Small textbook publishing houses offer author some distinct advantages that may be worth considering. According to Linda Null and Julia…
Assigning titles to chapters and sections is an important part of the craft of textbook writing as titles draw readers…
My own work has taken me far afield from my study of law. I’ve delved into feminist theory, critical race theory, rhetorical theory, literary studies, urban planning, and more. I’ve always found that the most interesting texts — textbooks, journals, book reviews — are those that are written in an interdisciplinary fashion. Maybe that’s my liberal arts education coming through, but there’s something about reading a law text with history examples, or an article on communication theory that pulls in political science, or even a sociology selection that combines medicine and health sciences literature that is simply more interesting. Students, professionals, and other scholars likely appreciate the interconnectedness of our interests as well. In order to keep people questioning and pondering, encourage broader discussion of relevant issues, and develop an increasingly interested and literate public, we must be able to do more than write inside our comfort zone.
When authors invest the dedicated time and effort to produce a textbook, it’s important that they do it with a goal that it will be adopted and read and that it will provoke learning, said Robert Christopherson, author of the bestselling introductory geography textbook, Elemental Geosystems. “This requires thought throughout the creation process toward our involvement in marketing and how the post-production/sales period will progress,” he said. “Marketing and sales are areas of publisher responsibility for sure, and I respect these editorial channels of authority, however I have learned that the marketing process works best with proactive, aggressive, and consistent effort.”
Christopherson shares the following ten marketing tips and strategies:
The classroom is a crucible for textbook development, said geography author Robert Christopherson, and that’s why publishers are looking for people who love to teach to write textbooks. “The development of the sequences of topics and the text outline is done through experimentation, he said, which is best done in the classroom using the author’s own students. Student questions in the classroom, for example, may be an indication of where a figure label is needed in the textbook.”
Writing that first textbook can be a really time-consuming and exhausting experience, but knowing the ropes beforehand can make it less daunting.
Easy money. A screenplay. Fame and glory. If you’re thinking about writing a textbook, put these out of your mind. But if you’ve got a lot of knowledge to share in return for the satisfaction of just doing it, there’s some advice out there for writing your first textbook.