Self-Publishing for ELT Professionals 2019 with Dorothy Zemach
This advanced course is for those who have written materials that they wish to turn into a published book, either for personal use or to sell on commercial platforms. We’ll look primarily at creating ebooks, but will also discuss print-on-demand paperbacks.
The content is up to you—it could be lesson plans, exercises for students, essays and reflections, research results, or whatever strikes your fancy! Not every work will be something suitable to sell, but you’ll learn the entire process, from considering an audience/market your work, formatting .epub and .mobi files, working with images and audio, creating a cover, determining where to publish, setting prices, and marketing.
This is more than just a “how to”—it’s the actual doing.
Because of the intensive nature of the work involved, we’re asking that participants have their material either finished or close to completion (or to work on just one chapter or section or a longer work), as there is not time in the month to both write a book and publish a book.
If the time for the live sessions doesn’t work well for your time zone, don’t worry! We record everything, and most of the work will take place in our online community (which is always open) so you can easily participate even if you can’t join the Saturday/Sunday live sessions
Everyone registering for this course is expected to:
- Prepare and polish original material for an ebook
- Attend (or watch recordings of) the four live sessions
- Complete the discussion tasks and assigned readings
- Post your own work and respond to the work of others
Due to the hands on nature of this course, we will only offer two levels of certification.
Certificate of Distinction
US $169 – If you want to seriously pursue commercial marketing and selling of your completed ebook, register for the Certificate of Distinction. In addition to the feedback provided to all participants during the course, Dorothy will provide more advanced and targeted critiques and advice for teachers working toward this certificate. Distinction participants can contact Dorothy for a year beyond the close of the course. You can decide after completing the month-long course whether you want to upgrade to this category.
Certificate of Accomplishment
About the course
During this month, you’ll polish an existing finished work or work in progress, format it for ebook (and possibly paperback), and evaluate its potential audience to decide whether it would be appropriate to distribute free to a select group of people or to offer for sale commercially.
Specifically, we’ll look at:
- Targeting your market: Are you writing for your own class or institution, or for the general public? What kind of person would buy your book? How can you make your material appealing to that market segment?
- Formatting your work: How can you convert your document to standard ebook formats (.epub and .mobi)? What adjustments do you need to make to maximize the ebook format? How can you handle images and audio? How does print-on-demand work for paperbacks? (Note: in this course, we’ll be primarily looking at ebook creation, because that can be done free of charge with a shorter learning curve. Formatting interior files and covers for paperbacks is more time-consuming to learn. Elements such as cover design can be outsourced, but that would require paying someone outside of this course.)
- Beta reading, editing, and feedback: Participants are expected to give and receive honest, useful feedback about one another’s works. Come with an understanding that every piece of writing can be improved, and be open to receiving assessments and suggestions, and be willing to offer the same.
- Distribution: How do you know when your work ready to sell? Where and how should you sell it? Is it appropriate to distribute it some other way? And if so, how and where?
- Marketing and Publicity: How can you make the world aware of your work? What is a reasonable price for your work?
Course requirements: You will need these things:
- A way to read ebook files on your computer, tablet, or phone. Software for reading ebooks is freely available online to download; we will discuss some options on the first day of class if you do not already have something.
- A legal copy of Microsoft Word. Other word processing programs might present challenges for formatting and conversion that I cannot solve. If you’re willing to take that risk, then you may; but you must acknowledge that it’s possible you will not be able to complete some tasks, including the final creation of your book.
- A willingness to problem-solve. Working with different computer systems and software means that unexpected glitches and challenges turn up. Almost all of them are solvable, but it can take some discussion and hunting for solutions and trial and error. Proactive problem-solvers will be happier writers. Note that I am more familiar with the Macintosh OS than I am with PCs; but I will have plenty of resources available for you.
- A commitment to doing things legally—including not appropriating text or images that are copyrighted. By taking this course, you agree that you have the legal right to publish any and all text and images that you use in your works.
- An understanding that some resources will be mentioned that cost money—such as photo databases. You are not required to use any of these, and we will discuss free workarounds. However, I am going to point out those resources that I think are top quality, and some of them are not free. Whether you purchase any additional software or subscriptions or services is entirely your choice and will not impact your ability to finish this course.
Get your professional development certified with iTDiThis course is now closed. Dorothy will be repeating this course (now with FIVE live sessions) in July 2022.
Due to the hands-on nature of this course, we will only offer two levels of certification.
Participants working toward a Certificate of Accomplishment will be expected to a create an ebook as a final project.
In addition to creating an ebook, participants opting for the Certificate of Distinction will also receive marketability critiques from Dorothy.
About Dorothy Zemach:
Dorothy holds an MA in TEFL and has been teaching English for 30 years. Since turning to materials writing, she has penned everything from the Teddy Bear’s Magic Music teacher’s book to the lowest and highest levels of Macmillan’s flagship course Open Mind to the groundbreaking English for Scammers (self-published). She’s worked with CUP as an in-house senior development editor, and has written and/or edited as well for OUP, Macmillan, Pearson, Cengage, and University of Michigan Press, among others. In 2012, she founded Wayzgoose Press, an independent publisher of fiction, literary non-fiction, and educational materials. Dorothy’s website: http://www.dorothyzemach.com
This 4-week online iTDi Advanced Skills course will bring up to 100 teachers together in our user-friendly iTDi online classroom every Sunday, and then continue throughout the week, sharing, discussing and reflecting in a private but vibrant online community. As a registered participant, don’t worry if you ever have to miss a class. You’ll receive weekly recordings of each class, full transcripts of the text chat during class, assigned readings and a PDF of the PowerPoint slides. Furthermore, the online community will certainly become a wealth of ideas and information, and it will remain private and online for your use anytime in the future.