Getting into publishing/writing/editing English materials

Hello everyone, it’s been a while since I showed my face here. I’m in Taiwan now and I was thinking of picking up a little extra cash and I thought maybe I could do so writing, publishing, or editing English materials for companies, students, or schools.

Namely I’m interested in developing teaching materials.

Will anyone with any experience here be able to help? Thank you!

I can’t help you out but I am currently in the same boat.

I have been preparing some English teaching books for a while now after I talking to a group of teachers back in the UK at a conference.

Not really sure what the next step is, looking for a publisher I guess. If anyone has any experience with this it would be great to hear from you.

I know of two Forumosans who have had proper series published here. I think it made sense for them because the books were materials they were writing for their jobs anyway. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been worth the effort.

I guess the best thing to do would be to look at what’s already out there and see how your materials might fit into that. Especially look at the market side of things- your materials might be great, but are they actually going to sell here in sufficient numbers for it to be worth your while? Schools seem to like to play it safe now and there are several established textbook series already.

As for selling materials to international publishers, that’s less likely, especially if you’re talking about whole books. Buttercup has written some useful stuff about that recently.

I had some contacts in teh field a few years ago, and I can tell you that, as every intellectual property, you should approach this issue carefully.

Most local companies commsion work. They would be looking for writers to do stuff under their specifications and pay by word/page/proyect.

I’ll try to contact them later and see what’s the deal now in terms of $$$.

[quote=“Icon”]Most local companies commsion work. They would be looking for writers to do stuff under their specifications and pay by word/page/proyect.[/quote]Oh yeah. I forgot about that way of doing things. Not quite what Mugatu had in mind but it might suit XinBiDe. People told me that generally it works out at a few hundred NT per hour (even if it’s paid on a project basis that’s what it often averages out as), unless you manage to get a percentage of sales too.

[quote=“joesax”]
As for selling materials to international publishers, that’s less likely, especially if you’re talking about whole books. Buttercup has written some useful stuff about that recently.[/quote]
Link?

[quote=“TheGingerMan”][quote=“joesax”]
As for selling materials to international publishers, that’s less likely, especially if you’re talking about whole books. Buttercup has written some useful stuff about that recently.[/quote]
Link?[/quote]

They’ll call you if they want you.

there was a job offered by hess last month in textbook writing - check http://www.tealit.com > other jobs

I think - not sure if applications are open?

[quote=“Buttercup”][quote=“TheGingerMan”][quote=“joesax”]
As for selling materials to international publishers, that’s less likely, especially if you’re talking about whole books. Buttercup has written some useful stuff about that recently.[/quote]
Link?[/quote]

They’ll call you if they want you.[/quote]
That’s useful? My 8 year old son could have told me that.

[quote=“TheGingerMan”]
They’ll call you if they want you.[/quote]
That’s useful? My 8 year old son could have told me that.[/quote]

Welcome to my world. I’m everyone’s eight year old son. Lord knows why they can’t be their own eight year old son. There’s an idea for a self help book there.

Search, maybe? I can’t remember which thread it was. The main point was that the big publishers do not consider non-commissioned manuscripts. No-one is employed to even look at em. They get filtered in the postroom, even, if they don’t have a name on them.

[quote=“Buttercup”][quote=“Buttercup”][quote=“TheGingerMan”]
They’ll call you if they want you.[/quote]
That’s useful? My 8 year old son could have told me that.[/quote]

Welcome to my world. I’m everyone’s eight year old son. Lord knows why they can’t be their own eight year old son. There’s an idea for a self help book there.

Search, maybe? I can’t remember which thread it was. The main point was that the big publishers do not consider non-commissioned manuscripts. No-one is employed to even look at em. They get filtered in the postroom, even, if they don’t have a name on them.[/quote]

I did try a search. Maybe I’ll try again. Yet, your main point highlighted above I am already quite familiar with. I was hoping you had some more “inside” information.
Anyway, thanks for your input.

