Getting your teaching materials published

The author of some excellent Yacapaca assessments (who has asked me not to name him, for the moment) recently asked to pass my eye over a very complete set of offline teaching materials he had also created. He said:

…over the last few years I have sweated blood on producing a whole set of these for [curriculum reference removed]. I think that they have got potential [for commercial publication], however, that is my opinion and could have some bias!!

Does this sound like you? Many teachers have invested a great deal of time and effort into materials that they would love to see published, and to make money from. At Chalkface we receive two or three such manuscripts per week and, I have to warn you, we reject them all. Like nearly all educational publishers, we only publish materials we have planned and commissioned ourselves.

The mistake many teachers make is to give up at that point. A better strategy is to re-think where the true value lies. It is not actually in what you have written, but in you. The materials you have written are a manifest expression of your ideas, and of your ability to organise them. That skill is marketable in many different ways. Three examples:

  • Writing fees from publisher-initiated projects
  • Running INSET courses
  • Boosting your CV: head teachers love having famous authors on their staffs!

You can use the materials you have created to establish your reputation as a writer and educator. Focus on getting other teachers talking about how useful your materials are in the classroom. Listen to feedback, and spend time tweaking and developing them until they really are foolproof resources that can compete with any textbook out there.

Just get your materials out there; there are lots of ways to do it. Make them free. Promote them every way you can think of. Make sure everyone knows who the author is, and how to contact you. It will take time – several years of diligent effort probably – but in the end your reputation will be established. That established reputation , will, if you want it to, boost your income significantly.

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