Monday, June 9, 2008


The purpose of this blog is to share interesting ideas I have found in recent American professional publications dealing with the teaching of English at all levels, elementary, secondary and college.

Topic: Self-publishing

Title: “10 Things to Know Before You Self-Publish.” Michael T. Owens. The Writer (June 2008), p. 27. The Writer is a magazine by writers for writers. Its goal is to keep the writer’s spirits up.

Summary: If you are going to self-publish, the author of this article thinks you need to be prepared for the experience. Some of his advice: Major media outlets won’t review your book; your book cover will be extremely important; not many sales of your book will come from bookstores—better to use events, such as festivals, conferences and conventions; strangers will buy your book more than friends; book signings will be sparsely attended; giving away your book is standard practice and “…knowing you were involved in every aspect of the book’s creation will give you an enormous feeling of pride and accomplishment.”

Comment: Having self-published my book Teaching English, How To…., I would like to share my experiences. Like any published book, writing it is hard work, requiring two, three or even more years. The greatest burden, I found, was the editing. After you submit the book, you will pay dearly for every change you make, even a comma, and you soon decide that shoddy editing will be acceptable. Not true. Writing the book is half the job: marketing the book is the other half. As the author of the preceding article suggests, you will take pride in having participated in every phase of book publishing, except, of course, for the binding. My only real reward for writing the book was that I had written it and shared my experience in teaching English with others. I wish I had had my book when I began to teach English. RayS.

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