In So…You Want to Publish a Book? I previously wrote that Audience and Reason are the first two components in catching an editor’s eye and taking the first step in publishing a book. Bottom line…be very clear about who will benefit from your work. Why would anyone pick it up and read it? There is a lot of competition out there in the publishing world.
Readers deserve something different. Don’t recycle an old idea.
Corwin books are typically straight to the point. They are practical works that respond to specific needs or explore new ways of thinking and doing that are becoming critical just now for educators. Think Digital Leadership, Beyond Core Expectations, or The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners.
That last part leads me to a question I often get from potential writers that I personally dread. “What Kind of book do you need?” or “What do you want me to write about?” While a great part of my role as an editor is to be informed, and to read and think about issues and trends in order to see what moves people, I still need potential authors to approach me with new ideas and proposals.
Authors have to be passionate about the topics they are developing in order to create something that is useful and substantial. Authors need to envision how their work will change the lives of educators or students for the better. Writing to an editor’s needs is not the best formula for an inspired book.
Editors should understand content and trends, but we rely on authors to be the content experts. Your editor should help shape your work to fit an audience, timeline, marketing message, and design. In educational publishing, our author’s expertise is in educational content while editors know how and when to bring that content to an audience.
It’s not easy to understand where good ideas come from. The easy answer is to say they are all around us. It’s important, as a writers and an educator, you listen to the concerns of teachers, students, and parents. To be ahead of the curve, you need to be critical in your thinking of what you need in your position.
How do you do this?
- Listen to the questions students, other educators, and parents ask, especially if you hear them over and over.
- Think about when learning works best in your school or classroom. What is driving that success?
- Did you just think, “This could really help my teaching or leadership” while reading a research study, business book, or science article?
- What made your school a success over the last three years?
- If you present or speak to educators, what topics are in most demand?
- What is not working and how would you change that?