How to Write a Textbook

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Take your ideas and turn them into a textbook. Textbooks are written to help people learn new information. If you have a teachable idea, you can develop step by step descriptions and instructions for learners. Follow these steps to write a textbook.

  • Know your readership. Investigate your audience. Ask what teachers and professors need in a textbook and what they like about the ones they already have.

  • Find a niche and fill it. Once you know the need, you can tailor your book to meet this need. You don't want to write what's already out there. Research is the key first step to writing a textbook.

  • Try to find a publisher who is interested in your idea before you begin. You will need a book proposal which outlines your ideas and the content of the book.

  • Outline your book. Create a table of contents and mock chapters so that you can see your book as a whole. Include an index and a glossary.

  • Write each chapter. You don't have to start at the beginning. Pick a chapter and develop it. Include graphics and charts.

  • Include activities and demonstrations for teachers to use in class. You want a book that teaches and reviews. You might include a word review and question sheet at the end of each chapter.

  • Keep the text simple, interesting and informative. Assume the reader knows nothing about your topic. Remember you are writing for a student, not someone already in your field.

Tips & Warnings

  • Test your book idea on students and teachers. Listen to what they like and dislike about your book.

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