Self-Publishing for ELT Professionals course (so far)

I’m taking this training course on self-publishing through It’s four weeks long, and we’re going into the final week of input. It’s not necessarily close to the end though. I’d imagine they’ll be plenty to discuss in the forum over the coming month at least.

In Week 1, our trainer Dorothy Zemach shared a good overview of publishing in ELT. She explained how/where self-publishing fits in and why we might choose to self-publish. To join this course you must have an idea for a self-published book in mind, and preferably have some content that is ‘ready’ to edit and play around with. Our homework for this week was to share an overview of our project, discussing target audience, purpose, progress and so on.

In Week 2 we learnt loads about the different tools you can use to create epubs, and where you might upload your book for sale. Dorothy did a live demo of some tools. One particular tool called Draft2Digital looked really cool! I opted to use that to make my own content into an ebook. We spoke a bit about formatting too. The homework was to share our work for commenting (which was pretty scary). Lots of useful comments from participants!

In Week 3 we went into more detail about formatting, in relation to both texts and images. We also discussed what makes a good front cover, info to include as front/backmatter, and copyright. The homework was to share our cover experiments, which was tough but cool. I enjoyed looking at the other covers rather than making my own.

Anyhow, at $99, this course is already value for money. I’ve learnt loads, and it’s been great to hear about all these awesome projects that people have in the making! The final week will cover how to market your ebook – I won’t share my work properly on social media until I attend the final webinar.

There isn’t an expectation that you publish your ebook soon after this course. However, I felt like I really needed to keep up and go through the publication process during the course, just in case I had loads of questions about each step. You can pay a different price for the course to get further support from Dorothy afterwards, but I don’t expect to make enough money from my book to cover that.

I’m glad I took this approach, as I already have a much better insight into the whole self-publishing process. The course has pushed me to do that – I’d probably have tried to get everything perfect otherwise and it would have never got published. So, my resource might be a little bit raw, but it’s helped me learn, and it should be useful for some teachers. At least I hope so!

I learnt that I love ellipses too… And I misuse those dots all the time… Have you noticed…?

Offer to those currently taking the course

Anyway, the main purpose of this post is to offer an opportunity to my course mates. I’ve already been reading up on the marketing side of things a bit, and the advice from Smashwords is that writing a blog post to promote your book might help. I know not everyone has a blog, so I’m happy to host blog posts from any of my course mates here on ELT Planning. I won’t have time to review every book myself, but I can certainly offer this space as an ‘over to you…’ for those looking to promote their self-published project.

Would it be worth sharing a post about your ebook on this blog? I’m not entirely sure tbh. Let me check the reviews I’ve written for ebooks and see how interested people were. Hang on…

So, this is based on reviews rather than a personal post from the author. Still, it’s some kind of benchmark at least…

So, you might get some sort of exposure out of it. I guess the real stats would be how many have actually clicked through to a link to buy each book, or at least to learn more about it. I have no idea about that, sorry ☹ – links aren’t normally affiliate ones on this site.

Anyway, the offer is there if you need it. I’m afraid I can’t help much with the nitty gritty of writing a good promo blog post. I don’t know anything about SEO beyond giving things a clickbait title, so the popularity of certain posts on this blog is just luck to be honest!

If you’ve already taken the course…

I’m not sure if there is already a ‘marketplace’ blog post for books created on the course. If not, I’d be happy to share a blog post listing any projects that previous course participants have completed, with links to their ebooks on Amazon/Smashwords/etc. Just get in touch and I can add your book to the list.

Anyhow, I’ll share a bit more about my chosen project after the final session.

Categories: General, materials writing

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4 replies


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