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By John Soares
You can make good money writing instructor’s manuals, student study guides, test questions, Internet exercises, and many other types of supplements for college textbooks; I average $50 per hour or more.
However, you have to know the right formula for getting those high-paying assignments from editors, and getting those same editors coming back to you with more choice projects.
There are 11 crucial factors that affect how much money you can make. You must pay close attention to each, because a deficiency in any one factor can cost you dearly.
Here they are:
1. Most importantly, your desire to succeed in this field. You must truly want to win those high-paying assignments and complete them successfully.
2. How well you market yourself to textbook publishing companies. Find editors and sell your services to them effectively.
3. How well you write. You need not be perfect, but you must have a basic command of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style.
4. How well you communicate with editors. Like any business, writing textbook supplements is all about developing relationships.
5. Your areas of academic expertise and the demand for supplements in those areas. You’ll have the greatest success if you are knowledgeable in subjects that have high numbers of lower-division (freshman and sophomore) college students.
6. Your overall skill level with software programs such as Microsoft Word. No need to be an expert, but you have to understand the basics of a few programs or be willing to learn as you go along.
7. Your ability to understand and use the Internet. Editors expect proficiency with basics like e-mail and search engines.
8. How well you understand the textbook publishing business. Know the importance of creating high-quality products that will sell well, and also the nature of the publishing cycle for textbooks.
9. How well you negotiate with editors. An editor has a maximum amount of money she can pay for a given supplement; you want to get as close to that number as possible.
10. Your flexibility with publishing cycles and publishing schedules. Much of the textbook supplement work clumps into certain times of the year; you must be able to accommodate due dates.
11. Your willingness to work hard when necessary to meet deadlines. Finishing your work on time makes everything flow smoothly for editors, and ultimately the professors and students who use what you create.
(This article is adapted from John Soares’ e-book Writing College Textbook Supplements: The Definitive Guide to Winning High-Paying Assignments in the College Textbook Publishing Market.)
Find more valuable tips on earning a good living writing for college textbook publishers on John Soares’ Writing College Textbook Supplements blog (http://www.WritingCollegeTextbookSupplements.com/blog) and in his e-book Writing College Textbook Supplements: The Definitive Guide to Winning High-Paying Assignments in the College Textbook Publishing Market (http://www.WritingCollegeTextbookSupplements.com).