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Writing and Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Textbook Authorship and Higher Education Publishing, Second Edition Paperback – January 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0972816472 ISBN-10: 097281647X Edition: 2nd

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Paperback, January 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Path Publishing; 2 edition (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097281647X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972816472
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,514,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


In only a few years a great deal has changed in academic publishing, and only part of that change has been in available and applicable technologies. In this edition, practitioner and consultant Lepionka explains current developments in digitization, wiki-textbooks and pricing, but also concentrates on textbook writing, such as setting learning objectives to develop the entire textbook package, and adds more links to resources, practical authoring tools and examples. She reviews the industry and how it publishes textbooks, then covers proposals, contracts, audience assessment, authorial voice, learning objectives, heading structure, pedagogical considerations, feature development, drafting and revising, schedule and length control, citations and permissions, and visuals. The result is a practical guide that covers a wide range of fields and provides solid support for textbook editors as well as college instructor-authors. --Shannon Hendrickson, Associate Editor, Book News Inc.

Your book is very thorough and a good guide for newbies and probably for some experienced people. The real problem today is getting the attention of a publisher, especially now that so many of the great old houses…are gone or conflated into larger houses….I was very much impressed at your comprehensive discussion of textbook publishers in your Appendix….It's not easy to get through all the confusion that now exists….I think your book is especially valuable as a reference for textbook writers…The incredible variety of disciplines that demand textbooks makes it difficult to cover everything, but you do a very fine job with this book….I have friends interested in textbook writing and I will recommend your book. --Lee A. Jacobus, Professor Emeritus, University of Connecticut

I just wanted to offer one last thanks for all of the help you offered for my clinical psychology textbook, currently in press and scheduled to be released in January. As I look back on the authorship process, your book and our phone conversations were invaluable…Thanks again for all of your help and expertise. I'm sure that the second edition of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook will be extremely helpful to many authors. --Any Pomerantz, Ph.D., Associate Profession, Southern Illinois University

From the Publisher

With working wisdom and a wealth of concrete examples, Lepionka's book explains how to achieve both pedagogical and commercial success as a textbook author and as an expository writer in general. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
There are many books available on writing, publishing, and marketing your book. However, if you are preparing a book that you intend to be adopted by a college as a textbook, then most of those other books are of minimal value. The writing, publishing and acceptance of a college textbook is a unique undertaking. "Writing and Developing Your College Textbook" walks the potential author through the process of publishing your textbook.
The text takes you through the unique prerequisites for getting a publisher interested in your college textbook, use of an author team, knowing the market, the prospectus, and book outline. Then it walks you through the signing process and negotiating an agreement, book development, reaching your audience, creation of chapter apparatus, and all the various other details that must be attended to in order for your textbook to be successful. This is easily the single best book I have seen for the collegiate publishing market and a recommended read for anyone wishing to produce a college textbook.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Hal Jordan VINE VOICE on May 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is by far the best book out there for anyone thinking of writing a textbook. Lepionka is an experienced development editor, and it shows. As a textbook author, I can say that nearly everything she says rings true. She provides a detailed step-by-step account of how to attract the attention of a publisher, how to prepare a prospectus, what to expect during contract negotiations, how to interact with a development editor, and so on. This is information that is difficult to find elsewhere.

There are two points that I would like to add to her discussion. First, in signing a contract give very careful consideration to royalties on electronic versions of your text. The publishers are making a strong push to convert instructors and student to using electronic texts. Boilerplate contracts typically specify very low royalties on these sales. Even a couple of years ago, this didn't much matter because electronic texts had a very limited market. These days, though, you could lose a good chunk of your royalties if you don't negotiate a decent rate on electronic copies. Second, there is no longer much money to be made in writing texts for upper division or graduate courses. The used book market is so well organized that a good part of your sales will be taken by resold comp copies. It is not at all unusual these days for even moderately successful upper division books to earn just a few thousand dollars in royalties -- less than you could probably earn teaching a summer course or two.

There a couple of essays on textbook writing available on the web. Be cautious in accepting their discussions of royalties. The one written by an accounting author (whose own text only lasted one edition) gives a very inflated idea of how much you are likely to earn in royalties.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
Writing And Developing Your College Textbook by Mary Ellen Lepionka (a veteran development editor in higher education publishing for more than twenty years) is a straightforward guide to creating an easy-to-understand, comprehensive, well-thought-out, accessibly organized textbooks for college-level courses. Individual chapters cover how to publish the text manuscript, as well as the importance of structure, ways to make drafting and revising easier, the right way to acquire permissions when needed, and much, much more. Writing And Developing Your College Textbook is very highly recommended for aspiring textbook writers regardless of the subject matter of the book itself.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Haynes on March 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
There aren't many books about textbooks and the ones that do exist tend to be rather theoretical. This one is very practical. You can tell it isn't written by a hack: the book is full of concrete details based on experience. As a textbook publisher myself, I feel confident in saying that no prospective textbook authors could read this without profit - and I doubt any experienced authors could either.
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