Bringing in a co-author requires ‘reconstitution’ of book project

TextbooksFinding a co-author for your textbook should involve more than finding someone to share the workload, said Mary Ellen Lepionka, owner of Atlantic Path Publishing and author of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook.

”Rather than serving merely as a hired hand, each co-author should have content to contribute,” she said.

Senior authors often bring in junior colleagues working in areas at the edges of their expertise or in emerging fields, to serve as coauthors, said Lepionka, but among the best sources of co-authors are colleagues from the author’s past schooling, from his or her present institution or group, and individuals in groups the author interacts with at professional meetings. [Read more…]

How to reach out to potential textbook publishers

high stack of booksQ: “I am interested in researching the types of textbooks that currently exist regarding preparing a student for a job and which courses utilize this book. Is there a way to determine, other than contacting universities directly, if books are currently being used regarding this topic and if they effectively address the current job market issues? Also, is it recommended, if you have a textbook topic idea, to send the proposal to multiple potential publishers? Is it necessary to completely write the book before marketing it to potential publishers?”

A: Mary Ellen Lepionka, author of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook:

“You don’t mention the type of job you are referring to. Textbooks that prepare people for jobs may be [Read more…]

How & why to research your textbook market

Because having a market for your idea is one of theStatistical writing most important criteria for publishing your textbook, it is important to research your textbook’s “market promise” before contacting a publisher, said Mary Ellen Lepionka, author of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook, Second Edition: A Comprehensive Guide to Textbook Authorship and Higher Education Publishing (Atlantic Path Publishing, 2008). A textbook’s market promise, she said, “is a clearly identifiable audience for your textbook, such as all undergraduates taking organic chemistry.” [Read more…]