Have your teaching buddies told you that you have a fabulous lesson plan for a specific topic? Then they ask “Why haven’t you gotten this published yet?” Your reply is something like, “Ah, well, ah, I don’t know how to do that.” Ah, well, read on and you will.
As Editor in Chief, I am always on the lookout for new material. At TCR we look for standards-based lessons that are presented in a clear-cut, easy-to-follow way. They need to be educationally sound and classroom-ready. So if your lessons meet this first criteria, read on.
Before you submit anything to any publisher, you need to do your research. If you are interested in getting something published, here’s your assignment. Read the following. Answer any of the questions.
1. What are the current trends in education that you are on top of in your own classroom? What do you currently teach that can be a book?
2. Study the market before submitting anything. The best way to do this is to visit your nearest teacher supply store. Spend some time there looking through books. Which publisher does the type of book that yours is the closest to? You might want to buy a few and look at them for format, page counts, and writing style.
3. Before sending your manuscript, find the publisher’s submissions guidelines. Ours are located here. There is a one-page description about how we best like to see material submitted.
4. Know that you may have to kiss a lot of toads before your book gets published. If your book is rejected, it is oftentimes because the company already has something similar. You might want to try another publisher.
5. Keep track of who you have sent your manuscript to. It takes time to read through all the submissions. It may take up to six months until you hear from someone. Most publishers have a review process, and it may be that you have just missed the last one. Practice patience.
Do your homework. A little time well spent by you will save you time. And trust me, the person on the receiving end who is responsible for acquisitions will remember you with fondness for having completed your homework.