How to become an ESL author

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The novice ESL teacher may, after several years of teaching, decide to become an ESL author; in this case, the ESL teacher’s paramount question will probably be – “How do I become an ESL author?

One very easy way to become an ESL author is by self-publishing your book on the WWW as an e-book. Self-publishing is a good way to get your ESL book published: as an unknown author, it is a particularly good way of publishing your ESL book. Furthermore, you can continue working as an ESL teacher while simultaneously working as an ESL author. There are numerous e-book sites to choose from, so take your time — don’t rush to publish your book on the first site you find. Here’s how it works: every time someone downloads your book from the e-book site, you get paid a percentage of the royalties; the e-book site keeps the rest, e.g. with ‘Kindle Direct Publishing’, you retain 70% of the royalties. If you use one of these sites, you can usually expect to get some or even all of the following free services: (1) copy-editing and proof-reading; (2) the design of the layout of the book; (3) the design of the book cover; (4) the author’s own web page; (5) the actual publishing of the book; (6) the collection and payment of book royalties; (7) advice for marketing the book; and (8) a free printed copy of your book. You should also bear the following points in mind:

  • Make sure the ESL book is well written and correctly targeted at the particular CEFR level you are writing for.
  • Make sure the ESL book has an eye-catching cover.
  • If you don’t market your ESL book, it will not be easily found – which means that you won’t sell many copies. Take advantage of any good marketing advice that the site may provide you with – even if you have to pay a little bit extra.
  • Don’t forget to keep the price modest – less than €3.53 ($5.99). Some authors only charge €0.99 per download: if you are not desperate for money, you can start at this price until the book takes off.
  • Avoid any e-book sites that don’t allow you to set the price of your ESL book.

Here are a few e-book sites that might be worth considering:

Becoming an ESL e-book author could be the first step to getting hired by a well-known publishing house: if your e-book is selling in the high hundreds, you should seriously consider approaching a publishing house. If you are successful, you can really make a name for yourself as an ESL author.

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