[quote=“TheGingerMan”]

I did try a search. Maybe I’ll try again. Yet, your main point highlighted above I am already quite familiar with. I was hoping you had some more “inside” information.
Anyway, thanks for your input.[/quote]

I did, within the bounds of not getting fired. I can’t remember where the thread was. If you have any specific Qs related to ELT publishing in Brit ELT, I can probably answer but I can’t just rewrite stuff about publishing stuff. Don’t know anything about publishing in Taiwan or other genres, other than things I’ve heard from others. Fire away, as it were.

Virtually everyone who gets published seems to do it through knowing people.

I’d advise trying to get invites to the right dinner parties and making lots of friends.

[quote=“TheGingerMan”][quote=“joesax”]
As for selling materials to international publishers, that’s less likely, especially if you’re talking about whole books. Buttercup has written some useful stuff about that recently.[/quote]
Link?[/quote]
Here you go:
viewtopic.php?p=1005990#p1005990
(Searching “publishing” with author “Buttercup” in forum “Teaching English in Taiwan” did the trick.)

[quote=“tomthorne”]Virtually everyone who gets published seems to do it through knowing people.

I’d advise trying to get invites to the right dinner parties and making lots of friends.[/quote]

Or you search for job ads posted by publishers looking for writers/editors. Like the one at taiwanted.com/viewlisting.php?view=12661.

[quote=“ichbinjenny”][quote=“tomthorne”]Virtually everyone who gets published seems to do it through knowing people.

I’d advise trying to get invites to the right dinner parties and making lots of friends.[/quote]

Or you search for job ads posted by publishers looking for writers/editors. Like the one at taiwanted.com/viewlisting.php?view=12661.[/quote]
Um. That’s not “getting into publishing!” That’s subbing for a crappy Engrish magazine. Contract worker. Not the same thing at all.

The magazines aren’t so bad. There’s no need to be so snippy!

The thread is about getting into writing English materials. And I quote:

Not everyone who “wants” to write a book is at the level to actually write one. These kinds of jobs (even if they are at what you call “crappy” companies) give people the time to hone a craft, to get paid to practice writing short articles. Don’t knock it.

Yes they ARE! They are TERRIBLE! At least, the ones I’ve seen here, and I’ve seen a few. Nothing snippy about it at all.
You’re right about the OP, though. I didn’t read that at first seeing as how the original post is so old.
And I’m sorry, but if you think working as a contract subber for one of those things is “honing your craft” then you’re in for a big disappointment. All it can do is open the door for exactly the same kind of dead-end work on a different crappy Engrish ESL publication. It is NOT a stepping stone into the world of publishing. Not even close!

Yes they ARE! They are TERRIBLE! At least, the ones I’ve seen here, and I’ve seen a few. Nothing snippy about it at all.
You’re right about the OP, though. I didn’t read that at first seeing as how the original post is so old.
And I’m sorry, but if you think working as a contract subber for one of those things is “honing your craft” then you’re in for a big disappointment. All it can do is open the door for exactly the same kind of dead-end work on a different crappy Engrish ESL publication. It is NOT a stepping stone into the world of publishing. Not even close![/quote]

I would agree with this having known someone who did it and was bored beyond stiff…

Yes they ARE! They are TERRIBLE! At least, the ones I’ve seen here, and I’ve seen a few. Nothing snippy about it at all.
You’re right about the OP, though. I didn’t read that at first seeing as how the original post is so old.
And I’m sorry, but if you think working as a contract subber for one of those things is “honing your craft” then you’re in for a big disappointment. All it can do is open the door for exactly the same kind of dead-end work on a different crappy Engrish ESL publication. It is NOT a stepping stone into the world of publishing. Not even close![/quote]

ichbinjenny, while I’m no fan of Sandman’s rough and rude “don’t need no lubricant” manner, I’m afraid he’s right. Working for ESL publications in Taiwan is pretty hellish; it’s really only recommended for the most broken of teachers who, like World War One soldiers suffering from shell shock, would rather shoot off a foot than step back into the frontlines.

Interesting post Sandman. I was actually thinking of starting a thread about how English teaching, editing and producing ESL materials affects one’s writing abilities. Does churning out crap and shoveling through piles of drivel (no, I’m not talking about posting on forumosa) corrupt a chap?