"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Textbook Writing

I’ve been asked several times why I’m not writing textbooks. “You’re a teacher, you write, I hear they pay well…”
Truthfully, I never thought much about it. So, when another friend mentioned it recently, I decided to hop on line for a little research and share.
In Writing Textbooks: Why Doesn't It Count? Roddy Roediger discusses his personal success in the face of being told he could lose his chance at tenure.
Greg Mankiw dedicated a post on his blog to discussing tips for becoming successful and why so many fail.
Daniel K. Schneider wrote this textbook writing tutorial and while he says he does not personally write textbooks, his breakdown of what they should contain is interesting.
Looking for a job as a textbook writer? Try http://www.simplyhired.com/a/jobs/list/q-textbook+writer
Have you ever thought about writing a textbook?


Jenna Wallace said...

I was a textbook editor for years, working in areas like economics, electronics, autoCAD, business law, and others. It's a tricky business. Acquisition editors are looking for authors from large schools, with large enrollments (and of course platform). Revision windows are getting shorter every year. Once upon a time, authors were expected to revise for a new edition every 3-5 years. Now it is more like 18 months, so just when you finish one edition, you immediately start on the next. I think a lot of my authors found it frustrating.

Unknown said...

Don't think I would ever want to do that. But very interesting.

Sylvia Ney said...

18 months! Jenna - thank you for sharing. It would definately take a lot of discipline to become a successful textbook writer.

Bethe77 said...

NO! I have never considered writing a text book. Sounds liek youd not only need to know the subject inside and out but I guess you truly woul dhave to have the heart and sould for it. As with anything I think the Lord gives you the heart for that and the gift to be successful at whatever it is.
I actually ahve never considered writing any book.
But do have a great deal of fun writing on the blog.
I admire writers and their talents. I think they have a very specail insight to things.
Stories that are placed inside of them to share.
That goes for teaching tools as well.
Happy Easter

Kathy said...

Wow, I've always admired successful writers. You have an amazing blog and advise of some classic writers for sure!!!

Thanks for checking out my blog and for the 'follow'! So glad to have you with me!!! I’m still new to blogging and really appreciate any new followers and their kind comments.
If you click on my main page photo it will take you to my Oak Lawn Images, Facebook site with my catalogue of photos. Please keep checking back, because I often change the main blog page photo.
Kathy @ Oak Lawn Images

Jim said...

Perhaps online blogging will change radically the way we teach and the text books we use them in the future.
Thanks for popping by my blog Sylvia. Glad you found my stories and pics of a lifetime of travelling interesting.

Anonymous said...

Textbook writing -- sounds very frustrating. I would love to be editor, though. I have used textbooks that I had to correct mistakes made by the writer and not caught by the editor. That's just a shame.

Thanks for stopping by blog, Sylvia. Great to meet another teacher.

MM the Queen of English

the writing pad said...

I always had enough trouble reading text books at school ... never mind writing one :-) Can only liken it to preparing Course Notes for hands-on courses I hold in Web development ... takes me ages, and there's nearly always an important step I've missed out! Interesting post, links and insight into what it takes. Thanks.

Amy Wood said...

Don't think I would want to be a textbook writer. Original pick for "T," interesting to consider.

Aimée Jodoin said...

Textbook writing sounds kind of boring to me. My English teacher in college writes the textbooks for his class. He says he's required to write all sorts of stuff since he's tenured.

By the way, you've won an award on my blog. :) And I have a contest going on still. :)

Ramblings of a Part time Druid said...

that might be a great idea for my brother... I will have to pass the idea along to him.

thanks for stopping by. :)

Author Joshua Hoyt said...

I have thought about it. I would write one on Psychology. It would be interesting but a lot of work.

Craig Edwards said...

I remember using a Social Studies textbook in the fifth grade (late 70's) that looked like it had last been revised the previous decade - although maybe it had been more recent and they'd just kept the older pictures. One part of me as a writer understands the frustration at a revision every year and a half - but another part of me appreciates the guarantee of work...this is a nicely informative post - well done ma'am!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Hmmm, I've thought about my writing styles. Sometimes I can write very stuffy like and would qualify as a textbook writer. But I've never thought about it! I love writing casual, fun YA book instead.

Thanks for visiting my blog!


Sharon Hamilton said...

Boy, I have a hard enough time staying consistent with my paranormal and contemporary romances. A textbook?

I do have a beef with textbooks from my high school days, which was ancient history, they were BORING. If I didn't have to worry about making a living, it would be fun to write books that would be funny, and engaging. Make the learning of history or English or math fun.

Maybe I could write one on raising 4 kids. Being married 40 years. Unfortunately, not sure anybody would read them, though!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Textbook writing would be okay as long as the subject matter was something I found interesting. Many years ago I write a user's manual for a medical software package and I liked the challenge, but my heart wasn't it in. I prefer the creativity of fiction.

aliyaa said...

I admire writers and their talents. I think they have a very specail insight to things. Stories that are placed inside of them to share.
That goes for teaching tools as well.