Alright, I have a small problem. I am applying to graduate schools for my ph.d. My application is OK, decent grades, great writing sample, but there's this one credential that I definitely want to include but can't put on the online application. These days, the applications are all online, and for a lot of schools what you can't upload to the application, you can't mail in either, because they simply won't accept it. I wrote a book on skepticism and philosophical naturalism, and I am getting it published by an academic publisher, and I desperately want to include what I think is an important credential with my application. I don't just want to mention the book on my resume and in my personal statement, I actually want to send it. I can send it to a couple of places, but other places (that I want to get into) don't accept supplemental materials. I'm definitely not bragging or anything, because my book has a lot of flaws, but I think that if the admissions committee sees the actual book that will definitely have a psychological impact, and I want them to see it. How do I get around the problem with a few schools that they "won't accept supplemental materials" and (politely) get the actual physical book to the admissions committee?

I think I replied to an earlier question of yours on the topic of graduate school (14 September 2013). I strongly recommend against sending an unsolicited book to any graduate admissions committee, particularly if they've said they don't accept supplemental materials. At best you'll waste postage. At worst you'll annoy them by ignoring their rules and saddling them with extra materials to store and dispose of. No one on any admissions committee is likely to have time to read your book before admissions decisions are made; if they read any of your writing carefully, it's going to be your writing sample. By all means make prominent references to your book in your cover letter and curriculum vitae. If your publisher doesn't object, you might include in your cover letter a URL where members of the admissions committee can read an online draft of your book. If the publisher is already advertising your book, include a URL for the advertisement. I strongly doubt that seeing the physical book itself will make the favorable psychological impact you hope for; for one thing, the book isn't yet professionally typeset and bound. Indeed, as I said, it may well backfire. In any case, I'm interested in your book if you want to email me about it. Best of luck with your applications.

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