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Textbook Writing : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Textbook Writing

Frequently asked questions. Go HERE and read the first thread.
Synergyart
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Textbook Writing

Postby Synergyart » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:59 pm

Hi All,
I need advice. A textbook company had me write a proposal, sample chapters and table of contents, for a college level textbook on fashion design. It looks like they are going to bite, but I am not sure about how to proceed. I do have expertise in this particular field, but I am not a writer per say.
My questions are:
Should I get an agent to help me negotiate the money?
What do people make for writing textbooks ?
I will have to pay assistants to help with graphics, how do I include that?
Any advise you have will be greatly appreciated !

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MookyMcD
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Re: Textbook Writing

Postby MookyMcD » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:02 am

Hi and welcome. I have no idea what the answers to your questions are -- we're mostly fiction writers here. I just didn't want you to feel ignored. I think a lot of the silence is because few of us would know the answer to your questions.

On a larger scale, I would caution that you don't want to sign a publishing contract of any kind without a good agent or literary attorney advising you.

TerryRodgers
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Re: Textbook Writing

Postby TerryRodgers » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:50 am

Textbooks are a huge deal and nothing like writing a novel. I would think it takes a lot longer to do a proper textbook, hence why most cost over $100. As Mooky has suggested, you may need an attorney or agent to help navigate the contract.

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mammamaia
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Re: Textbook Writing

Postby mammamaia » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:08 pm

I need advice. A textbook company had me write a proposal, sample chapters and table of contents, for a college level textbook on fashion design. It looks like they are going to bite, but I am not sure about how to proceed. I do have expertise in this particular field, but I am not a writer per say.

...btw, it's spelled 'per se' though 'se' is pronounced 'say'... it's a latin term...

My questions are:
Should I get an agent to help me negotiate the money?

...if you can, sure... otherwise, hie thee to a literary attorney asap!...

What do people make for writing textbooks ?

...you can google for the going rates...

I will have to pay assistants to help with graphics, how do I include that?

...you shouldn't have to... the publisher usually does that... that would be a red flag for me... be sure to vet this company very carefully, starting with a check for a listing on p&e [ http://pred-ed.com/ ]... and google for negative feedback...

Any advise you have will be greatly appreciated !

...i'll be happy to look over the contract and let you know if it looks kosher... i'm not an attorney, but have written many contracts and agreements, have done a lot of paraglegal work... if there's anything iffy about it, you can then either drop it, or invest what it will cost to consult an attorney...

love and hugs, maia
maia3maia@hotmail.com
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stray dog
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Re: Textbook Writing

Postby stray dog » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:51 pm


Synergyart
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Re: Textbook Writing

Postby Synergyart » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:55 pm

Hi,
Thank you for your responses and especially Mooky for making me feel welcome!
I will get a agent or lawyer, that is good advice.
I wrote an eBook first on this subject and it has many drawings and diagrams, to explain the subject matter, so I assumed I would be responsible for all the graphics.
The company is a large publisher of textbooks, I am sure they are legitimate. I have goggled what textbook author's make but it is hard to get a clear picture of it. The publisher wants a really detailed bible on the subject, which would take at least a year, even with the information I already have.
In the end, if the money is not good I will have to pass.

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DrG2
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Re: Textbook Writing

Postby DrG2 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:21 pm

there are professional benefits accruing from writing a textbook. You can attract more students, you are considered an authority - - which can bring status and opportunities, etc.

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pls
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Re: Textbook Writing

Postby pls » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:42 pm

Be aware that printed copies of textbooks are rapidly becoming obsolete, with many K-12 school districts now supplying their students with iPads in lieu of textbooks.

In other words, even though your company supplies the college market, write fast - and with the iPad in mind to display your copy.
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Synergyart
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Re: Textbook Writing

Postby Synergyart » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:30 am

I appreciate your comments, they are helping me to solidify my thoughts and the direction to go in.
You are right, textbook could put me on the map in the academic world, but I am not sure that I want to continue teaching at a college. It is possible that
the book would have commercial value in the private sector as well, fashion design is a popular subject.

I have video's on the subject selling on Amazon and had planned to release the companion e book along side it, before the publisher contacted me. It is
formatted for tablets and phones. In my experience,students rarely read the printed book, but instead follow the pictures. Because of this I thought an
eBook would be more practical. It seams like the publisher is stuck in the print world, even though they probably would release it as an eBook also. The
problem is distribution. It is hard to get in front of people and they have a list of customers already. There is only one other eBook on this
subject out there, so it might get some sales if I self publish.


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