Getting a start as a textbook writer

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Young writersSome ELT teachers are curious about getting a start as a writer of coursebooks or other materials for publication. Going straight to the publishers is a good idea because there are a lot of misconceptions about what this process is like. The main one is that you should write a book and then take it to a publisher. No! These days, all publishers work from a plan that goes several years into the future. The possibility that your idea for a book fits into those plans is pretty small. The best thing to do is, rather than pitching a particular book, pitch yourself and your skills and interests. I was invited to talk about this subject at TESOL in 2012. Here’s a copy of the handout from that talk. Often writers begin working on ancillary materials such as teacher’s guides, workbooks, and test items, and then work their way up to writing a student book.  It can be a fascinating process, but it’s more work than you think! See the handout for more information.

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