So, here it is, my first self-published ebook! Here’s the blurb:
This book is aimed at new teachers such as those who have recently completed a CELTA or Cert TESOL course. It offers a range of development tips and ideas to help teachers gain confidence in various areas of their practice. These areas include lesson planning, reviewing vocabulary, teaching pronunciation, classroom organization, and getting teens to talk.
Why did I write this book?
In order to participate in Dorothy’s course, you need to have some content you’re already working with. My aim was to take some of my earlier post-CELTA thoughts on this blog and shape them/update them/etc into something (maybe) worth reading. Basically, cutting through my rambles – getting to the point!
Plus, I wanted to offer something a tad different. Something that was based on my real classroom experiences in the early years, as someone who was keen to develop but lacking in confidence / direction / support.
This is not a comprehensive guide to post-CELTA professional development. It focuses less than you might think on the whole ‘this is how you learnt to do XYZ on the CELTA, but there’s far more to it than that…’ For example, I’m not touching topics that are close to my heart here – using authentic materials, materials-light teaching, writing your own resources, and so on. That’s for Book 2! Overall, this book is at the more micro-skills level – classroom organisation, encouraging learner participation, etc. Plus, some broader tips on day-to-day development as a new EFL/ESL teacher.
Why? Stepping stones. For me, the first year as a teacher was about building confidence, encouraging reflection, and raising awareness of the small tweaks we can make that can have an impact on our learners and our practice. Year 1 wasn’t the right time for me to throw a coursebook out the window, it was more about just trying to figure out how best I can support my learners relative to my experience at the time. And find ways to get better at what I was doing!
An ebook experiment…
Writing this ebook was a learning opportunity for me. I mentioned before that going through the whole process and putting something out there was important. Am I really, really pleased with it?
I think it has useful tips for sure. It’s something I think I’d liked to have read as a new teacher, so… Yeah. Could it be better? I think it’s series of books to be honest – this is a starting point.
Was writing an ebook fun?
Hmmm. It’s all the stuff you have to do around the book that I don’t like.
- I’m a writer more than an editor. The editing side of things can be a bit boring (less so when publishers are paying me tbh) so this part was…meh. I’ve learnt that when I write the next ebook I’ll pay someone to do that if it’s cheap enough (or just ask a mate for a favour maybe).
- Fiddling around with ‘Styles’. It’s weird this, because when a publisher gives me a styles template to work with, I quite like it. But making this myself was a bit laborious / annoying / aaargh!
- Voice. I’m actually a bit of a naff writer I think. My writing ‘voice’ is literally how I speak. It works fine for a blog. I’m not sure it fully works for an ebook. I guess it depends if people want more of a ‘conversation’ with the author in a way. Let’s see. Maybe I should have gone for my more ‘academic’ voice in this one.
- Writing blurbs. Blergh. I hate writing about myself in third person and bigging things up. Always feels weird. I did throw in a few lines for promo. I guess you have to make things sound good.
Didn’t you write a self-published ebook before?
Not exactly. Me and Rich McCully wrote a kinda pdf download which we called ‘an ebook’: 30 Role Plays for TEFL’. We sold about 50 copies I think, then the idea got taken on by a publisher, made much better, and now it’s like an actual product. So, we dabbled a bit. This one is the whole epub thing so it’s different.
Why am I charging for the book? What are my expectations?
I chose to make this a paid resource because my overall goal is to make my CPD pay for itself. The Self-Publication in ELT Professionals course cost $99. I figured that I could sell enough copies in time to make this course pay for itself.
Royalties on Amazon are 70%, so for every book sold I get something like $2.70. Selling 40 copies of this book seems kinda doable I think, so I wouldn’t have lost anything.
What happens if I sell more? Well, one of my aims here is to share earnings from my blog and ebooks between me and readers in some way, so to pay it forward. The earnings from advertising on this site helped to fund someone else’s place on the Self-Publication course, which was really cool. I’m hoping I can offer more funding opportunities to readers for other training courses. Two courses I’d like to help people fund are Ken Paterson’s Spoken Grammar, and Language Teaching for the Planet. I’d love to fund one place on each course through these book sales!
So, the goals are…
- My Bronze medal: sell a few books!
- My Silver medal: break even on course costs (about 40 books)
- My Gold medal: break even, fund a couple of places on CPD courses for people, buy some beer (maybe 80 books?)
Let’s see. I’m my way to Bronze as I’ve sold one so far! (It’s Day 1.5!)
Anyhow, if you know any new or early-career teachers that you think would like this resource, please do share! And if you’d like any tips for self-publishing (note, I’m no expert at all!) then just get in touch.
To buy this ebook on Amazon CLICK HERE
To buy this ebook on Smashwords CLICK HERE