a Book Versus Earning a PhD

I once read that people have more respect for someone who has published a book than someone with a PhD. I don’t understand why, but I agree that’s what many folks think.

In fact, I’ll go one step further and state that publishing aside, people have more respect for someone who has written a book than someone with a PhD.

As a person with two PhDs, this disheartens me.

It also makes no sense. One aspect of completing a PhD is writing a dissertation, a book-length treatise. Plus, a dissertation is much more difficult to write than most other books because of the grueling research and the requirement to meet detailed expectations with painstaking precision. Even after all the research, writing, and revisions, simply following the tedious format and presentation requirements requires countless hours more.

Yet the reality remains that having your name on the front of a book means more to most people than having the letters PhD after your name. Go figure.

So, if you’ve ever thought about earning a PhD, save yourself the time; you might be better off to publish a book instead.

2 thoughts on “Publishing a Book Versus Earning a PhD

  1. Have you ever asked any people why a book would grade higher than a PhD?
    I think it is because books are everywhere; they entertain, inspire, fill our lonely hours, give us topics for discussions, and so much more.

    A PhD thesis is noticed, read, and discussed within specialized groups and never thrown on our faces. So we are not familiar with them. Besides, how much would we understand, if we had to read them?
    Yet, I have great respect for those who have reached that high academic plateau, because, as you said, of all the hard work, research, and hundreds of hours poured into it.

    Having written an Honor’s thesis on Dostoyevsky’s major novels as polemics against radical thought, I know what it takes to write one. Not sure how I will feel when my book is out, but the pride, enjoyment, education, and honors that came with my thesis are worth my time and energy put into it, even if nobody read it.

    Everyone can write a book. Not everyone though can commit on the level you did. I know you are proud of both your PhDs, and you should! Don’t take anyone’s likes or dislikes to heart. We all judge others based on what we are able to understand or do.

    I am proud of you, and not only because of your PhDs, but because you are interesting, and intelligent, bighearted and giving. What you have accomplish, no one can take back!

What do you think? Please leave a comment!